Explore Moderate - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Moderate Map

Did the full loop and it was a beautiful hike. I love how you can take the side trails that branch off the the main legacy trail. Just beware of all the horse poop!

A very good and well managed trail

This is an outstanding hike that is very un-trafficked. As the title of the hike lends, there is lots of opportunity for elevation gain and loss. But if you are looking for a Bluebird Day hike that offers views, solitude and even more views, this should be the first consideration. I’m so pumped to come back and take the river level trail.

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

This is a moderately easy (or easy moderate) hike. It's a quick drive from Sacramento. You can get there early to beat the crowds, but we started early afternoon on an overcast Saturday and there were plenty of people, but not so many that we felt it crowded.

You can see from the map there is a gradual ascent to the top of the dam, at which point you can take a short trail of switchbacks to get closer to the base of the dam. You follow the river at the base of the trail.
While there are not spectacular trees or special sites, the river is nice. The trail itself is well-maintained. Even after rain, I think it would be an easy trail to navigate.

A previous reviewer called this a nice and easy winter hike. I think that is a great description. I usually try to start off with shorter hikes in the winter to get myself into hiking shape for the spring and summer. The trail is well-maintained, a little crowded, but relatively wide in most places, and you get to see the North Fork Dam at the terminus. If you're looking to try your legs on a moderate hike, this one is pretty easy and straightforward. You could finish it easily in 1:30. We took more like 1:45-2 hours, stopping for a snack at the North Fork dam. You can really start it at any time of day (other than near sunset when the recreation area officially closes). I think it might be a little hot in middle of summer, but you are in a canyon for most of the trail, so that could offer some sun protection during certain times of day. We were there in February, so it was cool, but not cold.

The Auburn SRA has a variety of trails at all different levels. You could easily spend all day hiking in the area without seeing half of the trails. This particular trail is accessible to all hiking levels, even though it is rated as moderate.

Great trail. My two kids of 8 & 11 had a blast.

22 days ago

Great hike!

Parking is $10, park hours are from 8 AM to sunset.

The Clementine Trail extends past Clark's Pool and continues to the Clementine Reservoir. Clementine Dam impounds the North Fork American River- which is the Folsom Reservoir tributary as well- in a narrow canyon. Water from the reservoir pours over the top of the dam regardless of the weather. Though flow is predictably heaviest during the spring months, there's always a healthy flow fueling the waterfall.

The trail itself has two main attractions: the reservoir and Clark's Pool. Clementine Trail follows the North Fork American River, standing roughly 10-15 feet from the riverbanks, for the first mile. After Clark's Pool and the overhanging bridge, the trail widens to a 4x4 track and strays upward, well away from the banks of the river. This wide track continues, paved for the latter part, until the reservoir suddenly comes into view.

There's little to see between Clark's Pool and Clementine Reservoir. The trail is wide, shaded, and with no immediate surroundings apart from unremarkable trees. This stretch of trail coincides with the brief ~400 foot incline. There are some small spurs that can be taken to the riverbank, especially near the reservoir. After a rainy stretch, some tributaries to the river flow active, creating one or two waterfalls/cascades along the trail.

I did this hike on a Friday evening in February and saw ten or so other people on the trail. With relative solitude, this trail is a nice walk that follows a river, snakes through the trees, then culminates at a reservoir. The width of the track and paved portions of the trail are an obvious drawback, and the uninteresting stretch of nothingness between Clark's Pool and Clementine Reservoir detract from the overall quality of the trail. There's little to do (without snowshoeing) when Tahoe is blanketed in snow, though, so I'd recommend this as a laid-back winter hike.

This is an awesome little hike, show up early and you'll beat the crowds, there are lots of little trails to go down to the water along the way.

weekdays are where it's at. Beautiful hike.

beautiful birthday hike!

Not a winter hike. Trail is in the shade and it was freezing cold. Not many views of the river below. Hike is wide and traffic is high; the trail dead ends at the dam with no other trails from there to view the lakes. Somewhat disappointing.

Made for a nice short walk. Easy hike to bring the kids along.

29 days ago

Great family place to hike with tons of trails to choose from. We loved seeing all the horseback riders. Great for dogs as well.

I can’t rate this trail yet. Do Not Go on weekends or holidays if you don’t have parking reservations! They don’t sell them there and will turn you away. No where else close enough to park to hike.

29 days ago

Great hike with tons of different trails. Great for dogs. Loved seeing all the horses !!!

Beautiful day to hike and great river views, but lots of people and bikers.

If you’re doing the loop just know you’re going to have to walk on the street for like a half mile to get back to where you parked. It’s closer to 9 miles.

The real scoop... the west side of the loop, the long side, is interrupted by several camp sights. So it’ll be awesome and then you’ll walk the huge camp sights and finding the trail and getting back on track can be a pain. The east side, around a mile shorter, is amazing. Great trail. Ups and downs. My gf and I enjoyed it a lot.

The waterfall is awesome. You have to walk past the bridge, can’t miss it, and you’ll approach it. We sat and had our lunch here. For a man-made waterfall is amazing. Still beautiful and would go back to see it any time, but would only hike the east side and not do the loop.

Loved it! Weather was perfect and the hiking not bad at all!

Requires parking reservation.

1 month ago

Fun trail to bring the dogs on. Very green and pretty on our spring-like February day hike

1 month ago

Fairly wide trail with a half-way point of the river. Lots of dogs and horses. There's one narrow downhill section leading to the river which would make it hard to pass other animals, but no one was on that part of the trail. There's a ton of trails that branch off, so at times it helped to use this map to stay on the right trail.

Great hike, especially to do first thing in the morning during the week before too many people are around! The bathrooms were closed but there were portapotties, at least. Make sure you keep track of the trail you want to do because there are a lot of them and it’d be easy to end up on an unexpectedly long hike.

Nice and pretty easy hike. It’s beautiful and this time of year, not many people on the trail.

I'm gonna give this a 3 star, one star off because the bathrooms were closed and there was no water, which we brought a lot with us and still ran out about halfway through, and one star off for all the damaged maps. It was a beautiful trail... however we bit off way more than we can chew. We accidently turned our nice moderate hike into 12 miles of hell. We started out on South Legacy then thought this is long, Creekside looks shortest so took that to get back, connected over to North Legacy, had to stop and cry because I ran out of water during the creekside portion and felt like I was dying, then connected back to south legacy for the final stretch... plan where your going!! don't be dumb and get lost like we did!!

mountain biking
1 month ago

This is a nice mellow ride with a lot of great views. I recommend going counter clockwise around the lake. make sure to stop and check out the water fall near the East part of the lake called the meadows area. There is a lot of pine needles on the camping side of the lake.
There a couple of Free to Park areas that are very small and a couple of $5 day use parking areas outside of the main gates. Just ask about them at the entrance of the lake.

Beautiful hike and the trials were clean and easy to navigate.

The trails are well maintained and the views are beautiful. There are so many trails, you can keep coming back and end up somewhere new each time. Great place to hike.

1 month ago

A bit of noisy disruption at the beginning of the hike. Tractors tearing down burned trees that are probably a falling risk.. Beautiful hike though, I would say very slightly moderate.. pretty easy hike. The incline on your initial way back to the Trailhead is a little struggle and then pretty easy all the way back!

Very open beautiful trail. A bit muddy in parts but drying out.

Load More