Monte Vista Trail

Hiking and Swimming at Folsom State Recreation Area

El Dorado Hills, Calif. – Visions of a distant adventure were quickly tempered as the morning hours slipped away from us beneath a pile of work. We demanded a new destination. Something scenic and fun, yet not too far.

With Folsom Lake’s recent ascent to normal levels and wildflowers still in bloom, we conducted a quick Internet search. Promptly it was decided to head for the eastern shores of the South Fork of the American River just before it fulfills its mission of keeping Folsom Lake satiated. Next stop, Monte Vista Trail in El Dorado Hills.

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The approximate 3 mile roundtrip is rated easy with some minor ups and downs. The trail is wide and easy to navigate. Take a screenshot of the trails and general direction prior to your departure as some trails are unmarked and veer into different directions.

Swimming on the South Fork
Taking a dip!


A fun hike with changes in scenery that include woodlands, majestic oaks, a grassy meadow and amazing views of the South Fork as it horseshoes its way to Folsom Lake. The beach sits on the edge of peninsula that captures some of this region’s best sights. During our visit, the water was tranquil and warm enough for an extended swim. A few boats drove by in the distance.

You can easily extend your hike with Brown’s Ravine Assembly Area trail located another 10 plus miles. This trail offers exceptional river and lake views. We explored further before the trail became a bit narrow and overgrown. At that point, we decided to retrace our steps back and head back to the car.

Monte Vista Trail

  • Easy 3 mile round trip with additional trails
  • Cell service worked well for us
  • Hat & sunscreen
  • Be prepared to get wet, the lure is powerful!
  • About 40 minutes from West Roseville
  • Have Fun!

TRAVEL TIP: If you rely on Google Maps to get you there, you may find yourself talking to locals at a dead end road called Easy Lane. Instead of turning on Easy Lane, head north and in short order you’ll encounter a gravel lot on your left across from Falcon’s Crest. Park here and gear up. You’ll see the trailhead sign here.

Lunch at El Dorado Saloon

We worked up an appetite following the hike and stumbled upon a gem. The El Dorado Saloon, located at 879 Embarcadero Dr serves up scrumptious eats and cold brews with terrific specials. A fun place to dine outdoors on their large deck which sits under a shaded canopy of giant oaks. Super friendly staff help deliver a enjoyable experience.

Monte Vista Trail in El Dorado Hills offers an opportunity to soak in some of the region’s incredible beauty. Top it off with lunch and a cold one at the El Dorado Saloon and we’ll call it a perfect day!

happy trails!


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