Deadwood to Michigan Bluff Trail

Area Status: Open

This trail is a portion of the famous Western States Trail that stretches over 100 miles of beautiful, rugged terrain from Olympic Valley to Auburn, Ca. This segment starts near the historic Deadwood Cemetery and drops in Eldorado Canyon to climb up again to the small community of Michigan Bluff.

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Best Season: May-Nov
Busiest Season: late June-Sept
Restrictions: The trail is open to hikers, equestrians, mountain bikes, and 2-wheeled OHVs. ATVs are prohibited.
Closest Towns: Foresthill, Ca
Water: well near Deadwood trailhead, Eldorado creek - purify water before drinking
Restroom: none
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Follow this link to a brochure. 

General Information



From Interstate 80, take the Foresthill exit to Foresthill Road and proceed 15.5 miles to the Foresthill Ranger Station. Continue approximately 17 miles to Deadwood Ridge Road. Make a right on Deadwood Ridge Road which is a dirt road and not recommended for low clearance vehicles. Follow it to the Deadwood cemetery intersection and park in the pullout near the cemetery. The road degrades quickly.

General Notes:


The trail starts on the Deadwood Road near the old Deadwood Cemetery. The trail starts out fairly flat and drops off into the Eldorado Canyon with rugged terrain and scenic views. After crossing Eldorado Creek on the foot bridge, the trail goes up through steep terrain to where the trail ends at Michigan Bluff. This hike can be made in a day by anyone in good physical shape or a more leisurely overnight trip. Good camping and fishing are available near Eldorado Creek. Campfire permits are required for campfires, stoves, BBQs, and lanterns.


River and Stream Fishing

Day Hiking

General Information

Mileage: ..................................... 5.92 miles each way

Elevation: ................................... 3,490 to 3,944 feet

Topographic Map:......................Michigan Bluff 

Usage: Use level Moderate
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
5.92 miles

  Elevation : 
3,490 ft - 3,944 ft