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American River Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The American River trail is 7.36 miles long. It follows the North Fork American River between Sailor Flat Trail and Mumford Bar Trail. The trail is open to hiking, biking, and equestrian use. No motorized use is allowed.

UPDATE: 5/22/2018  In 2017 trail crews spent 16 days clearing the Mumford Bar Trail and portions of the American River Trail. In the spring of 2018 our crews spent another 16 days clearing the Beacroft Trail and the American River Trail. They are currently in great condition. There is a .4 mile stretch of the American River trail that was not completed between the Mumford and Beacroft Trails that is overgrown but passable. There is pink flagging you can follow if the trail is difficult to find through this portion.  

More clearing projects are planned for the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact the American River Ranger District Trails Manager Matt Brownlee.

At a Glance

Permit Info: Campfire permits are required for campfires, backpacking stoves, BBQs and lanterns.  
Usage: Light
Best Season: June - September
Restrictions: Difficulty Level: Easy Use level: Easy 
Closest Towns: Foresthill, Ca
Water: River and creek water sources, purify before drinking
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. This trail may be accessed from any of the following trails: Mumford Bar, Beacroft, and Sailor Flat. See individual descriptions of these trails. 

General Notes:

Trail description: This trail follows the North Fork of the American River (A Wild & Scenic River) from the Mumford Bar Trail to the Sailor Flat Trail. Along the way you intersect the Beacroft Trail, which is another access route. This trail offers a variety of overlooks as it meanders along the river, passing through dense vegetation, past old cabins and mining sites, and through small meadows. Good fishing is available at times and limited camping is available along the trail. Campfire permits are required for campfires, backpacking stoves, BBQs and lanterns. Use caution at the trail crossings at Tadpole and New York Creeks, which flow heavily in spring and could be difficult to ford. All trails in the North Fork of the American River are closed to motorized vehicle use.

Elevation: 2870 to 3326 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Topo Maps: Duncan Peak 

For More Information: American River Ranger District

Foresthill Ranger Station

22830 Foresthill Road

Foresthill, CA 95631

(530) 367-2224

(530) 367-2226  TDD  


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 may wish to carry water with you.  Another 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. 



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