This loop pieced together nicely from a decommissioned logging road, and an old animal track, working back and around through a pleasant meadow area.
You hike around and sort of down Brown Canyon, along the old road (6409), staying 30' to 150' above the meadowed canyon bottom. The hike through this section is mostly open, though the tall pines and firs close by provide intermittent shady breaks, and morning and evening will be in heavy shadow much of the time.
The old road bed begins to move away from the drainage around three quarters of a mile into the hike, curving around and up and over the ridge into the Deadman Canyon Drainage. Some of this section is heavily over shaded... very nice in mid summer!
At just over 1.5 miles, the road splits. The right fork deadends in about one tenth of a mile. You could head off trail at that point, climbing to your right, up and to the top of the ridge highpoint. If you stay on the roadbed, and return to the main track, it will lead you on around, down and then up (as is the nature of this trail along its entire length... gentle ups and downs) eventually blending into the canyon bottom of Deadman Canyon.
Once in the meadow area, you could turn to your right and head downhill, connecting with The Old Sunspot Hiway Trail in less than .5 miles... perhaps an interesting option for a longer looping mountain bike ride?
Staying with the loop: Follow the meadow up canyon and you will reach the Forest Road 64 at around mile 2.7 (including the in/out of the short offshoot)... and you walk along FR 64 back to your car, just a bit over .3 miles uphill to your left.
The gentle grades, and nice grassy surface make for an easy trek or a great bike ride.
You will note, at the point you reconnect with FR 64, you will be immediately across the road from the Sacramento North Trailhead. - Jun 14 2012 imike