North Fork of the Middle Fork American River Trail

Area Status: Temporarily Closed

The North Fork of the Middle Fork American River trail is 1.03 miles long. It begins at Mosquito Ridge Road and ends at North Fork of the Middle Fork American River. The trail is open to hiking and mountain biking, but is narrow and rocky, making biking difficult.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed under Mosquito Fire Closure Order.
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Difficulty Level:  Easy Use level:  Moderate  Campfire permits are required for campfires, backpacking stoves, BBQs and lanterns.  
Information Center: For more information, follow this link to a brochure on trails. 

General Information


Trailhead Access: From Interstate 80, take the Foresthill exit to Foresthill Road and proceed 15.5 miles to the Foresthill Ranger Station. Continue 1.2 miles and turn right onto Mosquito Ridge Road. Travel approximately 9 miles to where you will see the trail sign on the left after crossing the bridge. Park on the right side of the road and then cross the road to the trailhead. 

General Notes:

Trail description: The trail runs upstream along the North Fork of the American River. Although it is primarily used by people mining along the river, other hikers are drawn to this trail due to its moderate grade and year round accessibility. This trail is a wonderful choice for early and late season hikers, with wildflowers plentiful during the spring months. The trail begins with a moderate slope, but levels out after the first quarter mile. The trail ends in a steep descent to the river. Parts of the trail are narrow with a steep drop-off. There are a few places to stop that offer views of the river, but thick vegetation obscures the view for most of the hike. Good fishing is available at times, and very limited camping is possible. Campfire permits are required for campfires, backpacking stoves, BBQs and lanterns. Poison Oak is commonly seen in the canyon and along the trail.

ELEVATION: 1450 to 1650 feet



NOTE: Water is often not available along the route. Only water from developed systems at recreation sites is maintained safe to drink. Open water sources are easily contaminated by human or animal waste. Water from springs, lakes, ponds, and streams should be properly treated before drinking.  You should carry water with you.  One method of treatment is to use a backpacker’s water filter.  However, the best way is to bring to water to a full boil for 5 minutes.


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
1.03 miles

  Elevation : 
1450 feet - 1650 feet