American Canyon Trail Loop

HARD 33 reviews

American Canyon Trail Loop is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cool, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.6 miles 1876 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

washed out

hiking
15 days ago

On a rainy day, the hike was beautiful. As an "out-of-towner", the trailhead was pretty easy to find thanks to this App and GoogleMaps, however the parking lot/spot is enough for 3-4 cars. I'm assuming during peak season, trekkers would park along the street. On to the hike. Downhill until you get down to the American River. Then a moderate/moderately easy uphill. Not sure how this trail is rated "Hard" but I guess it can be? The views were amazing. Mossy trees, salamanders after salamanders, clouds and fog drifting in. The sound of rain hitting the ground, creeks were lively. I would definitely come back on a drier day. Recommended for those who want a moderate hike.

hiking
2 months ago

We walked the whole loop as shown on the map. The trail is shaded almost the whole way, which was wonderful, and the condition of the trail was good; you can walk two abreast along several sections. There was just one section where the trail goes steeply downhill for a few hundred yards, where there was some loose rock and sand. My parents, who are in their 60s and not regular hikers, coped with it okay. It took us five hours to complete the loop, with some generous refreshment stops. There are two convenient places to stop for a snack; the first is the memorial bench to Barbara Barsalou-Schoener, which is maybe 2 miles from the trailhead (clockwise), and the second is a picnic table at the end of the long downhill, at the northernmost point of the loop, maybe 4 miles from the trailhead. Trail signage was helpful to keep us on track, but there were several intersecting trails so it's best to have an idea of where you're going--print out the little map of the trail, and bring a compass just in case.

hiking
3 months ago

American Canyon - Western States - Maine Bar

Followed American Canyon toward Dead Truck. Don't actually need to go up Dead Truck for loop, instead turn on Western States. Take that to Maine Bar. Then Maine Bar back to 3rd gate.

Started quite late (noon). 32C. Used ~5L water. Most of it is fairly moderate but some trails (Dead Truck, Maine Bar) are quite steep.

+ No car noise
+ Lightly trafficked
+ Mostly shaded
+ Well-signed (if you know which trails you want)

- Cold, fast moving water; not great swimming
- A ton of poison oak
- Somewhat limited views (though there are a few great ones)

Good hiking, not good swimming

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was fun and close to home. We completed a 5 mile hike...2.5 downhill to river and 2.5 miles back to the top. River was great for a nice refreshing dip. Swam with horses taken along trail too which was a first. Trail was shaded majority of the path we took.

4 months ago

We took the 2.5 mile out and back. It was moderately difficult, on a trail in the trees the whole way. Limited views down to the river and out, however the river was beautiful with a great view and was very refreshing.

hiking
4 months ago

Lording, but difficult to navigate

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this trail with my miniature Eskimo last year. It was hot and dry out but there was a lot of shade on the trail so it was nice. Bring plenty of water or the ability to filter when you reach the bottom. As stated before watch for poison oak and check for ticks once your done (common sense, normal hiking stuff). Fun creek crossings along the way. I found this to be a out and back as opposed to a loop I couldn't figure out where it looped back around. I'm heading out there again soon so I thought I'd write a review on my last experience with the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views but if you follow the trail instead of turning around and going the way you came, it's exhausting. The river is really cold but wading was nice after the warm day. Definitely get at least 4 water bottles per person, and cold water or a filter. Though I gave it 4 stars I probably won't go again for a while just because of the difficulty. However I do suggest you check it out at least once. It's worth seeing this beauty at least once.

hiking
6 months ago

Recording the hike with this app showed that this trail is actually 9.9 mi..the way back after the pool is exhausting (we took the entire trail and did not expect it to be this hard, but it is doable). Bring plenty of water and clothes to cover arms and legs because the mosquito repellant did nothing... Everybody is right - this trail is very poorly marked, there are many intersecting trails without signs so we ended up going on the wrong trail a couple of times. The combination of our gps on my phone, this app and the link from raftman.com (one of the previous commenters posted it) saved us. This trail is definitely not for unfit people, make u can crawl straight up a mountain for a mile if you go the whole trail :)

hiking
6 months ago

It is a pretty nice shaded trail. You can even go off the trail near the dead truck junction to a waterfall.

hiking
6 months ago

Very confusing with the signs, but a beautiful hike with amazing views. Also watch out for poison oak

6 months ago

This was a great hike !! But the signs are misleading and it's easy to get confused about which trail to take also I couldn't find the loop to get back so I had to go back the way I came which added 3 miles to my hike . But overall it was great ! You can also swim on the middle fork which was awesome !!

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Fantasic trail! Very secluded and a great workout to get back to parking spot. Very limited parking.

hiking
7 months ago

Very enjoyable. Some nice views and quite a few wild flowers!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike for a decent workout. Feels secluded.

The trail signs for the loop could be better, was helpful having the app GPS map with me.

Lots of poison oak. Still one of the best hikes in the area.

8 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

Tons of poison oak all over the trail.

hiking
1 year ago

1 year ago

This was a great trail for late summer. All the trails are marked by signs with distance indicators. We thought it was an in/out trail but due to different trail choices made it a loop. There is definitely poison oak but easy to spot and avoid. Creek crossing a couple of times. Beautiful view of the American River. We took our golden retriever, no issue. There is an uphill 1.9 mile hike out on a well worn trail. It is a little work out but not something I think you should avoid if you have kids.