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Cronan Ranch Trailhead

Cronan Ranch

Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field Office El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

38.82652, -120.989162

From the town of Auburn, take Highway 49 south for approximately twelve (12) miles. Turn right on Pedro Hill Road.


Cronan Ranch Trailhead

NOTICE: Sheep will be arriving at Cronan Ranch.
Parking lot temporary CLOSURE scheduled for Tuesday May 11, 2021.

Approximately 700 sheep will be grazing at Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park by the South Fork American River starting the second week of May through the end of August as part of a weed control program by the BLM Mother Lode Field Office. This is the sixth year that targeted sheep grazing will be used to control yellow starthistle and medusahead. The sheep graze over 900 acres annually.

Vegetation monitoring has shown a dramatic decrease in weed thatch and yellow starthistle cover, and an increase in species diversity from grazing. Sheep will be grazing in areas with temporary electric fence. A livestock protection dog will be used by the herder as well as livestock herding dogs.

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY.


Cronan Ranch Trailhead is located in Pilot Hill, California. The area contains 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching and other passive recreation. There is a wide variety of terrain to choose from, including gently sloped to challenging hills, oak woodland and gentle riverfront trails. Each season offers a diverse experience.

The land for Cronan Ranch and river trail corridor was purchased by the American River Conservancy, BLM and other partners over a period of 16 years and placed into public trust to be used for recreation and wildlife conservation. The purchase was made possible through generous donations by individuals, private foundations and government agencies, including the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California State Resources Agency.

Cronan Ranch connects with the South Fork American River corridor trail that runs from Greenwood Creek to Salmon Falls. For more information, see our South Fork American River webpage.

What you need to know:

  • Cronan Ranch is a Day-Use area only. No overnight camping.
  • Only non-motorized recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and other similar passive activities are allowed.
  • Portions of this trail system border private property. Please respect the rights of private property owners by staying on designated routes at all times.
  • Please be aware that there are mountain lions and rattlesnakes in the area.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Fuelwood cutting and collection is prohibited.
  • A Special Recreation Use Permit is required for all commercial, organized groups, or competitive activities.

Helpful Links:

Hunting and Shooting Info - Cronan Ranch:

Firearms: The discharge of firearms is prohibited except in the course of licensed, in-season hunting activities. Hunting with rifles is prohibited within the Cronan Ranch Management Area during any season. Hunting weapons limited to bow and arrows, smooth bore shotguns and muzzleloaders. Muzzleloaders allowed only after fire season is declared over.

  • No target shooting allowed
  • No hunting for bear, squirrels, rabbits, jackrabbits, waterfowl, furbearers, or non game species
  • Quail and Dove hunting during correct season
  • Deer hunting: Fall season w/smooth bore shotgun & slugs only
  • Deer hunting: Summer season - archery only
  • Turkey hunting: Fall season w/smooth bore shotgun & shot shells only
  • Turkey hunting: No SPRING SEASON turkey hunting

NOTE: All California game species are regulated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
Rules, regulations, and seasons are controlled by CDFW, and it is the hunter's responsibility to verify and comply with proper species, seasons, zones, regulations, and legal location if hunting on public lands.

FGC 3004 — It is unlawful for any person to hunt or discharge while hunting, any firearm or other deadly weapon within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith. The 150 yard area is a "Safety Zone."

More Helpful Links:

Other BLM Trailheads:

Return To: BLM, Mother Lode Field Office

Accessibility Description (ABA/ADA):
Parking lot only.