Middle Fork American River Quarry Trail

MODERATE 257 reviews

Middle Fork American River Quarry Trail is a 10.8 mile moderately 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

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

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.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 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!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice easy meander along the river. The trail is on wide fire road for most of the hike. Great for a hike with a group of friends. Early May wildflowers blooming.

3 months ago

Love this trail. When my sister and I discovered this limestone quarry we though it looked so exotic and beautiful. We nicknamed it "Cambodia". Also, it's so cool that there is Rock Climbing here. I wish I had time and equipment to climb it.

hike with Jason and Tony!

hiking
4 months ago

It was my first time today. This was a great and ez hike. The views were beautiful. I will definitely go back soon.

rocky
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful and easy trail. Be careful with the mountain bikers.

hiking
5 months ago

A very nice hike. The recent rains have helped make the falls nice to enjoy. The trail can get a bit busy but the further you go the more secluded it gets. At the end of the trail, we headed up towards the road and then took a different steep trail back down to mix things up. Lots of shade if needed but not needed with the overcast skies. Would definitely go again with it’s vicinity to Sac.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was beautiful! Everything I could ask for! After all the rain and snow we’ve been getting, it made for perfect conditions. The beautiful green river was roaring by, and there were several mini waterfalls along the way to enjoy. It was quiet and calm and just what me and the dogs needed!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful views of the river. Will definitely do again.

hiking
6 months ago

I wish people would pick up there dog feces when it is in the middle of the road. Beautiful walk.

7 months ago

very pretty hike! can be done with a jogging stroller too if you dont mind some rocky areas and a couple steep hills

hiking
7 months ago

Nice easy walk

9 months ago

Moderate easy and dod friendly. Runs along the American river so there are places to stop for the dogs or relaxation.

10 months ago

Great hike, easy to moderate. Unfortunately the mine is now blocked off, however, there are many accommodations along the trails including porta potties and tables.

10 months ago

Nice 4h hike, decent views of the river

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful morning hiking!!!! I thought we’d be closer to the river, but we still had great views. Would be a easy hike for kids

Friday, July 13, 2018

I am not the most in shape, but I would still say this trail is more easy than moderate. Not so much to see, other than the river, which you walk above for a lot of the trail. The climbing area was beautiful; we ended our hike there

hiking
Sunday, July 08, 2018

Beautiful today!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

good challenge as it offers many options depending on your interest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

it's a pretty good trail but plain, a few places to see but as a workout is pretty good.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

that

hiking
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Had a great time on this trail. Some areas are not covered very well but other spots are super dense. However not all of the areas were open this time around due to bird nesting. This was my first time going, I really wanted to see the cave but when I got there the cave was blocked off with giant cement blocks

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