American River Confluence Trails

Location: These trails are located in the American River canyon in Auburn California.
This area is called the Confluence because it's where the Middle and North Forks of the American Rivers come together. This area was to be dammed but so far the rivers have remained free. See the Gold Country Map for general directions to Auburn Ca. Also check out the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail for another Auburn area ride.
Getting to the trailhead: Take the Lincoln Way exit if you are heading east from Sacramento {It's a mile or so past the HWY 49 exit}. Then head west on Lincoln Way and take a left on Russell Rd to the parking lot. If you are coming from east of Auburn take the Russell Exit and just continue across Lincoln Way down Russell Rd. to the parking area. If there is no place to park you can find parking near or on Lincoln Way Rd.
Of course you can also park down the canyon at the confluence. Just take HWY 49 south through Auburn. Parking is at the Old Foresthill Rd. Bridge.

Stagecoach Trail starts at the parking lot off Russell Rd. and drops down to the Old Foresthill Road and Bridge. It's the old stagecoach road. It's a dirt road and has a steady 600-foot drop to the river. Great views as you descend {Picture}.There is a 15 mph sign on it too. Watch for down hillers on the way up. This trail is suitable for all skill levels.
Manzanita Trail starts at the end of Canyon Court and connects with Stagecoach trail. From the parking area take Russell road down the hill and take the first left, which is Canyon Court. It's a short distance to the trailhead. The trail starts at the gate where Canyon Ct. ends. The trail splits after the gate so take a left where the single-track Y's {It's signed}. Follow this and keep to the main trail. There is a creek crossing and great views of the canyon before you join the Stagecoach Trail. This trail is more fun than taking the Stagecoach Trail down the canyon…and its single-track. This trail is suitable for intermediate to advanced riders.
The Upper Stagecoach Trail takes off to the left as you drop down the Stagecoach Trail. This trail connects with the Flood Road Trail and the Mossy Rock Trail. This is a short trail that is fairly flat. This part of the trail is suitable for beginners but the downhill trails it connects with aren't. I like going this way to access the river because the downhill trails are single-track.
The Flood Road Trail is another way to access the confluence trails…although I don't generally drop in from this route. A short trail suitable for intermediate to advanced riders.
Mossy Rock Trail is a fun drop that can get rather muddy in the winter. Use the Upper Stagecoach Trail to access this trail. It's single-track and drops down and connects to the Stagecoach Trail near the river. There is a right you can take which drops you onto Stagecoach trail also, but its more fun to continue on Mossy Creek Trail to Stagecoach Trail.
Tinkers Cut-Off Trail is a short steep section of trail off Stagecoach Trail that is for advanced riders and drops you onto HWY 49. This one's not for the faint of heart, but if you want to get to the Confluence via an E-ticket, take this route!
Clarks Hole Trail starts at the Stagecoach Trail {on the turn before the river} and goes under the bridge and dead ends upstream on the N. American River.
Lake Clementine Trail starts down at the Old Foresthill Road Bridge, or the confluence, and goes upstream on the south side of the N.Fork of the American River. {It's across the bridge from where the Stagecoach Trail ends.} This trail is wide in the beginning ,narrows down to nice singletrack,opens into an old doubletrack, and finally climbs up to the paved Lake Clementine Rd. . There are nice views of the river and lake {Picture}as well as trails dropping down to swimming holes.. There are 3 trails taking off here, keep to the trail on the right and continue up the hill. The official choice loop for many riders is to go thru the gate (Right turn off of the Clementine Rd.) and continue right (a little more uphill ) and get the payoff with the Culvert Trail. (see below)
The Culvert Trail continues to the Old Foresthill Road. Take the uphill right trail from the gate and continue on the single-track.When you level off, sail down a short downhill, the next left turn will be the Culvert Trail.You soon find out why this trail is called the Culvert Trail when you pass through a huge culvert under the Foresthill Road. {Picture}You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but nothing in front of you or under your wheels! A little more sweet single-track brings you to the Old Foresthill Road. Here you will want to cross the Old Foresthill Road and head down the fun little trail on the other side to Mammoth Bar Rd. The Confluence Trail.
The Confluence Trail starts down Mammoth Bar Road a hundred yards or so. Look for it on the right…it should be marked as a trail. The Confluence Trail follows the Middle Fork of the American down to the north side of the confluence where it ends at the Old Foresthill Bridge. This is a great section of single-track with views of the river and trails to access the river, and usually enough technical sections to practice your skills on. Please control your speed and watch for other trail users, especially closer to the bridge.
Foresthill Divide's Loop Connecter Trail: This is a new trail that connects at the top of the pavement section of the Lake Clementine Trail where you cut over to the Culvert Trail. Instead of taking a right continue on the pavement a few more feet and you will see the left onto the Foresthill Divide's Loop Connecter Trail. A fun section of trail that rolls up the ridge paralleling the road but not next to it... very nice. Probably 5 miles. If you ride the from the River Conflunce and do the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail its a good workout. Give yourself 3 to 4 hours. Where you connect with the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail I usually take a right and do the loop on the South side first and come back on the North side. Seems to be less sun in the eyes during a winter ride coming back on the shadyer side.
Different trail routes:
Well for beginners I would recommend that you keep to the Stagecoach Trail. Lake Clementine Trail, Culvert Trail, and Confluence Trail. These trails are for strong beginners and intermediate rider skills.
My favorite route covers most of the single-track trails and is for the intermediate to advanced riders. I like to start at the parking lot on Russell Rd. and drop down to the Manzanita trail, to the Stagecoach Trail. Then I climb up Stagecoach to the Upper Stagecoach Trail.
Take that trail to and drop down the Mossy Creek Trail to the Stagecoach Trail and onto the Old Foresthill Rd. Cross the bridge on the Middle American River and climb up Lake Clementine Trail to the Culvert Trail. At the end of the Culvert trail you cross the Old Foresthill Rd. to Mammoth Bar road and take a right and drop down onto the Confluence Trail. Take the Confluence Trail back to the rivers confluence area {downstream}. Cross the Bridge again and take a right onto Stagecoach Trail. This trail will take you back up the hill to the parking lot on Russell Rd. Whew! That was probably a 16-18 miler with 2500+- ft. of elevation gain!
My newest favorite ride is starting at the river confluence and riding up Lake Clementine Trail to the Foresthill Divide's Loop Connecter Trail, then on to do the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail then back the way you came and finish the ride following my other favorite ride description.
Comments: These river canyons can get rather hot in the summer, but there are swimming holes to cool off in. You can ride year around. I like riding this area when all the higher trails are closed due to rain and snow in the winter months. Look for hikers because there are plenty of's a high use area.
Enjoy,The Fish

Pictures Of The Confluence Area
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