Sunday, January 29, 2012

Redbud Trail - Cache Creek Canyon BLM

The Redbud Trail hike was listed in the November 2010 issue of Backerpacker Magazine as a great hike out of Sacramento.  Local hiking clubs were asked for their hiking recommendations and Alan from the Sacramento Hiking Meetup offered up this trail  along Cache Creek Canyon.   Alan led the Meetup hike I attended on January 28, 2012.  

A view of erosion that looked like the product of strip mining.
The highlight of the hike was seeing migrating Bald Eagles fly above the canyon. When Alan led the hike on the previous week, they saw none, so we were lucky.  A birder who was along on the hike confirmed three sightings of immature Bald Eagles, which do not have white heads.  From the distance I saw them, they were clearly large raptors.  The weather was perfect.  This trail is too hot in the summer and in the spring the creek can rise to an uncrossable level.  

A migrating immature Bald Eagle in the distance.

Approaching Cache Creek on the return.

The drive is pretty straightforward from Sacramento.  Take I-5 North to Highway 20.  When you get to Williams, turn left on Highway 20.  After 31 miles, you will pass over a bridge and immediately see a sign on the left that reads Cache Creek Management Area. 

View Larger Map

Crossing in the spring can raise the creek 5 feet higher.  
The Bureau of Land Management controls the land.  They have a webpage with a map of the Rosebud Trail and a link with additional maps for the Cache Creek Natural Area.  There is a parking area with two pit toilets.  A small display stand give some cultural and natural history information about the area.  The trail is well marked down to the creek.  Crossing the creek can be difficult in the spring, but with the recent lack of rain, it was easy to cross across stones and a couple of downed logs.  I did bring water shoes in my pack, and used them to cross, but did not use them on the return.

There are multiple paths after crossing the creek.  This is where our experienced guide was useful.  The map didn't seem to show these multiple branches and there was no clear trail markings.  

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