Lovers Leap is a 600-foot landmark granite dome and a popular climbing destination with numerous established routes, including a trail that offers panoramic views of the American River drainage, Pyramid Peak, Horsetail Falls, and Ralston Peak. Two different sides can provide access to the dome within Eldorado National Forest; the Camp Sacramento side, and the Strawberry side. The Camp Sacramento side is the only side that is dog-friendly and that allows hiking.
To access the Lover Leap Trail from the Camp Sacramento side, drive along Highway 50 east from Sacramento and past the signs for Kyburz, Strawberry, and Twin Bridges. About a mile after the Twin Bridges sign, you will find another sign for Camp Sacramento. Turn at the driveway to the lower parking area where you will find an archery range (the upper parking lots are reserved for campers). Then walk towards the camp dining area on your left to the trailhead located next to cabin No. 52. There are several amenities near the parking area including piped water, restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings, and grills.
The Camp Sacramento side of the trail is a two-and-a-half-mile trail that starts off as a steep ascent through a ponderosa pine forest, with pawrific views of the surrounding area. In July, the trail also features thick stands of wildflowers. Ensure that your dog is leashed and that you carry some clean up bags with you.
The trail continues to the top of a ridgeline and ultimately to the highest point on a rocky outcrop called Lovers Leap. Black Elk Peak, Mount Coolidge, and the Cathedral Spires can also be seen from this point. After soaking in the view, you can then decide to turn back to the trailhead or continue down the ridge to the Galena Creek Drainage area.
The hike up to Lover Leap may be challenging for you and your pooch, but well worth it for the unfurgettable views if you manage to get to the top.
Forest orders are issued regularly to give visitors status updates about the condition of roads. Before you leave home, keep up with these updates from the Eldorado National Forest website to know about closed or impassable roads, or any other dangers.