Explore the most popular dog friendly trails near Foresthill with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
12 days ago

Tough trail in parts with steeper climbs and downed trees, but worth it for beautiful views of the American River.

Went on an overnight out and back backpacking trip, camping about 7 miles in, near a creek crossing on Deadwood Ridge. The trail was definitely challenging but had no other redeeming qualities, other than a nice creek to rest at early on the trail. The trail is well shaded, but because of that there are few opportunities for good views. The trail was well graded and appreciated at first, but I found it to be monotonous after crossing El Dorado Creek, relentlessly marching up the side of the mountain. In addition, the trail going up towards the ridge was very narrow. There were few places to take a break. On the ridge, there were few good places to camp. I would not recommend the place I camped (creek crossing along ridge), I was running out of daylight. If I had more time I would have backed up a half mile and camped at the water pump. If you want to camp closer to the trailhead, there is at least one good spot (probably more) along El Dorado Creek.

I did not encounter any bears on my trip. That was a good thing because I forgot to put all my food in the bear canister. The food was not touched.

Some folks have mentioned parking issues but I had no problems parking at the end of the pavement, about 0.2 mile before the trailhead.

This trail is best for trail runners. Lots of elevation change and consistent grades. If I was trail running I would rate it 4 stars. I would not recommend for backpacking except as an early season shake-out.

This listing is pretty mislabeled. This is a part of the Western States Trail and this portion should be labeled Michigan Bluff to Last Chance. Since you are going in and out of 2 canyons I would also label as Hard. Especially if you're backpacking and have a pretty heavy pack.
Here are some things we learned: There is no parking next to the trail head. We parked next to the old cemetery and the Michigan Bluff monument. We left our car for 3 days and it seemed fine. We talked to some locals when we got back to our car. They thought we were just going out and let us know about several locals recently losing dogs to mountain lions.
BRING BEAR SPRAY. It is also a good idea to have a bear bell and make plenty of noise on the trial. We saw a lot of trail runners out so the trail is well traveled. You will also do a lot of stream crossing depending on how much it has rained recently and how much snow is still melting.
Trail breakdown: 2.5 miles in is entirely downhill and takes you to the first bridge and river. Almost 6 miles from the trail head and just before Deadwood Cemetery you will find a decent place to camp. For an even better place to camp and a little more walking, head on to an established spot between Deadwood and Devil's Thumb. There is a great area with a picnic bench and water pump with potable water (if we had gotten an earlier start on day one we would have camped here). Ditch your pack at the water pump to lighten your load and make your way to Devil's Thumb. A closer look shows that it is not one big rock but many rocks. Head down the canyon from Devil's Thumb to get to the swinging bridge. Lots of switchbacks but the pay off is worth it.
What we did:
Day one: hiked in and camped right before Deadwood.
Day two: packed up and ditched packs at Deadwood. Made way to water pump and filled up. Hiked all the way down to the swinging bridge and had lunch. Made our way out of the canyon back to our belongings. We then hiked down to Eldorado Canyon (aka 2.5 miles from trail head) and made our camp near river in an established spot.
Day three: hiked out.
Things I wish I had known:
-how steep the trail was
-the amount of mountain lion and bear activity in the area
-how bad the ticks are
-the different points of entry for the trail and the relative location of established camping spots
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I know this review is long, but I'm hoping it helps someone who is looking at this trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Upper portions of the trail havent been cleared of trees felled after the 2008 fire. Lots of obstacles. Not the grand and mysterious an entrance to the canyon as Mumford Bar. Steep cutbacks. Kind of blunt descent.

camping
5 months ago

Hard! 8 miles 1 way. plan on camping at upper hell hole when going here. be prepared for a lot of up and down stretches. we called them stairways to hell. when you reach the campground it becomes heaven. spent a week here. lake was way low but plenty of fun with the river. recommend boating to upper hell hole not hiking

I only went in about 3.5 and then headed back up the mountain cause I didn't want to be out there in the dark but still a great hike! Beautiful views, will have to go and do the entire thing!

hiking
7 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 just...no. 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.

backpacking
7 months ago

This trail is very steep and long. NOT for the faint of heart. Its has some beautiful views and some cool mining equipment off the trail but is definitely difficult due to the grade of the trail. Would not recommend for beginners.

on Gold Dollar Trail

hiking
8 months ago

We never found the start of the trail. The area is really nice, been to big trees a couple of times. Any one know if there is a sign at the start of the trail?

hiking
9 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.

RATTLESNAKES!!!!! It was a strenuous hike both in and out, but definitely doable. We initially planned on hitting the primitive campgrounds, but bypassed those as we could see and hear boat campers at the lake. We hiked another mile or so passed the primitive campgrounds along the marked trail and found a beautiful spot to set up camp. We encountered a total of 5 rattlesnakes during our 2 day trip, 4 of those directly on the trail. Even though we were aware of the snakes in the area and we were constantly looking for them, they are very hard to see until you are nearly on top of them. Fortunately they moved along and we continued passed them. Bring water but there are several spots along the trail to filter water and the lake is accessible in 2 spots as well.

hiking
10 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.

hiking
11 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.

hiking
11 months ago

My first trip on the trail in a while. The road is rougher coming into the trailhead, you will want high clearance. The trail has not been maintained so will be slow going. It's steep but a pretty trail. Hopefully the road will get back to normal later this year after this monster winter.

hiking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

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.

hiking
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).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This was a very strenuous hike. We had two older dogs with us and did not make it all the way down (they were exhausted). The entire trail is at an incline. There were tons of leaves and pine needles that made it tricky coming down. The hike back up is no joke. The area is beautiful, don't get me wrong. Just not a hike for someone who doesn't hike regularly.

backpacking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This trail is very steep, so be warned ahead of time. That being said, the stamp mill is cool to visit, and the river at the bottom is beautiful. We'll definitely be backpacking through here again!

backpacking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My 6 friends and I had a great idea to hike the 10 mile Hunter trail up to hellhole reservoir. From there we are going to trek to upper hellhole which is an extra 4 miles. I had a deadline at work so I had to miss the first day of hiking so one friends and I drove straight to the reservoir. My 5 friends who were on the hunter trail tried to make it, but after 2 miles the trail disappeared. There was a big fire in 2014 and it destroyed the trail. Burnt trees, fallen trees everywhere and new brush over growing the whole area. No shade, there is a river for some of it until you have to go over a mountain for the last 2 miles. My friend and I went to upper hellhole the next day thinking they might be there. They were not. We finally got a beep on our radio from them and they just arrived at the reservoir at 6 the next day. My friend and I hiked through the night back to the reservoir. Surprised the 5 boys and restored some moral. The trail to upper hell hole is okay. Definitely do able, very rocky and unsteady, but worth it. Just don't do the Hunters trail! Unless you want to make it for future hikers that would be great.

Summary, after the pools in the rubicon there is no hunters trail to hellhole.

backpacking
Monday, August 15, 2016

This trail hasn't been maintained since the 2014 King Fire. The first 2 miles are decently maintained and then it gradually gets turned into nothingness. We spent 2 full days attempting to navigate and GPS locate the trail to no avail. Ended up bush wacking through endless backcountry and up 1.5 miles over a hill with zero trail or signage. Absolutely do not recommend.

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Used hiking poles on this trail to help the knees. It is steep in spots but liked the flatter spots here and there to break it up. We stashed water on the way down but it turned out to be a cool day so didn't really need it. Enjoyed seeing the tunnel and the fallen stamp mill. Be sure to go down to the river below the stamp mill. There is a piece of the mill that has fallen and has some neat writing on it. Saw all the trash on the way down and luckily there were 2 somewhat useable trash bags there. So we hauled out all of the trash except the sleeping bag and a little more orange pad a little further down. I would go back again. I think there is more to explore!

hiking
Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I added this trail. As of mid-July 2015 it is pretty overgrown and just barely followable, a GPS is really helpful, but the trail route is not all that complicated - just follow the top of the ridge down and make a 90-degree left when it levels off. The hard part is finding that turn again on the way back up, it's easy to overshoot it. I didn't see any trace of the section that continues north to Walker Mine, which is what's shown on most topo maps and the AllTrails overlay. The meadow is fairly small but idyllic, with waist-high grass surrounded by ferns and huge trees. The stream leading out of it is at the bottom of a ~10ft deep, fern-filled trench that can be crossed on log bridges. There are some nice campsites if you are willing to put up with the mosquitoes.

hiking
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.

hiking
Friday, July 10, 2015

I went on this as a beginner hike and it was difficult.

hiking
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.

camping
Monday, May 25, 2015

Hard.

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.

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