- Elevation - 600-800 ft.
- Location - Auburn State Recreation Area - we parked in a lot that required a $10 fee, but there is often parking along the side of Hwy 49, just be careful around the curves
- Mileage - 7 miles
- Hiking time - 2 hours
- Route - map and information here
- Weather - a beautiful, sunny morning - we hit the trail by 8am and were home by about 10:30 or 11:00, it was just starting to get toasty on the hike back
The trailhead starts just east of the confluence of the American River, parking is in a lot on the left side of the road right after the bridge and follows the Middle Fork of the American River. I'm glad we left early in the morning because it was already feeling like a very warm day. We hit the trail at about 7:45am.
About 1 1/4 mile up the trail are the remnants of an old limestone quarry and some picnic tables overlooking the river. This would make for a nice, easy family hike, picnic and frolic in the water.
Behind those bars is a cave called Hawver Cave. There were paleontology finds here in the early 1900s but now it's all locked up.
Because of the drought, I wasn't expecting to see so many wildflowers, but they were everywhere.
I think these are "vetch", in the sweet pea family. Probably an invasive weed, but pretty nonetheless.
We spotted four young deer running across the road.
Back at the trailhead, near the Foresthill Bridge. It was a beautiful hike and perfect for a quick morning outing. In the heat of the summer, this wouldn't be my first choice unless you're planning on getting wet in the river. But any other time of year it's great.