Western States Pioneer Express Recreation Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Auburn, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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
Enjoy views of the Middle Fork American River Canyon on this easy walk which includes a historic arched cement bridge and a waterfall. This short walk brings you up to and then across the Mountain Quarries RailRoad Bridge, which was the longest concrete arch railroad bridge in the world when it was built in 1912. Enjoy great views of the Middle Fork American River Canyon and marvel at what was a fantastic feat of construction for its time. The triple span bridge was built by the Mountain Quarries Company and the Pacific Portland Cement Company for the purpose of hauling limestone from the nearby quarry to Auburn, 7 miles away. Trains ran across the bridge down to the quarry 4 times daily until the quarry was abandoned. In 1942 the tracks were pulled out for scrap metal for WWII. You might also hear the bridge called the "No Hands Bridge". This is a throwback from the early years of the Tevis Cup Trail Ride, an equestrian race that goes from Squaw Valley in Tahoe to Auburn. Challenged by onlookers who noted the bridge's former lack of guard-rails, one of the riders, Ina Robinson, would drop her reins and go across "No-Hands". The bridge now does have metal guard rails, but the name has stuck with it.
There are three entrances to this trail. Absolutely loved the trail with the waterfall. Definitely not kid friendly...
Used the map associated with this site, yikes, waaaaay off, don't do it. The trail is beautiful, but I must do more research. A literal maze of trails intersecting and crisscrossing. all trails.com does not provide a map naming them or accurately marking them. DO hike this trail, but DO more research and don't rely on this map. We are experienced hikers and got lost twice.
Had a good time, weather was nice. Hike was decent not too hard and a nice spot to hang out by the river at the end.
To get to the falls just follow the path! Don't deviate and go down where the "tree tunnel" is. It will not take you to the falls. Get an early start before it gets to hot. Bring plenty of water. To the falls and back is only about 3 miles but following the trail and making the loop is about 7 miles.
Awesome hike. Make the effort to get down to the water!