|Olmstead Loop: a horse trail (also used by hikers, dog walkers and mountain bikers)|
The Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA) with the Olmstead Loop Trail is a trail el dorado in El Dorado County, California.
The Olmstead Loop is a nine-mile-long round-trip trail through the Sierra foothills between Highway 49 and the North Fork American River west of the community of Cool. The trail was named in 1993 for outdoor enthusiast and mountain biker Dan Olmstead, who owned and operated the Bike & Hike Shop in nearby Auburn.
|Kiosk with Auburn State Recreation Area map|
|Olmstead Loop Trail near its junction with Cave Valley Trail|
The first three miles (if starting in Cool) take you to a line of four radio towers. Soon after passing the 3-mile post the trail bends north. Find the beautiful trail intersection, at which the Catecroft Trail (a shortcut from Gate 158) and the Luken's Mine Trail meet the loop trail. On your way to the westernmost point of the loop near McElroy's Spring, you will pass the 4-mile post. Past the spring the trail soon descends into Knickerbocker Creek. Between the latter and Salt Creek you will cross a paved road. Instead of continuing the loop route, here you get the chance to shortcut and head east: back to the Cave Valley Gate or northeast to the fire station.
Reach the mile-6 post shortly before crossing Salt Creek. The twenty to thirty minute climb out of Salt Creek canyon on a dirt road gets you to the mile-7 post and the northwest tip of the loop. This is the Pointed Rocks area. Lichen-covered outcroppings of various size point towards the sky. The Training Hill Trail connects this place with the Western States Trail and the Wendell T. Robie Trail. To now conclude the loop (back to the fire station), it takes less than two miles—the last half mile or so with Cool in view.
References and more to explore Olmstead Loop Trail, description and trail map: https://www.canyonkeepers.org/tgolm.pdf [accessed Oct. 28, 2018].
 Jordan Summers: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Sacramento. Menasha Ridge Press, Birmingham, AL, 2008.; Hike 34, pp. 182-186.
 Ogre's Trail Guide to Northern California Mountain Biking > Olmstead Loop (Cool): ogrehut.com/trails.php/Sierra-Central/Cool/ [accessed Oct. 28, 2018].
 Cool Horse Trails > Olmstead Loop (part of the Auburn State Recreation Area): www.coolhorsetrails.com/olmstead_8.html [accessed Oct. 28, 2018].