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near Colfax, California (United States)
The official Pennyweight trail is a 0.9 mile, pretty, mostly easy, trail with many nice views of the river and many side trails to the water. There is a mix of rocks and beaches and the additional lure of gold panning. Much of the trail is shaded by oaks. Early on the first moderate challenge is crossing a creek / cascades via rocks and the second is getting around a boulder that fell on the trail near the end.
The trail does not end when the map does. You can easily continue along the smooth bedrock next to the river until the unofficial trail starts up the hill. This easy to follow trail is sometimes narrow with two steep sections. The start is the steepest with a short, easy, climb and then there is another steep section just before the junction with the Stevens Trail that should not be attempted unless you are steady on your feet. There are several trees across the trail, some poison oak and a few friendly bushes. A beautiful creek crossing has a rope across it, which we welcomed because the mossy rocks in the creek were very slippery. I rate this unofficial part as difficult by hiking standards but doable for most people. You lose shade as you climb the hill but you gain distance views of the river.
The unofficial Pennyweight ends at 2.6 miles into the Stevens Trail. The junction is hard to spot from Stevens Trail unless you know where to look. I don’t think this is a popular shortcut to the far end of the Stevens Trail but it solves the problem of the official Pennyweight Trail being rather short.
There is limited parking at the trailhead with more spots along the river side of the road as you continue downhill. You need to go to the campground just across the bridge to pay the $10 day use fee if I understand the signs as you enter the area. There is a lot more parking there, several bathrooms (both may be occupied during rafting season), no officially blessed drinking water, and a spare bridge across the river. Iowa hill road is paved and of good quality.
While you are in the area, a short trail from parking at the hair pin turn just to the north of the trailhead leads to a view of an impressive waterfall.