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Ruck-A-Chucky Rapids Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Foresthill, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,138 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
fee
no shade
1 month ago

This trail was pretty! It has all the sites and I loved how you can take a dip into the water. There was a $10 day fee. I hiked from the beginning of the trail 2 miles down until I got to the river. I do want to go back, but next time I’ll drive the 2 miles down since it’s on a gravel road. I recommend driving a 4wd vehicle vs a car. Other than that, it was great exercise! Expect no shade!

hiking
closed
2 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

I just started hiking and I’m a big guy so this was a hard one. Your are walking down a gravel road until you reach the camp site. The views along the way were spectacular. The camp itself looks like something I wanna visit in the near future! The hike out was tough! 3 miles or so uphill was pretty brutal for a beginner like me!

5 months ago

day hiker be warned. this and almost every trail along the roadside to this trail is a pay to hike trail and they only do cash or check. I've never experienced a pay to hike and I dont usually carry cash on me so i was severely disappointed that i didnt get to hike it. I love riverside hikes. so make sure to bring 10 dollar increments with you so you wont waste a 20 minute drive down and back

hiking
fee
rocky
5 months ago

7 months ago

ugh! the bugs!! they are unimpressed with bug repellent!! we turned back after 10 minutes because the dogs were swarmed and miserable!!! lost $10 on that! oh well, for the greater good!

hiking
11 months ago

2 stars only becuz of the beautiful views. if you like hiking on dirt/gravel roads, this is your kind of "trail."

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

Cool little trail, honestly just drive your car down the dirt road till u hit the trail, there’s cool beach areas to hangout at or u can walk the trail. By the time me and my dog got to the trail she was exhausted and so we hiked for a little and then went back to the beach area to relax.

hiking
11 months ago

The start of the trail was definitely a little confusing. First, it’s $10 to park a vehicle in the area. You basically follow everyone’s directions until you get to a gate where they don’t allow anymore vehicles. We parked our car there. The first mile is basically a dirt road that leads down to the start of the off road trail. You can follow the trail along the river for a good 5 miles. It’s scenic, but very sunny when you’re not inside the trees. On the way back hook a left at the down hill part where the trucks launch for the rafting companies. There’s a little path down there to the water and a hidden “beach area”. If I would’ve known about this beach I would’ve brought food/towels to sit on. It was the best part of the trail! It was fun to watch all the rafters going by and take in the scenery.

hiking
11 months ago

Able to drive right down to the river. Saturday had a good number of people, but just a hundred yard scramble down or up river and you’re all alone. Safe swimming in cool water.

hiking
no shade
Sat May 04 2019

The original Ruck a Chucky was a dirt 4x4 road that went from the staging area on divers flat road down to the river. As of a week ago (we were told) they put graded gravel down over the dirt road and so the 'hike' from the staging are is basically a walk down a road to the river. views are amazing and i imagine that coming up the road would be a nice thigh burner. We drove to the bottom at the advice of some nice rangers and parked at the campground and then hopped on the western states trail for about 4miles. .went past a lovely waterfall and really enjoyed the hike. it is a bit overgrown, but we didn't see many people (other than the rangers and some ultra runners). the trail was lovely, tons of butterflies and wildflowers and follows the river. it descends and gains elevation so you are next to the river at some points and well above it at others. it felt fairly easy as we were doing it, but the last mile or so made me realize that it was a decent workout after all. i'd still rate it as easy to moderate if you drive down. my only other caveats would be that the road coming down is VERY narrow; as in there is NOT room for 2 cars to pass each other so you should be prepared to back up a 1/2 mile or so in some spots to do so and drive slowly. i also wouldn't bring a dog on this bc of the gravel and the scorching sun.

hiking
Sun Apr 14 2019

Incredibly awesome views, very few people, great workout, amazing floral colors and clear clean waters that were moving fast! Loved it!

hiking
Sat Mar 30 2019

Easy down, fairly hard uphill. Nice trail overall. Worth checking out if you want a easy three miler.

hiking
Thu Feb 21 2019

This was an ok hike. The entire portion that I did was a 15ft wide dirt and rock path. It serves as an access road for rangers and maintenance so you’re hiking on a path that doubles as a vehicle road and it feels like it. I had to turn around at 2.2 miles in once I got down to the river. There was a stream that comes from uphill directly across the path with no good way to cross it. The water is only 2-5 inches deep but moves fast so your feet will get wet. With 1 mile further to go, I decided to turn around and not have to hike with wet socks and shoes.

Sun Dec 30 2018

this trail description starts at the top of drivers flat road which is a dirt 1 lane road to ruck a chucky campground. the road is a little non descript but pleasant walk in the off season. when the road is open there is limited day use parking for a few cars. The trail along the river is beautiful and can be extended up Western States up canyon.

ohv/off road driving
Mon Oct 30 2017

Amazing river view, fall colors, and off-road experience. Plenty of hiking too. American river does not disappoint! -Brian

hiking
Sun Oct 01 2017

really nice trail. realy nice but sporadic views of the river. good amount of shade later in the day. sunscreen still advised.

hiking
Sat Nov 12 2016

From where the trail starts, you are following a dirt road that is closed off from November through March. While the trail itself isn't much to look at since its a dirt road, it does offer great views down to the river, and to Summit Hill, with various vantage points and heights to take photos of the river from. It was fairly cool when i went but it was mid November. There were combinations of shady and exposed areas so bring sunscreen.

Sun Sep 11 2016

Make the drive down to the campground area. We made the mistake of deciding to hike down (and back up) the road which isn't that nice of a hike. Once down there though its a beautiful area.

hiking
Fri Jul 15 2016

This is a beautiful trail along the Middle fork of the American River. It is part of the Western States trail. You park by the campground or a little further up in the fee areas. From there it's a dirt road you follow for about a mile to the WST entrance gate. You see the gorgeous Rapids before this tho. It's super hot in these canyons in the summer with temps that reach 100+ easily. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. From the WST entrance, it's 4 miles to Fords Bar.

hiking
Tue Apr 17 2012

Driver's Flat Road is pretty steep, I would recommend at least an SUV, although it is usually possible in a car. This is part of the Western States Trail and leads out of Ruck-A-Chucky campground (a fee area) following the river, although you will have to walk a few miles before it actually drops down to the water at the first sharp bend, which is as far as I've ever been. Up to that point it's a fair dirt road, afterwards it turns into a slightly overgrown foot trail. Apparently you can follow it all the way to Foresthill if you want - about 15 miles away, and it doesn't appear to connect to any other trails, so consider this an out-and-back. The best time to go is any time but summer, it gets hot and the first stretch of trail is on a south-facing slope that will be covered in dry grass, winter and spring are best if the road is open. Although not really needed for this one; you can pick up a free, non-topo trail map at park HQ on highway 49, there's also a big map posted at Ruck-A-Chucky.

hiking
Sat Oct 02 2010

Pretty gnarly to get to, but easy once you get there. Hike is the best just 1 mile in at the falls which are down a tougher trail to navigate (no kids, dogs or the like). The rest winds along the river for the most part.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

1 month ago

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