Pleasant Valley / Capps Crossing Loop

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult to Very Difficult (6100' total climbing)
Riding Time: 6 hours  Printable Area Map:  Pleasant_Valley /_Capps_Crossing  (Adobe Acrobat required)
Season to Ride:  Late Spring (mid-May) through Early Fall

Description:  Despite all my years living here in El Dorado County, I've never been on North South Road or Capps Crossing until recently.  What can one say?  It's beautiful! (Why did I wait so long?).

This ride goes through a very remote area of El Dorado County in the National Forest.  North South Rd is aptly named, and takes you off the busier Mormon Emigrant Trail into the quiet forests.  This road has a lot of ups and downs, but fortunately in the direction of this ride, all the steep hills are downhills.  Climbs are fairly mild in comparison.  Note that by the time you've reached North South Road (at mile 20), you've already accomplished quite a bit of climbing.

The campground at Capps Crossing has drinkable water (to refill your water bottles) and outhouses, but nothing else in the way of services.  The route climbs from here to Capps Crossing Road - also known as Road 62 (which the signs mark it as).  Turning on Capps Crossing Road, you are given a long gentle descent (watch for cattle guards and potholes along the way) to Grizzly Flats - a small rural community (no services available).  From Grizzly Flats down to E16, traffic increases but the road mostly descends (though there are a few uphill portions especially after crossing various creeks).

At E16 the route heads northward back to Pleasant Valley.  A quick descent to the North Cosumnes River, then a final 2.4 mile climb out of the canyon brings you back towards the starting point.

Ride Note:  Very few services (if any) are available along here!  Please bring enough food and water for this ride, and allow plenty of time to complete.  This route goes through very remote areas, so plan accordingly.  No cellular coverage exists for most of this ride.

Traffic note:  Sly Park Road, Grizzly Flats Road and E16 can have moderate to heavy traffic.  This route avoids Sly Park Road as much as possible (by going on the quieter Clear Creek / Sierra Springs roads), and Grizzly Flats Road is ridden in the (mostly) downhill direction.

Miles

 Directions

0.0

Start at corner of E16 (also known as Mt. Aukum Rd) and Pleasant Valley Rd.  Head East on Sly Park Rd. (If you are standing on E16 looking at Pleasant Valley Rd, you would turn Right). 

1.1

Turn Left on Clear Creek (before creek bridge).  Although you can continue straight on Sly Park, travelling on Clear Creek avoids going uphill on a very busy road.

3.3

Pass Five Spot Rd (continue straight).  Road becomes Sierra Springs Rd. 
Begin climb out of canyon. 

6.5

Double yellow line starts in road.  This remains until you reach Sly Park Rd.  Side roads don't have this marking.

7.5

Sierra Springs Rd ends.  Turn Left on Sly Park Rd (traffic increases here).

9.3

Turn Right on Mormon Emigrant Trail - also known as Iron Mountain Rd.

(Detour:  If groceries needed, go straight on Sly Park Rd for 0.5 mile.)

9.6

First Dam crossing (swimming allowed in lake - nice in summer).

10.1

Second Dam crossing.  Begin strong 1.8 mile climb.

12.8

Pass information station (unmanned - no services).

20.1

Turn Right on North South Rd.  Some signs will also mark this as Road 6. 
Begin steep descent.

22.8

Cross creek, begin 1.2 mile climb

26.9

Capps Crossing campground (water available).

28.4

Turn Right onto Road 62 (Capps Crossing Rd).  Road narrows considerably.  Periodic cattle guards and potholes to watch for along this road.

32.6

Switchback.

35.5

Capps Crossing Road ends.  Turn Left onto Sciaroni Rd.

35.8

Turn Right onto String Canyon Rd (wider road). Although String Canyon Road is slightly longer than Grizzly Flat Road, itís all downhill and not as narrow.

39.2

String Canyon Rd joins Grizzly Flat Rd.  Keep towards right (downhill) side.

47.5

Grizzly Flat Rd ends.  Turn Right on E16 (also known as Mt. Aukum Rd).

48.4

Cross North Fork Cosumnes River.  Begin 2.4 mile climb (last climb!).

51.0

Ride ends at Pleasant Valley.