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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 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.

21 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 trail is way too narrow to share. I tried to do it with my dog and there was no way to avoid the bat-out-of-hell mountain bikers that were wizzing by. I had to literally stand in the brush to let bikers pass because there was no where else to go. I walked a mile in and then turned back around and left.

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!

25 days ago

This is a beautiful trail that follows the middle fork. It takes you to the old cave mines. The trial is kid and stroller friendly. We saw a river otter, bald eagle, and ducks. Go on a nice warm day or bundle up because the trial is mostly in the shade.

25 days ago

Great for all levels. The rock climbing area is a must see- my highlight!

Parking can be tricky but the walk is lovely with awesome views of the river and nice rock formations. My 8 and 10 year old loved it. Some good geocaching along the trails too.

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.

26 days ago

Easy trail and great for dogs trail is wide enough for horses and bikes to get through

28 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.

very pretty but super narrow trail and TICKS. checked my dog a mile in and she had a dozen crawling on her front legs. we won't be back.

28 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.

Attempted this hike this past weekend. Access is closed right now. :(

I’ve done this ride quite a bit when the weather is decent. I like to start at sac state and head up to the hatchery.
If you don’t live close by, I would recommend leaving your car at sac state. The chance of a break in isn’t bad. But remember to pay for day parking. Easier on the weekends when most of the students are off campus.
There was a time I was with a group and we used the light rail to get back to sac state.
Some of the serious riders can be rude if your just out for a little exercise but many more are happy to wave and say hello!
There are great places to stop for some picnic lunches and the views are great if you’re like me and get tired of the city.
Some of the trail can flood if we have heavy rain. This year (2017-2018) has been great.
If you decide to go in the summer, bring lots of water and reapply your sun screen. There are lots of areas that have no shade from the sun.

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

You CANNOT go in through the Auburn side. The road is blocked 2.7 miles from trailhead and it says NO public. We made the mistake of trying. 02-10-18

pretty sites. not a lot of parking.

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.

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!!

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