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Best trails in Auburn State Recreation Area

7,801 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Auburn State Recreation Area, California? AllTrails has 54 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 40 moderate trails in Auburn State Recreation Area ranging from 2.9 to 20.6 km and from 167 to 682 meters above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

In the heart of the gold country, the Auburn State Recreation Area (Auburn SRA) covers 40-miles of the North and Middle Forks of the American river. Once teeming with thousands of gold miners, the area is now a natural area offering a wide variety of recreation opportunities to over 900,000 visitors a year. Major recreational uses include hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, equestrian/horseback riding trails and off-highway motorcycle riding. Whitewater recreation is also very popular on both forks of the river, with Class II, III and IV runs. Over 30 -private outfitters are licensed to offer whitewater trips in Auburn SRA. Auburn SRA is made up of the lands set aside for the Auburn Dam. California State Parks administers the area under a contract with the US Bureau of Reclamation

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Map of trails in Auburn State Recreation Area
Park information
Park hours
Monday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday
6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Contact
530-823-4162
Helpful links
Top trails (54)
#1 - Clementine Trail to Clark's Pool
Auburn State Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1331)
Length: 7.2 km • Est. 2 h 17 m
As of June 2020 (COVID 19), all trails and vehicular access is open. Upper Lake Clementine is still closed. Parking is available at various locations. Please check with the park for current conditions and parking: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502 Note: There is a $10 parking fee at the lot. Lake Clementine Trail leads to the spot where the North Fork Dam meets the rocks for an outstanding view of cascading water. Trail passes under the tallest bridge in California, Foresthill Bridge. The waterfall is absolutely amazing. There are rarely any people at the base of the falls but there is an abundance of poison oak so you need to be careful. Another good feature about this hike is about a quarter of a mile into the hike you pass by Clark's Pool - a fairly popular swimming hole. Despite being in the middle of the river, it is actually quite warm and very refreshing - especially since the first half of the hike is totally unshaded and gets rather hot. Dogs are not allowed at Lake Clementine.Show more
#2 - Training Hill
Auburn State Recreation Area
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(686)
Length: 7.2 km • Est. 2 h 32 m
#3 - Western States Trail to Calcutta Falls
Auburn State Recreation Area
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(600)
Length: 3.5 km • Est. 1 h 4 m
As of June 2020 (COVID 19), all trails and vehicular access is open. Upper Lake Clementine is still closed. Parking is available at various locations. Please check with the park for current conditions and parking: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502Show more
#4 - Middle Fork American River Quarry Trail
Auburn State Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(404)
Length: 17.4 km • Est. 5 h 11 m
Walk along the river where the historic railway once traveled and end up at a stunning amphitheater of carved limestone This great hike along the Middle Fork of the American River ends in a spectacular amphitheater of sheer limestone walls rising around you. Enjoy the natural beauty of the American river canyon and also pass by an enormous cave that was the site of both paleontologic excavations and more mining activities. Learn about the plants and animals present today in the canyon environment as well as the mining history of the region. The trail is wide and smooth (some people even push baby strollers on it) and is mostly level in grade with the exception of the last bit up to the quarry. The trail follows the path of the old railway that was used to carry out the limestone. When it existed, the railway had standard gauge sized tracks and the cars were actually backed down the path 4 times daily to be filled with limestone and taken 7 miles to Auburn for cement production. In 1942 the railroad tracks were taken out for scrap iron for WWII. The state charges a day-use fee for every car parked in the parking area. This mixture of dirt road and singletrack trail is not always clearly marked, especially as it passes through the old quarry. Trail is great year-round but April -June is best for wildflowers.Show more
#5 - Robie Point Firebreak Trail
Auburn State Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(316)
Length: 8.9 km • Est. 2 h 33 m
#6 - Cardiac Hill
Auburn State Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(359)
Length: 7.1 km • Est. 2 h 25 m
Note: As of September 10, 2020 users have reported that the toll to get in at the top of the hill is closed so you’ll have to walk down/up for a while. Please be aware of the self registration fee of $10 for parking/day use. The hike starts off flat along a connector path by a drainage canal before a steep descent to the river in a series of cutbacks. The river views at the bottom are worth it and there is a picnic table. It’s easy to go along the rocks to the rivers edge. The hike back up is a bit of a scramble, especially if it’s rained recently. It's a great workout. This trail lives up to its name in getting your heart rate up! If you bring your dog, be aware that they will need to be somewhat agile.Show more
#7 - Western States Pioneer Express Recreation Trail
Auburn State Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(267)
Length: 13.8 km • Est. 4 h 19 m
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.Show more
#8 - Confluence Trail
Auburn State Recreation Area
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(320)
Length: 5.5 km • Est. 1 h 42 m
#9 - Codfish Falls Trail
Auburn State Recreation Area
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(199)
Length: 4.5 km • Est. 1 h 15 m
This hike is amazing right in early spring before the creeks dry up and the flowers and grass are gone. There are a couple side trails down to the river, and in summer it is great for swimming. Great hike. It's narrow, so weekends (when the trail is more crowded) are not ideal, but doable. The road to get there is a very difficult drive. Ideally you will have 4WD or a car with clearance. Signage at the trailhead limits parking. The only place to park is the side of the road and, on weekends, the line of cars can get long enough to block part of the road. If you do this, you are risking a ticket. $10 to park.Show more
#10 - American Canyon Trail Loop
Auburn State Recreation Area
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(252)
Length: 10.3 km • Est. 3 h 32 m
Please note there is very limited parking on the road and no parking lot. Show more
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