Deer Creek Hills Preserve is located in eastern Sacramento County on Latrobe Road in Sloughhouse. It is one of the largest nature preserves in the Sacramento region and is a working cattle ranch, boasting over 4,500 acres of Blue Oak Woodlands, seasonal creeks and grasslands. Single track trails and ranch roads allow visitors to explore the beauty and expanding views of the Sacramento Valley and the High Sierra on foot, mountain bike or horseback. This preserve is only open on select days and times. More information is provided below.
Eagle Camp Corral, Latrobe Road, Sloughhouse CA 95683
Access Latrobe Road near the intersection of Scott Road and Stonehouse Road, on the western side of the Preserve. In Google Maps, this has been marked as “Deer Creek Hills Access Road.” This section of Latrobe is not paved. It is approximately one mile from the Scott/Stonehouse intersection to the Deer Creek Hills parking area and trailhead at Eagle Camp Corral. After a little more than half a mile, you will cross Crevis Creek (dry in the summer and various depths in the wet season). Some visitors choose to park along the side of Latrobe, cross the creek on foot, and walk the remaining half mile to the trailhead. The left side of the creek bed is the shallowest.
Deer Creek Hills Preserve is only open when SVC staff, lead docents, or licensees are on the property to host and check-in visitors. These dates are scheduled in advance and posted on our website. Generally, the Preserve is open Saturdays from 9am-1pm during February-May and October-November. It is also open for Monday night mountain biking from 4:30-8pm during July-October.
Please review the information on our website first, and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing any additional questions or issues. You may also call or text SVC’s Program Coordinator, Carly Amatiso, at 916-612-3719.
Deer Creek Hills Visitor Information and FAQ’s
When can we visit Deer Creek Hills?
As a working cattle ranch, only portions of the property are open to the public, and all visits must be part of a pre-scheduled outing. See the events calendar for a list of upcoming days and times the preserve is open, and to register for any visits.
Generally, Deer Creek Hills Preserve is open to the public for hiking on Saturdays from 9am-1pm from February through May and from October through November. Hike one of the 3 marked trails on your own. Or, for a chance to explore more than 4,500+ acres, join one of our many guided educational hikes led by our Volunteer Docents. Mountain Bike Season runs from July through October, with rides every Monday night.
SVC’s trained docents lead guided tours and hikes featuring botany, birding, geology, history, stargazing, photography, yoga, and more. Visit the online calendar to check out the upcoming hikes. To better serve our community, we no longer charge fees to participate in Docent-guided activities. Donations are very much appreciated. If you’d like to help us continue to offer outings on the Preserve, please consider making a donation online or in the tip jar on site. Participants must pre-register for our docent-guided outings, as many have a maximum number of attendees and often fill to capacity, or others may be canceled for lack of sign-ups. Please register early.
How do we get there?
Map & Directions to Deer Creek Hills Preserve are available online. Please note the information on crossing Crevis Creek. High-clearance vehicles are recommended in the wet season, and we very much appreciate when visitors carpool.
Is there a charge to park?
Nope. We do not charge our guests a fee to park, however we gladly accept donations, which help us upkeep the area, open it to the public, and provide clean, well stocked porta-pottys.
Is there a charge for trail usage?
Self-Guided hikes offered on Saturdays are free. But we do ask for a suggested donation of $10 per visitor. Donations and help us maintain the preserve and keep it open to the public. SVC does not receive any dedicated public funding to manage the preserve or provide public access programs. If you enjoy your visit, please make a donation. The SVC Season Pass is a great way for frequent visitors to show their support, for only $50 per year. A Season Pass also makes thoughtful gift for your nature-loving friends.
What can we do at Deer Creek Hills?
The trails at Deer Creek Hills Preserve are multi-use. We allow hiking, trail running, equestrians and mountain bikers, and for some public and private uses and events. Deer Creek Hills is a working ranch. The cattle make and maintain the trails and are an essential part of our management plan. When the cows go home, cyclists come back. See the SVC Brochure for more information about when we offer different types of outings, and check the online calendar for the most up to date schedule.
What activities are prohibited?
Shooting, hunting, fishing, mining, fires, seed/flower collecting, and other activities that could damage or remove natural resources from the Preserve are strictly prohibited. Motorized vehicles are not allowed beyond the parking lot at Eagle Camp Corral. No pets. No dumping. Read our visitor rules for more information.
Can we host an event on the property?
SVC can host some activities when they align with the Preserve management plan and when there aren’t scheduling conflicts. Groups wishing to use the space for public or private events should contact SVC staff at email@example.com and complete the special event application. If you would like to request a private docent-guided outing similar to our currently scheduled programs (i.e. an educational hike, mountain bike ride, equestrian ride, service day project, etc) please complete the Event Request Form.
What kind of Equestrian Rides do you offer?
All riders must provide their own horse. Explore 4,500+ acres on escorted educational equestrian rides with SVC volunteer Docents from February-May, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving. SVC’s Docent-led rides are through open country over a variety of terrain in a pristine protected landscape. Climbing and descending hills, maneuvering around rock outcrops and crossing flowing creeks are involved with this outing. Groups travel at a walk and are usually from 10-15 in size. Horses and riders should be accustomed to riding in groups and in open fields.
When are the Mountain Bike Rides?
Mountain Bike Season at Deer Creek Hills runs from July-October when cattle are off the property. Riders can challenge their skill set on single-track trails and ranch roads, at their own pace on pre-marked courses or during guided tours. Monday Night Rides are free and held each week in July through October from 4:30-8pm. Educational mountain bike tours are led by SVC volunteer Docents, typically on the third Saturday of the month during mountain bike season.
What amenities are available?
Deer Creek Hills is an open space and oak woodland preserve. To keep the property as natural as possible, we have not installed plumbing or other infrastructure. Picnic tables and minimal shade are available in the parking lot at Eagle Camp Corral. There is no running water or electricity available, so please plan accordingly. Arrive hydrated and bring plenty of water for during and after your activity. SVC does provide clean porta-pottys at the trail head.
Can we bring Dogs?
No. Deer Creek Hills is a working cattle ranch and has been protected to preserve the sensitive and unique habitat. Wildlife can be frightened by outside animals. And even well-behaved dogs can startle cattle, causing panic in individual animals or throughout the herd. Only working service dogs are allowed. If you’re looking for a place to hike with your loyal 4-legged companion, check out Dry Creek Parkway or Camp Pollock.
Can we bring kids?
YES! Our self-guided trails are kid friendly. Many families with smaller children wear them in wraps and backpacks. Most of our trails are single track, and better suited for foot traffic, however some of the ranch roads are ok for more rugged ‘off road’ strollers. For older kids, please use the opportunity to teach them about protecting and respecting nature, and keep a close eye on them to prevent injuries, bites or stings.
Do you offer special youth programming?
YES! Our Youth, Education and Stewardship (YES) program is focused on bringing kids outdoors. We offer a range of options to visit and learn, whether it’s a day out with parents, teachers or leaders, guided by our docents or staff, learning to get their hands dirty and becoming stewards of the environment or with a youth education partner like Sierra Nevada Journeys, we want more kids to spend time learning and playing in the special Open Spaces we’ve protected. Please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help get your youth outdoors!
How can we help give back to Open Space?
Participate in or sponsor a service day at Deer Creek Hills! – These events are held twice yearly, on a dire needs basis, and as sponsorships are received. Tasks include trail building, maintenance, sign hanging, fence repairing, weed eradication, and general clean-up projects.
Become a Docent – Join our amazing group of trained docents to help with activities at Camp Pollock and Deer Creek Hills. Volunteering at an outing is a great way to learn more about our programs, meet docents, and see if it’s a good fit. We can always use an extra hand and new volunteers are welcome!
Administration – Help us grow our organization and reach the community through data entry, mailings, represent SVC at a tabling event or help with calls and pick-ups of silent Auction items.
Events – Help plan, organize, or assist at one of our fun community events! Celebrate our volunteers at the Cowboy Breakfast, or assist at one of our annual fundraisers like the Summer Concert Series, Family GlampOut or Treasures of the Valley event.
Join Us – With support from people like you, the Conservancy has protected thousands of acres of important open space – special places forever preserved – on which children can play, farmers can cultivate, wildlife can survive, and you can enjoy, but we can’t keep working without your support. Membership donations are vital to our success! By joining our family of members, you can directly help conserve unique natural lands, working farms, ranches, and outdoor classes. Make a secure donation online.
To register for events, please visit our calendar. To schedule group service projects or special events, or for any additional information please e-mail email@example.com
Deer Creek Hills Preserve is only open when SVC staff, docents, or licensed partners are on the property to host guests. Pre-registration is required. Visit our Events Calendar and sign up for any outings you would like to attend.
If you are interested in scheduling your own public or private event at Deer Creek Hills Preserve, you will need to submit a Special Event, Camping, or License Agreement Application.
WHAT TO BRING
Please dress appropriately for the forecasted weather and activity. Layers, a hat, and sunblock are recommended. Wear sturdy shoes with heavy tread or hiking boots. Open-toed shoes, flip-flops and sandals are not allowed. Bring a daypack with plenty of water and high-energy snacks or lunch to enjoy. Portapotties are located near the corral at the trailhead, but there is no running water to refill bottles, so please be sure to arrive well-hydrated and bring plenty of drinking water for your visit.
Don’t forget any medications, braces, or gear that you regularly utilize when participating in lengthy outdoor activities.
We ask that you please hike with a cell phone. Cell numbers will be exchanged with SVC Staff or Docents hosting this event. As a guest to the preserve, SVC asks you practice Leave No Trace Ethics; Pack It In – Pack It Out.
Every visitor is required to fill out a release of liability waiver for every visit. Upon arrival, you’ll be asked to give your liability form to an SVC Docent or staff member. Please be sure to write legibly and include your emergency contact’s phone number just in case.
You can speed up the on-site checkin process by bringing your printed form already completed: Adult Release of Liability
If your child is attending an event with another adult (no legal guardian accompanying them), please complete this form ahead of time and ensure the chaperone brings it: Minor Release of Liability
WHAT TO LEAVE HOME
- Animals. No dogs or pets allowed on the preserve, except working service dogs (please check in with a staff member upon your arrival)
- Drones or other remote-controlled gadgets
- Hunting and fishing gear
- Shovels or mining gear (unless tools were specifically requested for a volunteer project you signed up for)
- Dirt bikes and ATVs
- Cigarettes, lighters and matches. Smoking is strictly prohibited and fire is a major concern on the Preserve.
GETTING TO DEER CREEK HILLS
Please review the Directions to Deer Creek Hills Preserve before visiting. Most outings leave from the Eagle Camp Corral on Latrobe Road, which is a rough dirt road. A creekbed crossing is involved, with no bridge to reach Eagle Camp Corral, but is passable with most cars (higher clearance vehicles such as SUV’s or pickups recommended in the wet season). If you are in a lower clearance vehicle and cannot make the rough crossing, simply park near Latrobe Road and Stone House Road and walk down Latrobe Road to Eagle Camp Corral. This is approximately 1 mile. Be sure to take precautions by locking your car and storing any valuables out of view.
Most of our hikes will take place rain or shine, but we hope for shine. SVC will notify hikers as timely as possible if a hike is canceled. If your plans change and you are unable to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and event date so we can free the space for another interested guest.
SUPPORTING DEER CREEK HILLS
Thank you for your interest in participating with Sacramento Valley Conservancy at Deer Creek Hills Preserve. As a nonprofit organization, SVC relies on donations to be able to host hikes and outings on the preserve. Please consider supporting our efforts by making a tax-deductible donation today. We hope you enjoy your time experiencing some of Sacramento’s best Open Space!
As we gather here at the Deer Creek Hills Preserve, please take a moment to acknowledge the surroundings and express your gratitude to stand upon this land that is Mother Earth. Blessed are those who acknowledge the natural beauty that surrounds them.
Sacramento Valley Conservancy is privileged to be the current land stewards of this land and as such wishes to acknowledge the original land stewards of this land.
For thousands and thousands of years indigenous people have held deep relationships with the land. Understanding they were part of the land and honoring their inherent responsibility to care for the land. They carried the knowledge to manage the resources through reciprocity, giving back, taking care, and expressing gratitude for the gifts provided by Mother Earth.
The Miwok People that resided throughout this area did not believe they owned the land as much as they belonged to it, they were relatives bound by their relationships. They understood Mother Earth is alive and had a deep reverence for taking care of Mother Earth. They lived in balance, never taking more than was needed. They understood in order for their people to thrive, Mother Earth as well as the waters, and everything connected to them needed to thrive as well.
Let us acknowledge that human beings have great capacity, we have the ability to do great things as well as great harm. Let us acknowledge the tragedies that were forced upon the ancestors of this place in the name of progress. Let us acknowledge that the Local tribal populations were devastated, dropping from many thousands to dozens within two decades. Over a century later local tribal numbers have climbed and are currently in the hundreds.
As we wander on this land of Deer Creek Preserve, let us search ourselves and divine our own vision of balance, for Mother Earth, for the water, for ourselves, our relationships, and our communities. Let each one of us ask ourselves what will I do to make the world a better place?
There is a reason human beings seek places such as this, to unwind, to relax, to connect with our bodies, to touch the earth, and teach our children. There is medicine surrounding this place. It is our hope that your visit here is like medicine, that you feel better when you’re done, and that you recognize the beauty that surrounds you wherever you are. We appreciate this opportunity to share and walk in beauty…
Respectfully Composed By
Kimberly “ShiningStar” Petree
Culture Keeper of the
Tume’lay Nisenan Miwok
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy manages Deer Creek Hills Preserve with no dedicated public funding and relies heavily on donated goods and services. Thank you for your interest in helping support the beautiful woodland.
Donations are essential for maintaining Deer Creek Hills Preserve as a safe and pristine landscape for recreation and wildlife. You can financially support the property by making a secure credit card donation online, leaving money in the registration table’s tip jar when you visit, or by sponsoring an honorary picnic table or service day. If you would like your donation to go towards a specific project, please contact us to discuss your ideas. We’re all ears!
Your free time is valuable to us! We need volunteers to help with everything from invasive weed removal, trash pickup, picnic area improvements, trail maintenance, visitor checkin, event coordinator and community outreach. Help is needed throughout the year. Larger, seasonal service days are held in the spring and fall (or on a dire-needs basis or as sponsorships are received). Volunteer groups looking to get involved are encouraged to contact email@example.com for more information. Individual volunteers interested in doing more are encouraged to join our Docent team of dedicated recurring volunteers who help tackle larger projects.
Volunteer Docents are unpaid staff members and the heart of SVC’s public outings program. Docents lend their time and talents throughout the year to maintain our nature preserves, guide public tours, promote conservation, and share information with the community. A minimum of 20 hours and attending 4 events are required each year to maintain active docent status.
Natural Resources and Trail Information