Mumford Bar Trail

HARD 18 reviews
#74 of 145 trails in

Mumford Bar Trail is a 11.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Foresthill, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

11.5 miles
5485 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips





wild flowers


over grown

Directions from I-80: Take the Foresthill exit and proceed 15.5 miles on Foresthill Road to the Foresthill Ranger Station. 17 miles beyond the Ranger Station you will see the trailhead sign on the left. To access the trail, there is a 5/8 of a mile long road, which starts out as a 2 wheel-drive road, but becomes a 4 wheel-drive road. 2 wheel-drive vehicles should park in the developed area on top.

5 months ago

Updated review: we just backpacked this trail overnight and it still isn't that bad, granted it's kinda late in the season (Oct 21), maybe we missed peak blackberry. We brought a big pair of hedge shears, a bow saw and the usual bear mace - didn't see any bears though. The blackberries and the brush along the trail need to be cut constantly but they aren't bad and there were only a few downed trees. Just make sure to wear long pants.

As people said, this trail is intense, make sure you pack with that in mind. Remember to bring enough water for the climb, though if you have a filter there is an apparently reliable creek at N39.18596° W120.62842°, which is fairly near the top. I'll grant too that this was only supposed to be an access trail and there's nothing really exciting at the bottom - more of a do-it-just-to-say-you've-done-it sort of thing.

I'm pretty sure that portion of this trail on the north half of the river no longer exists, or at any rate isn't maintained, since I've never heard of anyone who's done it, or even found it.

I'm not sure if people here are referring to the trail that continues upriver as the part that's impassible. Technically that's the American River Trail (Mumford is only an access trail, like Beacroft and Sailor Flat, though since it doesn't really have it's own page yet I'll write this here):
We went out there overnight to see how far we could get, and my verdict is that that trail is The entire canyon between Mumford and Sailor burned a decade ago, 99% of the trees are dead, and now it's the biggest brushfield-slash-snagfield I've ever seen. It looks like the Forest Service cleared the trail out to about a mile and a half from the end of Mumford, just past that little hill (IRL not so little and made of steep loose rock; don't try to climb) on the south side of the river - you can see it on the satellite pictures. Then you hit a wall of brush. It's worth going out there to see the canyon though.

We spent two days bushwacking it (I prefer to call it extreme gardening) with the shears (though loppers would probably have been a bit more useful) and nearly got to Beacroft - though not on the trail...the trail is a lost cause. We went out to the end of the cleared trail and then cut through a wall of solid brush - and I mean like tunneling though it on hands and knees - to the river, and since the water's so low now we could follow the banks and rock bars upriver until the canyon got too steep. We cut back up to the trail around N39.21255 W120.58376 - a half-mile west of Beacroft - and found it still overgrown and impassible, though recognizable, and somehow marked with pink survey flags all the way along it for apparently the whole length. Overall it looks like we're going to have to wait for either the Forest Service to somehow clear it or for the forest to regrow and shade all of that brush out, which at this rate we'll be lucky to see in our lifetimes. I can't recommend camping out there either, but if you do obviously stay away from the dead trees, they're falling all the time, if you're out there long enough you'll hear them.

8 months ago

Wouldn't recommend. Went today. Got to the river where the black berry overgrowth is so large you can't get through without a machete like everyone said. But shortly after arriving there I came across a bear and her cubs and barely made it out alive. Then I ran into a man who apparently lives in the cabin out there right now. I was alone with my dog, it was scary and unforgettable to say the least. Hike back up was difficult.

8 months ago

Enter through a small campground. I parked near the campers and started my hike there. The signage is a little rough and then you come upon a sign that just says Trail that someone carved in wood. There's been a forest fire there recently so lots of fallen, cut down and burned trees everywhere. It's pretty desolate out there. Once you get to about 4 miles you see a river and a little further up you can walk out to it. I did 8.8 miles today. It's pretty boring for most of that way down. Be careful of the blackberry areas that haven't been cleared throughout the trail. Lots of thorns. Didn't see much poison oak which was kind of nice. Definitely hard climb back up.

10 months ago

Offers some good views of the canyon, but it is very overgrown in the bottom section. Once you near the river level, be prepared to go through lots of bushes hanging across the bath. Some have spines to I recommend lightweight pants. The trail along the river is great and there are a number of access points to go hang out on the rocks or swim.

The GPS track shows a route up the other side of the canyon, but I couldn't find any river crossing.

11 months ago

In the summer 2016 went on a backpacking trip, spent the weekend. Trail is great and easy on the way down, once you get to the bottom it is overgrown with blackberries, bushes..and trail goes along the river but you have to cut your way through the whole time. Bring a machete. We ended up hiking in the river up and then down. Hiking back up was difficult, steep, with well over 100 switchbacks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I felt the trail was decently maintained up to the berry bushes next to the river. Lots of Bear traces(i.e. poop). My dogs and I enjoyed the river. Clean and refreshing. The hike up was difficult. Especially if you're trying to skate around the berry bushes. Best to just go back through them. Bring plenty of water and have a picnic down by the river. Please pick up after yourself. Did find some debris(very little).

horseback riding
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sad to hear the trail is in need of repair. This camp and trail was originally set up as a dry horse camp.....I used it allot 10+ years ago with my kids and horses. And we maintained as needed...The trail would be difficult on foot.... Straight down and straight back up, switch back style. You could go down and catch brook trout all day from the river.....The cabin is still there.. It was saved from the American fire of 2015......Will have to go check it out....Regardless, it is and will always be a beautiful area.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I hiked all the way to Mumford cabin. The overgrowth and amount of dead trees made it pretty difficult to walk on the path. We had a couple of injuries with my group because of the lack of maintenance.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Tiring hike both up and down. There are some great views, didn't make it to the cabin because the lack of a machete, but overall good weekend challenge.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The trail itself was nice, especially the fog that gave me the impression Big Foot was out there some where. The trail was being logged and I had to climb over a lot of downed trees. As you near the bottom there is tons of overgrowth and I did not make the cabin as I was in need of machete. Take care with the poison oak and briars. I used this hike to test my backpacking gear, which made it a strenuous hike, as the 4 mile ascension with 30lbs on my back was exhausting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

After 21 years on Bucket List and 72, this was worth it! Cabin in amazing shape. lots of debris but took machette and cut poison oak and briars at bottom. Great Lodge 2.6 mi away, Christmass Tree Vinyard Lodge.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Overgrown. Logging debris. Downhill/uphill. Not much level hiking. Hard for some but only on cardio. Poison oak. It had some great views and the morning fog was great. I would go again but I would bring a machete next time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I'm not sure where the 3289 feet of elevation is. Both my GPS and topo maps tell me it's more like 2600'. Other reviews are accurate about the condition of the trail. It has a lot of overgrowth. I would also add that the trail has a lot of debris, sticks, loose rocks etc. that make the hike a lot more tiring than it should be for the distance and elevation gain. Once you get to the river, there is not much in the way of easy access. I only gave this hike 2 stars for these reasons. I can't see any compelling reason to go back to this trail again. By the way, the cabin is still there.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The trail isn't THAT bad, sure the whole area is burnt and covered in snags and parts of the trail are overgrown with thorn bushes, but as long as you wear long pants it's passable. It's pretty easy to follow, and most of the large trees across the trail seem to have been cut fairly recently, so they aren't much of a problem, it's really just the ~3 foot high brush up top, and a huge thicket of blackberries at the bottom that are like head-high and the trail just goes straight through them. The cabin is there, it looks to be in fine shape. One you're past that though the trail isn't in such good of shape, it starts getting covered in more brush and downed trees, I'm not sure if the whole American River Trail is like that but it was as far as I went - maybe a quarter-mile upriver. The river there is mostly gravel bars and not especially deep, but there are some swimming spots, and the whole area is pretty idyllic. Overall we thought it was about on par with Euchre Bar in terms of difficulty just because even though it's about a thousand feet higher, it's not usually as steep. It's a decent trail, just bring a machete or something and help out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Forest Service needs to get their shit together. All of the trails in the area, including this one, are overgrown to shit. If you plan on doing this hike bring a machete because its thicker than Rosie O'donnel and you may as well book a flight to the amazon jungle because thats what it feels like you are hiking though. And just so everyone knows, the cabin is no longer there.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Over 30 switchbacks down to the river. Towards the bottom the trail is a bit over grown. Once at the bottom you can find small pools about a mile up river. I did see a lot of bear sign while hiking. Down takes about an hour and up about 2 hours. About 2500ft of elevation change in 4.5 miles. I will do it again.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A very pleasant reverse hike (down then back up) like most trips into the canyons. Excellent, well marked trail, only about 3.4 mi from the campground starting point. Beware poison oak about 1/4 mi above the river. Excellent campsites on the river.

Sunday, June 19, 2016