American River Trail

Area Status: 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.

American River Ranger District trail crew, conservation corps, and volunteer organizations have spent several seasons cutting back vegetation that made Mumford, American River, and Beacroft inaccessible due to overgrown understory vegetation and fallen trees across the trail. Although they have been cleared over the past three seasons and are noticeably better, the trails are within the 2008 American Complex fire perimeter and standing dead trees fall very frequently. Due to budget shortfalls for non-motorized trails, all of this project work in North Fork American River Trail Network has been funded through non-motorized grants. In 2020, another grant was recently awarded to connect Sailor Flat Trail towards Beacroft Trail along the river. Currently that section is very difficult to navigate through due to overgrown understory vegetation and fallen trees across the trail. Implementation is planned for possibly fall 2020.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Access from Mumford Bar. Logs may be across trail.
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. 


Mountain Biking

This is an easy trail but must be accessed by Mumford Bar or Beacroft trail which are steep trails. 

Difficulty Level: Easy

Day Hiking


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
7.36 miles each way

  Elevation : 
2,870 feet - 3,326 feet