Friday, November 10, 2017

Quarry Trail

Near: Auburn
Trip Type: Day Hike
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation: 500 - 700 feet
Vegetation: Scrub and deciduous forest
Last Visit: 11/5/17

The Middle Fork American River from the Quarry Trail.

Lori's coming back from an injury and we're keeping steep climbs to a minimum on our hikes lately.  We decided this would be a good time to check out some of the trails along the American River near Auburn.  We followed the Quarry Trail up the Middle Fork American River from near its confluence with the North Fork American River.  We went about 4 miles up near Brown's Bar, but you can continue as far as Poverty Bar (5 miles up) keeping close to the river at the base of a deep canyon.   The first mile is extremely flat and wide.  After that the road is more rolling and progressively deteriorates into single track.  Along the way you pass some remnants of an old limestone mine, now a popular climbing spot.  A great light hike on a cool autumn day. 

Rules and Regulations

The Quarry Trial is in the Auburn State Recreation Area.  Dogs are allowed on trails, but a leash is required.  Horses and bikes are also allowed on this trail.  Camping is allowed only in designated areas, including a couple of first-come, first-served primitive campgrounds near the river, but neither of those are along this route.  Panning for gold is allowed here, if you should get the itch.


We started at the Quarry Trail parking area on California highway 49.  The parking area comes up quickly on your left after crossing the American River from the north.  There is a $10 fee at the self-pay station.  There are some basic bathrooms, but no water.


Pretty straightforward trail along the River.  

Caltopo map:

Pay attention to the river if you go down to the water.  The trail is mostly many feet above the water and well safe of normal flow, however.

If you're looking for any of these trail junctions take note of the coordinates at the start, the route is mostly unsigned.  Some of these trails listed here have "no bikes" signs, but no label as to what trail you've reached.

The lower part of the quarry trail.

Ruins from old mining operations about a mile in.  Make sure to check out the BACK side of the signs in the picnic area below them for a bunch of fun history on the mines.  The trail heads up hill behind them.

Old mine entrance.  Just before this point a road forks off and uphill to the right while the main route continues left up river.  Following that fork will take you to the old quarry area that is now a popular climbing spot.  We didn't head that way because we were avoiding unnecessary climbs, but it sounds like a fun spot to check out.

She turned me into a NEWT!

Texas Bar. I think.  There are a lot of bars.

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