Foresthill Divide Loop Trail is a 11 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Foresthill, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Located in a CA state recreation area; Considered a moderate to easy area; this is not a beginner's/first timer's trail for mountain biking due to how strenuous it is...with many unrelenting hills...many requiring the lowest gear to climb and a few lightly rocky areas. Otherwise, there are no surprises, though it may require a little attention to stay on the correct trail as it splits apart a number of times. There are arrowed markers if one goes in a counter-clockwise direction. The beginning and end of the trail share about .75 miles before the loop portion begins. Going right at the first major trail split at about 3/4 of a mile sends one almost 5 more miles before crossing the Foresthill RD to begin the return in the opposite direction of the loop on that (opposite) side of the road. Eventually, one crosses back across the paved Foresthill RD to ride up and around a hill to join back at the original split in the trail. It's all downhill from there to the trailhead.
go clockwise and you'll appreciate it. it has some very steep inclines. county vector control was out while we were hiking and showed us why you should put on deet before hiking. their is high probability of lime disease ticks. this is always a risk.
this is a good trail and some decent views. a great workout.
The trail was great!!! The longest hike I've done by far but not too difficult. The scenery was so pretty and the smells of all the different flowers was wonderful. There were more bikers than hikers...I'd like to try that next time. It was very helpful to have the gps tracking with the map...there were a couple times where I wasn't 100% certain which way to go and it really came in handy. I will be doing this trail again!
Lovely! I would go clockwise. We went counter clockwise and the climbs at the end were rough. This trail goes through pine ridges, oak meadows, and seasonal creeks. The meadows are beautiful and green this time of year. The poison oak was low, and the recent rain kept the dust down. A beautiful hike in the foothills.
Great workout good trail markers one of the better trails in the canyon , all the bikers and runners sharing the trail were friendly . I think going counter-clockwise is key for hiking
Not great for hiking. Best for mountain biking.
Well maintained trail. We went right after a week of rain and there was a lot of mud and water running across the trail. All in all it was a good hike.
Great trail. Things were marked well except the left turn I was supposed to take.I passed it up and and had to back track. I should have looked at the GPS sooner. Only added 3 miles to the trip.
If you stop seeing mile markers or you see great view of the river far below, you've passed your turn.
We'll do it again before it gets warm out.
Some things I noticed:
The trail is bike friendly; if you plan to bike try not to go within a few days of rain because there will be LOTS of mud. The trail is ideal for photography. Even my amateur photos taken on my phone turned out nice.
There was ice to crunch (crunch crunch crunch)!!! Plus, the scenery was like that at Avery's Pond, so if you liked that trail you'll probably like this one too. The trail did have stretches of sunlight, which really helped with the cold.
It was cold. Really cold. In fact, it was below freezing (I came in winter). Also, it was extremely muddy.
Slipping on mud or ice is a real danger in winter. Also, beware of the many rocks. It could hurt a lot if you stumble and fall like I did.
Things to bring in winter:
Beanie or something similar
A backpack to put it all in
This is a loop trail in the sense that it straddles Foresthill Road and you cross the road twice. We went counter clock wise from the East trail head. There were quite a few mountain bikers on the trail. It opens up in the South/Western quadrant with some nice views of the Middle Fork of the American River. We were expecting a 8.5 mile loop (based on the trail guide) and so it dragged towards the end, because this trail is at least 11 miles.
See below the link to the ASRA trail guide:
Great trail, really good workout. It felt like it was uphill all the way around the loop. I started at the parking lot at the West Trailhead and went clockwise when I got to the loop part of the trail. I had read that most of the mountain bikers go counter-clockwise so I thought clockwise would be better so I would see the majority of the bikers coming at me. Worked out perfectly. I met many bikers coming at me and only one that came up behind me. The trail is marked every mile along the trail. If going counterclockwise on the loop the markers are in ascending order 1 to 11 (close to the western parking). If you start at the Eastern Trailhead parking lot, you are starting in the near middle of the loop so your total mileage would be less than the 11.3 miles.
The trail is narrow in many spots but it was no issue meeting bikers. Most of the trail is shaded with only a few sections getting full sunshine. There is a picnic table and restrooms at the Eastern Trailhead if you want to stop and take a break but if you started there then the only other place to stop for facilities is on Drivers Flat road at the entrance to the Ruck-A-Chucky area. The trail winds through a lot of diverse terrain that changes often and a lot of elevation change so you have to be careful and keep your wits about you as you hike along.
Would have been five stars, but it isn't family friendly. Some portions of the trail had TONS of poison oak. Not to mention the rattle snake my son narrowly avoided before I yanked him back from striking distance, and the curious tick who mysteriously found it's way onto his backpack.
On the plus side, the scenery was beautiful and there were long stretches of shade to help keep us cool.
Due to the dangers mentioned above, I do not recommend this trail for any novice.
Cool overlook of Lake Clementine, overall nice trail!
Very fun ride...I'd recommend to any rider except the earliest beginner. Paying $10 for a day-use fee SUCKS!
Google Earth wrongly labels the main "Foresthill Divide Trailhead" it is really at 38°56'33.24"N/120°58'57.14"W
This is one of my favorite trail runs because of the condition of the trail, local scenery, and there are a few nice vistas. You won't feel too remote because it gets a lot of use and does not stray too far from the road. Most MTBs ride it counter clockwise, so I like to run it clockwise from the west trailhead. It might get a little confusing around drivers flat and past it for a mile, so study the map. The actual loop is closer to 10 miles, about 11 if you add the spur from the west trailhead. Also consider starting at the connector trail and you can stretch it to almost 17 miles.
Started from the east trailhead and went counterclockwise. The first half was heavily wooded, which was good because there was a lot of shade on a very warm day. Once we crossed Foresthill Road, the trail was very exposed the majority of the time, so lots of sun. The distance varies depending on which website you look at. Some tag it at 8.2 miles without any of the extra spurs, including the extra 0.5 miles from the west trailhead. We got 9.6 miles and it took about two hours with over 1,600 feet elevation gain. The scenery is beautiful but runners/hikers need to be aware of mountain bikers. Overall a very beautiful trail, but next time I will run counterclockwise from the west trailhead and save the more scenic parts for the second half of my run.
I loved the this trail. It is now one of my favorite's! However, I didn't quite get the "loop." I went out about 8 miles and just came back, because it didn't appear to loop go in a loop. Great endurance and cardio workout with all of the rolling hills!
I enjoyed this trail and and all the different habitats you pass through. the flowers and birds were in full evidence and beautiful - I got ran into by butterflies more than once! my only complaint is that you have to run across the road twice to complete the loop - and people are going at least fifty five. Very dangerous! I think that the forest service should put up some "warning - dirty hikers may hoof it across the road here" (or something along those lines)