From the top of the canyon all the way down to the American River, this route is an epic one in the heart of gold country. There is a waterfall and an old minor's cave along the trail. This is an out and back route that is rated difficult due the sun exposure and steep, rocky climbs. The trial is narrow, has tree covered and open sections. The views from the tail that runs directly along the canyon are intense and the footing is difficult (rocks and roots) for 3/4 of the trail.
The trail is not only scenic, but rich in history - it is also on the National Register of Historic places. Built by Truman Allen Stevens it was used as a toll road for miners that needed to get from the mining town of Iowa Hill to the railroad town of Colfax. The trail was forgotten but then rediscovered in 1969 by a boyscout, Eric Kiel, and re-charted as part of his scouting project. Today it is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.
This canyon wonderland will challenge any runner to reach deep inside to find the strength and stamina to get from the top to the river and back, without letting the elements get the best of them. There is not a day that goes by where a medical rescue is not made during the California summers here is Colfax. Steven's trail may attract crowds, but not all who attempt this trail, make it out. Though short in distance, this trail is mighty and a force to be reckoned with.