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Heather Glen Trail

Click to view detailed version
Click to view detailed version.

Where did the name come from?

Heather Glen is the name of a local unincorporated area that is uphill of this trail. The trail used to originate in that area, but due to security concerns has been closed to public access from that direction by a property owner.

The remainder of trail is still called Heather Glen Trail but does not connect to its namesake.


This trail begins where the Assassin's Trail leaves off and continues northeast, following the western slope of the American River's North Fork a few hundred feet below the ridgeline. The trail then drops from one old mining road to another until picking up one that decends with an easy grade into the canyon of the North Fork. The trail ends at a bend of the river where the water is reliably deep enough for swimming. Depending on the prior Spring's runoff, there will either be a wide sandy beach or else a wide field of river rock to cross to reach the river.


Heather Glen Trail is multi-use and is sometimes used by dirt bikes and ATVs, but remains in good condition. To avoid causing erosion, steep sections of this and adjoining trails should not be used during the rainy season (usually mid-November thru mid-April.)

Trailcourse and Difficulty:

The first section of this trail, from where it leaves the loop at the end of the Assassin's Trail, is an old wagon road that follows the contours of the canyon with only gradual changes of elevation. This section of the route is easy to hike or ride. The footing is even and mostly free of rocks.

Next, it is necessary to connect with the main wagon road to the river.Use of either of two single-track trails (each turns downhill to the right) which are steep in places. These single-track sections rejoin along an old wagon road. Look for a short single-track connection to yet another wagon grade. It makes a switchback after about 200 yds and then joins the main wagon road after another 100 yards. From this junction, the main wagon road makes an "S" turn at this point. At the bottom of the S there is another junction (to the left) with the Grubb Mine Trail. Follow the main wagon road to the right. From there, it is easy going down hill for almost all of the remaining descent into the canyon.

The final 1/4 mile before reaching Codfish Creek is very steep and the footing is very uneven. Hikers should use a walking stick in this section; equestrians should dismount and lead their horses down. Mountain bikers will, of course, be in their element!

Map Notes:

Click on the map above to view a detailed version. The Heather Glen Trail has various connections with other trails that are separately described: Esoteric Society Trails; Assassin's Trail; Grubb Mine Trail; and the Ponderosa Bridge to Codfish Falls foot trail.


Due to the closure to the public of the graded/wagon road leading down from the Heather Glen area, the trail no longer has its own trailhead.

MVTA members who have their own key to the Esoteric Society property, are able to exit the back gate next to the parking area and follow the Assassin's Trail to the northeast for a few hundred yards and pick up the Heather Geln trail there.

Otherwise, the closest trailhead is at Cerro Vista Road. You will need to traverse the length of the Assassin's Trail before joining the Heather Glen Trail. As an alternative, you can take the Vore Mine Trail out of Sun Valley and then cross Codfish Creek and take the Grubb Mine Trail to reach the Heather Glen Trail.


Cougar habitatThis trail traverses Cougar Habitat. Cougar sightings are rare, but use good sense: Do not walk or ride this trail alone. Keep small children and pets close at hand.

Poison Oak grows along much of this trail and hangs out into the trail in places.

Drinking Water must be carried with you. Creek and river water are not safe for human consumption, no matter how clean it looks. Drink it only in an emergency and consult a doctor afterwards.

MVTA tries to assure the accuracy of the trails information presented,
but can make no claims to such. Please let us know if any entries are incorrect.

Email your comments or questions to our Trails Coordinator.