Monday, April 01, 2013


Pierce Canyon Falls Trail mountain biking & hiking, Yolo County, California

JimH & I met in Winters, CA and got deli sandwiches at Town & Country Market. We drove to Guinda, CA in Capay Valley and then to the Pierce Canyon Falls Trailhead (A). We parked along the road just outside of the no parking zone.

Pierce Canyon Falls Trail Maps.

• Map book: California Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.

Online map user instructions. Click and drag to reposition this interactive map.
• Click on the spinning globe to minimize the green box.
• The tool on the left zooms in and out. Point on the red markers to see the names.
• Map=roads. Satellite=satellite map. Terrain=3D shaded topo map. Topo=topographic map.
Full-Screen online driving map - Pierce Canyon Falls Trail.

Geographic Coordinates - Landmarks (Marker)
N 38.82142 W 122.20865 - Pierce Canyon Falls trailhead (A) (elevation 440 ft)
N 38.81122 W 122.22462 - Bridge over the creek (B)
N 38.80085 W 122.23123 - Pierce Canyon Falls viewpoint (C)
N 38.78942 W 122.24144 - End of County Road 53 (D) (elevation 1800 ft)

Hiking/Biking the Pierce Canyon Falls Trail

The trail (County Road 53) climbs steadily upward from Capay Valley up into the hills to the west. This gravel road is closed to traffic except for the local landowners and is really a nice place for a bike/hike. The ranch at the trailhead has some longhorn cattle that are very cool. Our mountain bikes got us through the first part of the trail just beyond the bridge over the creek (B). As the trail got steeper biking uphill became slower and harder than walking, so we parked the bikes and hiked the rest of the way.

Click on the photos to see the larger view. Use the back button to return.

Pierce Canyon Falls Trail

Pierce Canyon Falls Trail

Pierce Canyon Falls Trail

In some places the road is nicely shaded by overhanging trees, but it is exposed for most of the way. We saw a succession of many different types of wildflowers as we climbed to higher elevations. The trail also provided some excellent landscape views back down to the Capay Valley and the Capay Hills to the east. Along the way I ate my homemade cranberry walnut granola bars and drank my PowerT hydration energy drink. We had a nice cool day with intermittent light drizzle that provided soft light and interesting skies that were great for photography. Although there was also a little rain there the day before we found almost no flow in the creek and nothing much to see at Pierce Canyon Falls (C).

We stopped for lunch on the tiny bridge at the end of County Road 53 (D) and ate our deli sandwiches. On the way back the rain stopped and we had nice sunny skies. At the beginning of the day I started thinking that bringing the bikes might have been a mistake, but at the end of the day biking downhill through the last section back to the trailhead was really great.

More photos:
BRT photos - Pierce Canyon Falls April 1, 2013
Pierce Canyon photos - JimH 01april2013


Coming Home

On the way home we stopped at the Corner Store in Guinda, CA to get some chocolate milk recovery drinks.

The day after the hike I'm really glad we made it all the way to the end of the road, but my aching feet are saying that we should have turned back at the falls. Clearly I didn't do enough homework on the topographic map before going on this hike. I walked way too many miles in my flimsy shoes that I thought would be used mostly for biking.

Additional information:
Hiking Trails in Yolo County - Davis Wiki.
Hiking, Biking & Camping Trip Reports & Photos - BRT Insights.
• Digital Camera: Canon PowerShot A490. Photos edited with IrfanView.

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