There are many trails between the Middle
Fork and Sliger Mine Road. Start at Quarry Road, Hwy. 49 at the quarry,
Sliger Mine Road, or the roads on the Georgetown Divide east of Cool.
The trail from Applegate to Upper Clementine
Lake is unmarked and seldom used. It is the only trail access to the north
side of the canyon at Clementine Lake and the lower North Fork.
Take I-80 to the Applegate exit. Go
downhill until you get to the "T," where you turn left on Applegate Road.
Turn right on Boole Road after the railroad underpass. Travel 1.7 more
miles to Cerro Torre Lane on the left. Go uphill less than a tenth of a
mile to until you get to a wide spot on the left. The trail angles to the
Until the 1980's, the trail was used
by 4-wheel-drive vehicles. This trail comes out on the gravel bar just
across the North Fork and upstream from the popular beach area at Upper
The water is very warm in summer. When
the Upper Clementine Road is closed, this trail and the road provide the
only route crossing of the North Fork between Ponderosa Way and Foresthill
Road. There is no bridge, however, and the ford should be made only at
low flow. The trip across the canyon takes about half a day. Camping is
sometimes open at Upper Clementine, except after floods. Boat-in camping
on the upper end of the lake is by reservation only, with access from Clementine
This is one of the best hiking trails.
Take Hwy. 193 east from Highway 49 at
Cool. Turn left on Sliger Mine Road (surface will become dirt.) About 1/4
mile past the park boundary sign, there is a road to the left and a 'No
Bikes' sign on the right. The trail goes uphill to the right, then switches
back several times. It levels out on the grade of an abandoned ditch. This
trail gives great views of the Middle Fork at Ruck-a-Chucky and the Sierras
beyond. There is an open mine shaft next to the trail, easy to miss if
you walk fast. Several other trails branch off as the trail goes all the
way to Canyon Creek, perhaps 10 miles each way. The trail is posted against
bikes. This is a great place to see north-slope trees and flowers in the
foothills. Fill water bottles at any of the rivulets.
The Middle Fork is featured by the
trail to Ford's Bar, about 4.5 hiking miles from the end of Driver's Flat
Road. The trail goes past Ruck-a-Chucky rapid, then an offshoot goes down
to the river. The main route may be easy to miss. Ford's Bar is a pleasant
bend with a beach. There are a few muddy spots and small creek crossings.
The river is a bit cold for much swimming,
but large trout lurk in deep channels.
Take Foresthill Road east from Auburn.
Turn right on Driver's Flat Road. Stay to the left. Pass the camping area
and raft access point. Park at the narrow turnaround or further back. The
trail is a gentle for the first mile to Ruck-a-Chucky, then cuts to the
left off the roadbed.
This road, part of what once was Ponderosa
Way, which traversed the Northern Sierra Foothills, was closed to
vehicles in the 1980's by the US Bureau of Reclamation. The road is paved
and connects the Middle Fork at Driver's Flat Road to the Foresthill Divide,
following pretty Gas Canyon. This road is now a somewhat eroded trail suitable
for non-motorized use only.
Take Foresthill Road east from Auburn,
turn right on Spring Garden Road. Stay to the right. Park on the side of
the road near the gate, being careful to avoid the ruts. Ignore the 'Road
Closed' signs on this public property.
California Department of Parks
American River District
7806 Folsom-Auburn Rd. ~ Folsom, CA
Auburn State Recreation Area
California Department of Parks and
Box 3266 ~ Auburn, CA 95604