“A nice trail along the North Fork American River near Alta, CA.”
— Sean Villagracia
River/Creek · Swimming
This is the shortest of the nine access trails into the North Fork American River Canyon, and the only one with a bridge over the river. It can be done either as an out-and-back trail to the bridge, or a rim-to-rim trail via Dorer Ranch Road, where it passes some old mining equipment.
From Casa Loma Road, the trail descends a very steep grade for the first mile. After this, it crosses the North Fork American river and follows a fairly level grade all the way to its end.
It's an amazing run that's great for when you not only want to totally escape from the city but when you also seek a challenge. The trail features great views of the foothills near the start, a bridge, and access to the river down at the bottom. There is also an area in the water to go swimming that isn't moving so fast and rocks to hang out on. The water is clear and absolutely gorgeous.
The trail is surrounded by the lush green vegetation of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Keep in mind that the beginning/end of the trail is quite steep, so some conditioning is key here.