Use caution when riding off the trail or even stepping off the trail at Olmstead ( and other places as well). There are some areas where  old wire  is buried under brush and grass and several horses have been injured . So please be careful when getting off the trail to ride side by side or to let others pass - wire can be very hard to see, sometimes you can not see it at all.  

Olmstead Loop (part of the Auburn State Recreation Area)                                                                                                                                                  

Location: Cool, Ca (El Dorado County)     

Address: 2966 State Hwy 49 Cool, Ca 95614 (behind the fire station)

Directions: approx  6.5 miles south of Auburn, Ca on Hwy 49 off Hwy 80 - exit Elm St  from Hwy 80. Turn left coming from the west, go 1 block and turn left at the stoplight onto Hwy 49. Continue traveling south on Hwy 49 approx 6.5 miles until you reach Cool, turn right at the fire station (before the red blinking light) - the staging area is behind the fire station. NOTE:  Hwy 49 is winding but very manageable unless you have an extremely large rig.

Staging area: Day use only. Large parking area for trailers, smaller area for cars. Will accommodate any size rig, does fill up on weekends but you can usually find a spot. Occasionally closes for sanctioned events - signs will be posted ahead of time.  You may want to check out the Auburn State Recreation Area website (  for more information.

Dogs:   Allowed on leash only - very strict and will hand out tickets if dog is off leash.

Trails: Trails are multi use (bikes are very common) and are well suited for all levels, most are wide and open, some single track, some steeper hills on the "far" side heading toward Auburn and at the western end of the park, creek crossings   year round. Can ride to Auburn from Olmstead and you can also pick up the Western States Trail. There is a nine mile loop that is marked with light blue trail signs. There are also trails criss crossing the loop   - well worth exploring as there are 3 beautiful ponds that are inside the loop. Most of the trails drain well, making it a   good place to ride in the winter and   it is also usually above the fog line   with beautiful views of snow capped mountains - an added bonus.

Water: there is water available, usually there are 2 hoses plus 2 troughs for drinking

Restroom  facilities: 2 vault toilets in the horse parking area -  2 porta potties located in the car parking section.

Other info: there are a few restaurants near by - you can "stage" your horse and go have a bite to eat (a very common thing to do)   .

Fees: $10 day use (there is a yearly pass you can purchase , the Poppy pass is $125 for a year. The passes will work at many of the State parks - each type of pass comes with a list when purchased. Passes can be purchased at a state park ranger office or on-line and are good for 1 year from month of purchase .)

See "Trail Pictures" tab located to the left of this page for photos and more information.

Print this page to take with you for reference.

Friendly reminder -  be smart do not leave any valuables in your vehicle or trailer.  Report any incidences to Park Watch at


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