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Sailor Flat Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The Sailor Flat trail is 3.25 miles long and follows an old mining road for the first 1/2 mile, then becomes steeper and more rugged on the way down to the North Fork of the American River.

Trailhead was cleared in 2015

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Information Center: For more information, follow this link to a brochure on trails. 

General Information


From Interstate 80, take Foresthill exit to Foresthill Road and proceed 15.5 miles to the Foresthill Ranger Station.  Continue 26.5 miles on Foresthill Road and turn left on Sailor Flat Road.  Note: Sailor Flat Road is rocky with waterbars and a high clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is advised.

General Notes:

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: The first 1 ½ miles of the trail follows an old mining road and is relatively easy.  The remains of an old gold stamp mill stand near the trailhead.  The trail then becomes steeper, with many switchbacks as you drop down to the North Fork of the American River.  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.  A popular trip for many is to enter via this trail and then proceed downriver to exit via the Mumford Bar Trail.  This can be accomplished in one or two days, but would require the use of two vehicles or arranging for pickup. (Total distance would be 14.12 miles.)

DISTANCE: 3.25 miles one way

ELEVATION: 6415 to 3326 feet

DIFFICULTY: Most Difficult

TOPOGRAPHIC MAP: Duncan Peak, Royal Gorge

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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