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Sacramento Hiking Meetup Group
» Howard Ranch Trail, Rancho Seco Recreational Area A perfect year-round hike, this seven-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. Miles from city center 38.
» Redbud Trail, Cache Creek Canyon This nine-mile out-and-back rolls over oak-dotted hills, drops to the banks of Cache Creek, then climbs to a meadow with picture-perfect views. “Bring a wide-angle lens to shoot the canyon’s reflection in the water,” says event organizer Alan Sayo. “It looks like Half Dome when the sun hits it late in the day.” Miles from city center 91.