There are two river hikes from Alpine County airport in Markleeville – a hard hike to the hot springs along the river and a much shorter one. I’ve done the hot springs hike and it is a very tough cross country five mile hike. But I had never done the more straightforward hike down to the river.
It is far easier than I thought. I had heard there was a “fishermen’s trail” to the river which I equated to something like a game trail but there is a nice trail with a parking area and sign-in log for fishermen who use the trail. To get to the trail, head south out off the pilot’s campground and down a four-wheel drive road to the parking area. There I met some fishermen getting ready for the hike in and they asked if I came in the red jeep, the only other vehicle in the area. I said no, I came in a tan Cessna and they thought that was hilarious, which was nice because I wasn’t even trying to be funny. They asked if I could do a beer drop for them later in the day. The trail starts at the parking area and ends at a campsite with fire pit at the river. It can’t be more than a mile and a half total, maybe less.
The fall colors were nice, a few fishermen were out and a group of friendly pilots where camping at the airport. A nice day out.