Sacramento, CA: Howard Ranch Trail

This 6.9-mile lasso loop in Rancho Seco Recreational Area traces a lake and tours golden grassland.
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This 6.9-mile lasso loop in Rancho Seco Recreational Area traces a lake and tours golden grassland.

A perfect year-round hike, this 6.9-mile lasso loop begins with a scenic stroll past Rancho Seco Lake. At mile one, head northeast into golden grasslands dotted with vernal pools in winter and spring (look for fairy shrimp and endangered California tiger salamander). After five miles, backtrack to the trailhead and cool down with a post-hike dip.
Info: Howard Ranch Trail

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.1

Waypoints

HOW001

Location: 38.34044, -121.09656

Hike north from the parking area. The next mile traces the northern edge of Rancho Seco Lake.

HOW002

Location: 38.343821, -121.084847

Cross the dirt road and pick up the trail on the other side.

HOW003

Location: 38.346997, -121.076374

Turn right after crossing the dirt road and hike south.

HOW004

Location: 38.344254, -121.076374

Turn left at the 3-way junction to begin the loop.

HOW005

Location: 38.330623, -121.076159

Turn right and hike north.

HOW006

Location: 38.336709, -121.076228

Bear right to stay on the trail.

HOW007

Location: 38.344181, -121.076385

Continue straight at the 3-way junction and backtrack to the trailhead.