Italian Bar Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Foresthill, CA that features a river 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.
This was a very strenuous hike. We had two older dogs with us and did not make it all the way down (they were exhausted). The entire trail is at an incline. There were tons of leaves and pine needles that made it tricky coming down. The hike back up is no joke. The area is beautiful, don't get me wrong. Just not a hike for someone who doesn't hike regularly.
Used hiking poles on this trail to help the knees. It is steep in spots but liked the flatter spots here and there to break it up. We stashed water on the way down but it turned out to be a cool day so didn't really need it. Enjoyed seeing the tunnel and the fallen stamp mill. Be sure to go down to the river below the stamp mill. There is a piece of the mill that has fallen and has some neat writing on it. Saw all the trash on the way down and luckily there were 2 somewhat useable trash bags there. So we hauled out all of the trash except the sleeping bag and a little more orange pad a little further down. I would go back again. I think there is more to explore!
This is a nice hike with some interesting mining relics at the bottom of the trail. There is a small campsite also at the bottom. This trail would only be considered moderate if you are a very fit hiker. The trail drops more than 2000 feet over to miles. There are very few switchbacks and pine needles can make the trail very slick. The trail occasionally opens to views of he canyon and there are sections through the forest that are very open and good for potting wildlife.
Again please be advised that this is a strenuous and steep trail. Make sure you have plenty of water and appropriate gear. On this particular day there was debris apparently abandoned by an amateur hiker judging by the cotton clothing, heavy department store sleeping bags etc.. Judging by the clothing and shoe size this is someone who underestimated a "moderate" trail and their fitness and decided to jettison their gear which was later scattered by a bear. We packed out what we could and stacked up the rest of the debis and notified the forest service.
This is an old trail which was used by miners to reach the North Fork American River. It is steep, with a few switchbacks. The trail ends at the river, where there are a few remnants of mining operations including an ominous looking mining cave about 30 yards upstream from where the trail ends. The steep bank make scrambling along the riverbank difficult.
The Italian Bar trail is only 2.3-miles, but I made this hike into a 12-mile partial loop by parking just off snow-drift lined Forest Hill Divide Road. I hiked along the Humbug trail and looped back to the China Wall Staging area. These access trails are normally used by ORVs, but were still partially covered by snow in April, causing them to be empty of riders. The Italian Bar Trail itself is for hikers only.