TR: Day Hike Darrington Trail

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Wandering Daisy
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TR: Day Hike Darrington Trail

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:50 am

The Salmon Falls Trailhead at the inlet of Folsom Lake is also the starting point for a trail along the South Fork of the American River, going upstream and the Darrington Trail going along the shores of the south arm of the lake. I hiked the South Fork Trail in March but did not take photos. We went up about 5 miles to a picnic table and returned for a total trip of about 11 miles and 1700 feet gain. Yesterday I did the Darrington Trail. I looked at the trail on the internet the night before and hoped to use my memory as a map (bad idea!). Anyway, the trail sign said about 9 miles to a campground so I decided to check that out.

I started about 9:30 AM. Two women behind me soon turned back and I met three mountain bikers so I pretty much had the trail to myself. The trail snakes way back in to go around several side arms as you progress towards the main Folsom Lake. Each arm had a small stream with running water. I was keeping a steady 3.2 mph pace when I came to a junction with roads going three different directions. The trail was not well signed (as said on the internet) so I kept going straight ahead for another mile until I reached a structure (looked like a house and out buildings). My GPS watch said I had gone about 9 miles so I turned back, never reaching my goal. I was on something called "meadow" road. Later I learned that the Darrington Trail actually ends at that junction. Poison Oak as well as tall grass with ticks were abundant and I never found a good spot to stop and eat lunch, so I just walked on, nibbling as I went back on the trail.

Ended up back at my car having done 17.5 miles in 5 hours 40 minutes and 2670 elevation gain. The elevation gain is suspicious; it sure did not feel like that much. The weather was perfect, sunny and some high clouds with a nice cool breeze. I was getting a bit hot the last hour. There were a few fields of wildflowers. The trail is very well maintained and mostly nice compact dirt with a few steep hill sections that have become slightly rutted due to recent rains. The grass was its brilliant springtime yellow-green.
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gary c.
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Re: TR: Day Hike Darrington Trail

Post by gary c. » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:03 am

So beautiful and green this year.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

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Re: TR: Day Hike Darrington Trail

Post by robertseeburger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:04 am

Beautiful spring day hike.. nice to see some shots of day hikes in this section..!

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Re: TR: Day Hike Darrington Trail

Post by SSSdave » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:10 am

Popcornflower, plagiobothrys nothofulvus.

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