Sunday, October 17, 2010

American Canyon Trail

Yesterday morning, faced with the choice of staying home and cleaning the house and mowing the lawn or going on a hike, I found myself doing a last minute check on the local hiking sites to see what hikes were happening.  At 7:05, I RSVP'ed for the American Canyon Trail hike, got dressed, made a quick lunch and protein smoothy, filled my camel pack water bladder, and hopped in the car.  I arrived at the Roseville Park and Ride at 8:05, just 5 minutes late!

There are several other trail options in the area, but we left a car at the Quarry Trailhead on 49 and drove on up to the American Canyon Trail Head.

Directions description from Sacramento TrailMix site:

"Directions: I-80 East, drive 24 miles to the Elm Street exit in Auburn. Turn left at the traffic light onto Elm Street. At the bottom of the hill, turn left again onto High Street. Pass beneath the railroad tracks as you continue downhill on CA 49. Drive 2.3 miles down the winding highway to the confluence, where you follow the highway as it turns right across the American River toward Cool, where in 3 miles, you will turn left onto CA 193 toward Georgetown. Drive 5.6 miles, then turn left onto Sweetwater Trail on the north side, which is opposite of Pilgrim Court on the south. (This turn is before the village of Greenwood.) Your trailhead is on the right, just at that top of the street, before the gates to Auburn Lake Trails. Parking at the trailhead is limited, but you can park on the shoulder back down the road. The trailhead is signed American Canyon Trail – Third Gate."

American Canyon is quite steep, but the trail descends at a comfortable grade into the canyon.  This is about the easiest 11.5 miles there could be, since most of the trail is descending at a comfortable grade.  There is a beautiful little waterfall coming out of two large boulders and emptying into a pool off of Dead Truck Trail.

Coming out of the canyon, the trail opens into a service road that follows the south shore of the American River, passing a large cave and mining ruins back to the Quarry Trailhead.  Would love to see this when there is more water in the Spring, though it would be more difficult then to get the same shot as the one to the left!

American Canyon is the area where a lone jogger was attached and killed a few years ago, so it is prudent to hike in groups and wait until well after dawn and get back before dusk when these cats are most active.

More photos at Picasa:

American Canyon - 10/16/2010