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Middle Fork American River Quarry Trail

moderate(390)
Auburn State Recreation Area

Middle Fork American River Quarry Trail is a 10.8 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.

Distance: 10.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,240 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

fee

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.

hiking
15 days ago

Great trail! Lots of shade, couple of moderate steep sections but has a good balance of up and down. Saw a couple of mountain lion tracks in the mud on the way back down. Lots of fish swimming around that are easily seen from the trail. Fewer people further up you go and coming back a lot of families and dogs. Great day and great weather!

A very nice beautiful chill hike, mostly shaded and easy to slight moderate level. It’s was gorgeous outside with a breeze blowing slightly. Hardly any uphill..mostly flat.. only did three miles in and turned around, this hike is super long and could take all day to do. Saw deer and ducks on the way.

Good wide trail. Inclines are moderate. Lots of shade in afternoon.

hiking
fee
1 month ago

Nice long trail but a lot less people after mile 2, most traffic is the first 2 miles. A nice picnic table at the end of trail!

hiking
1 month ago

We did 6 miles in (on 02/14/2020), and somehow missed the quarry?! Where did we go wrong. Got to the area map near the picnic table, and trail signs. Is the steep Maine Bar trail the only way to the quarry?? Still a great hike though.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Barely anyone on the trail. So nice and cool. Warmed up later in the afternoon. Last mile was muddy and a bit slippery if hiking in tennis shoes.

hiking
fee
1 month ago

This is a beautiful trail! So peaceful and so many different views! You need to pay 10 dollars for parking. There’s a great little picnic area at the end of the trail. I will definitely be doing this one again!

hiking
1 month ago

Walked slightly more than this approx 11 Miles, started past training hill, challenging elevation. Lots of hiking terrain variety, glad we started the reverse of this loop, sad I lost my Prada sunglasses.

Great trail...would be a good bike riding trail!!

Really beautiful trail with several small waterfalls and continuous views of the river. After a recent rain, trail was not very muddy, which was great. Ends at a trailhead. Would be easy to extend if you have time.

hiking
fee
muddy
3 months ago

The shortcut is a little dicey, but fairly easy incline

running
no shade
3 months ago

We’ve done this trail several times now in different seasons and with different groups. #1 it’s a great trail for running/training and with large groups. Came here a few times for marathon prep and found it fast, scenic and enjoyable. Also came here on rainy days and that’s nice too because there aren’t a lot of puddles or slippery rocks go scramble over. It’s mostly all wide and flat. Came here once over the summer and it was miserable due to lack of shade. Oh well.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail with great views of the river. Easy hike to take the kids on, you can find some access points to the river along the way, some nice sand and good places to rest with the kids.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

The first 2 miles is a gravel path that I had to keep walking on the side of the path due to the park ranger that was driving a pickup truck down the path. After that there wasn’t many good lookout places to look at the river and the ending point was disappointing due to it branching off onto 3 different trails to continue on and no view but the down and back was already 11.4 miles. There was also many bikes on the path that I kept having to move for.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is pretty boring with no shade. I recommend doing it super early or you'll burn to death due to the sun.

hiking
6 months ago

Gorgeous river views the entire hike. Easy going wide trail.

Points where you can get to the river are more frequent in the first half, then very few opportunities to get cooled off in the water on the second half. Not much shade, so bring lots of water (like 4 liters or more). If you want a good swimming hole at the end, keep going another mile down the western states trail to poverty bar (really nice area without too much current and a small beach!). Most of the trail is pretty flat with small stretches up or down hill, but nothing too tough. Another review said “lots of people” but I only saw 2 others on a 100+ degree Thursday. Can’t imagine people lugging ice chests or wearing flip flops for more than the first mile. If you find the old blocked off mining cave, you can cool down a little from the cool air coming out.

Beautiful, easy trail. The quarry is absolutely awesome.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail is on a road along the river. It is easy but boring after a while. Lots of people lugging in ice chests and just wearing flip flops. We got bored and way too hot from no shade, anywhere. We decided it wasn’t gonna be worth it with so many people heading in the same direction. So we turned around and went back. Lots of people. Limited parking.

hiking
no shade
over grown
8 months ago

I did this trail in late June. There isn't much shade on this trail, but the trail runs along the river, so there are plenty of opportunities to get wet. We ended up hiking a little farther, up the Western State trail, and ended up by a nice spot by the river.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail was easy, flat aggregate access road most of the way. Not a trail in the trees kinda hike. Got a few pretty shots though.

hiking
bugs
muddy
10 months ago

Popular spot. Went right before the storm. Really nice hike

hiking
10 months ago

Great day for a hike, this trail is a lot of fun. Trail is overgrown in a few areas, lots of poison oak. Doesn’t matter. Great trail!

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