Explore the most popular 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.

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Foresthill, California Map
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hiking
12 days ago

The trail is in the worst shape it’s been in for 36 years with trees down and overgrowth, we had to “rock hop” along the river for some of it. It also had more fresh bear poop that I’ve seen and one of our group saw a mountain lion. It’s worth getting down there but be prepared to hurt.

Did about 10 miles of this trail this past weekend. Nice trail, lots of shade. Got a good workout from the long descent (about 2.5 miles) which bottoms out at the river (bridge) then did another 2.5 miles ascending away from the river before we turned back as it started getting warm.

Only downside was the mosquitoes which were out in full force especially in the shade. We used a lot of deet and picaridin, but it wasn’t enough to keep them away. Would advise anyone to cover well and maybe use those weird hats with veil/netting I see some hikers wear if you don’t want mosquitoes constantly in your face and eyes and biting.

Overall nice trail, would do it again.

The final 2.5 mile drive to the base of this canyon- and where the trailhead begins- is difficult to drive. There is not any true designated parking area, so most vehicles just park along the side of this dirt road. There is a sign next to the bridge & bathrooms directing you toward Codfish Falls Trail, which we set out on and hiked for about 45 minutes before we came to a very dry creek bed and a bunch of homemade stick signs pointing us to go back

Still one of my favorites!! Tried some new trails this year and finally got back to this one for the first time this season! It's perfect for all fitness levels. I usually run it and feel safe doing so. The bikers are courteous and usually make their presence known! It is pretty much all brown now, but still lovely. Half sun and half shade. Some poison oak, but the trail is clean, clear and well marked!

hiking
1 month ago

Good physical challenge. Boring switchbacks mostly shaded. Trail is a continous steep grade all the way up the canyon. River is nice and there are blackberry bushes at the bottom. I went in july and drank all my 1.5l water and ran out about the last mi on a 90 degree day. There were a couple of creeks running on the way to get water. I would say wear bug spray and carry at least 3l of water or a backpacks straw to refill at the bottom.

To say that this trial is hard, would be an understatement! 11.5 miles from the campground is very accurate. The trail is very overgrown. To the point where we questioned if we had somehow gotten off the trail. To get down to the water is extremely difficult and steep! Bring bug spray! The mosquitos are horrendous! We gotten eaten alive! Make sure to bring plenty of water. We ran out on the way back and had to send my brother in law to refill our water bottles at the little water fall/spring. Not to be dramatic, but we thought we might die, and we’re not amateurs to hiking.

The trail was nice and easy. It’s a beautiful area and the trees are just amazing. I marked it down in stars because the picnic area/trailhead and the trail markers were not well maintained. The bathrooms were locked and we didn’t see any picnic tables as indicated on the Tahoe NF website. There were no maps or brochures at the little hut. There was only one marked trail and that was for the Forest View Trail which is a 1.5 mile hike that joins up with the Big Trees Loop. Upon our return, we saw a post that the loop trail sign should have been on but wasn’t. It was very weird that before we left, someone spelled out “loop” in duct tape on the post so others could find the trailhead (see picture). To find the trailhead, when coming from the parking lot to he kiosk, the Forest View Trail is to the left of the kiosk and the Loop is to the right. The trails were clean and clear but some of the trail markers were falling over. The Forest View Trail was nice and went through a burn area which really was fascinating to see what had burned and what didn’t.

Never found it

hiking
2 months ago

To add to the crazy stories from this trail, yesterday I was attacked by a nesting goshawk that built its nest right above the trail. A few good punctures to the back of the head. I would not recommend hiking this trail until later in the year when the chicks have left the nest.

Trees down and erosion at end prevented us from safely accessing the river.

Nice trail. Watch out for bikers.

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

Beautiful shaded trail, creek and waterfalls are a nice treat. Currently closed.

Trail itself I’d consider moderate. I’d highly recommend if you want to hike, to NOT take this trail in the park. 99% of people on this trail are mountain bikers that will mow you down. So irritating every five minutes having to jump in bushes to accommodate them and even more difficult if you have a dog. If you’re a mountain biker, great trail for you. Just be considerate that people hike this and you can seriously injure them if you don’t call out your presence before hand.

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.

5 months ago

graffiti covered rocks everywhere ruined the whole experience

Attempted this hike this past weekend. Access is closed right now. :(

You CANNOT go in through the Auburn side. The road is blocked 2.7 miles from trailhead and it says NO public. We made the mistake of trying. 02-10-18

made the long drive today to try and reach the trailhead for American Eagle Trail that Junctions at the end of the Euchre bar Trail. upon arriving to Pioneer Mine Road which leads to the trailhead we found that the gate was locked it is unclear as to whether it was the property owners at the very end of pioneer Mine Road or if it was the forest service I contacted the Foresthill ranger station and was not able to get a clear answer as to whether this is a public or a private road online research didn't yield any results either. Basically this Trail is inaccessible at least based on our experience today although pictures online from Google Maps show that at some point the door is open and another reviewer on trails.com stated he was able to access the site perhaps it may be accessible later on in the year we did cross the barrier and Hike about a mile-and-a-half on the main road on Pioneer Mine Road But realize that from where we left off it was still another five point five miles to the trailhead and it would inevitably cross s with the property that appears on Google Maps would not suggest this Trail for the time being completely inaccessible

hiking
8 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
8 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

The directions take you to someone’s drive way lol . They was not very happy to see me . Run this trail in reverse and do not try to park at Michigan Bluff .

hiking
8 months ago

clean beautiful hike. long dirt road in.

Beautiful hike! The ride after the paved road requires a car that can handle steep and uneven terrain. We parked on a flat area about 1.4 miles from the trailhead and just walked in.

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!

off road driving
9 months ago

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

A quick way to see Big Trees with the family. Very Clean. When we went it had a few wasps. They buzzed us but for the most part left us alone. My dogs love it there, So much packed into a little hike. Almost off season, We had the place pretty much to ourselves. Bring your own water as mentioned. A great place to try the little ones out on for hiking and teach them about nature and outdoor manners. Have fun!

hiking
9 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.

hiking
10 months ago

Very fun

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