Clementine Trail to Clark's Pool

MODERATE 664 reviews

Clementine Trail to Clark's Pool is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Auburn, California that features a lake 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.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
698 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running

walking

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

washed out

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 fall 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.

4 days ago

All worth it! Beautiful Waterfall View at end of hike! It was not too hard. Fairly moderate hike. Don't forget to bring water & snack. But a few biker speeders who zoomed past by us and created a super duper road dust all over. Not cool. Otherwise it was an awesome trail.

5 days ago

Great hike for the kids. Trails are very clean and safe for kids to walk on.

hiking
5 days ago

beautiful view of running dam at end of trail; close access of its not busy.

mostly wide paths. uphill on the way to the dam, downhill on the return, except for the paved part right before the dam (about .25 miles).

Auburn national park is a great place for outdoor easy peasiness.

hiking
19 days ago

Great starter hike with excellent view of the dam. Bring your snorkel gear and walk down to the river for a refreshing swim before you head out.

hiking
1 month ago

We went on 4/15/18 and the weather was gorgeous! Felt like the first day of good weather on a weekend, finally! We hiked 1.5 miles down the main path, before taking a turnout down to the water. The bikers were courteous
to let us know when they were behind us (love the bell!) Other dog owners (we had ours with us) were friendly too. Pretty cool to see the bottom of the bridge I use to commute everyday!

trail running
1 month ago

the bf and i jogged our way there and it was pretty fast hike. Views breathtaking!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Was a beautiful trail. W tried to hike it. BUT Definitely should not be marked kid friendly , there way too many mountain bikers. Steep hills where bikers flew fast at us. And not too many areas to step to the side to avoid.

hiking
1 month ago

Is beautiful loved

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike! I’m very out of shape and wanted to get outdoors to jumpstart my fitness journey. I did get really winded going uphill, but took breaks and powered through. I would definitely rate this as a moderate to easy hike for most. If I can do it, ANYONE can.

1 month ago

Be ready to pay 10$ for parking

1 month ago

Amazing hike. A lot of people. But still recommend to see the dam.

1 month ago

Overcrowded, people with speakers, bros in white shoes.

1 month ago

Agree with the moderately easy comments in other post. Nice hike though.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! First half is in the sun, second is mostly in the shade. The dam was a great place for lunch, and it’s all downhill on the way back so it made for an easy trek back after hiking up hill on the way in. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful trail. Everything was green and blooming. There were a lot of butterflies.
The trail was fairly easy climbing on the way up and downhill back. There was a Dam at the top. It was beautiful and there was a rainbow at the end.

Its much farther then I had thought. Beautiful trail with amazing sight seeing. make sure you leash your dogs at all times. I did receive a ticket for no leash on my very well behaved German Sheppard, but couldn't have been from a better looking, funny, all around Park Ranger, so in the end was kinda worth it lol ENJOY!!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was amazing! Beautiful dam and views!

2 months ago

beautiful

hiking
2 months ago

A very good and well managed trail

hiking
2 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful birthday hike!

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

3 months ago

Decent amount of foot traffic here. Lots of bikers. Not especially difficult but would do again. Make sure you check out the dam at the end!

hiking
4 months ago

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