This very well maintained trail is one of the most popular hiking and biking routes to the North Fork American River, in part because of its easy access from Colfax.
This very well maintained trail is one of the most popular hiking and biking routes to the North Fork American River, in part because of its easy access from Colfax. However, this is a remote trail, and hikers are advised to carry a whistle or hike with a friend. The trail passes through oak, laurel, douglas fir, and huge stands of manzanita. The wildflower displays here are rarely matched elsewhere in ASRA, particularly during April and May. Take plenty of water and use caution, as the trail is hot during summer months and steep at times with narrow passages. Poison Oak can be found along much of the trail.
- Distance 3.2 miles to river
- Approx length of time 1½ hours down, 3 hours up (hiking)
- Difficulty Easy down, moderate up
- Website Stevens Trail
- Best Feature Along the trail is a beautiful cascading waterfall, and shortly thereafter is perhaps the most distinctive landmark on the trail – an immense bed of shale cascading down the mountainside.
Parking is on N. Canyon Way in Colfax. From Auburn, take I-80 east to the 2nd Colfax exit and turn left on the frontage road, N. Canyon Way. Continue 0.6 miles; turn left into a small parking area. Look for “trail” sign marking the trailhead.
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Rich in gold rush nostalgia, and blessed with breathtaking beauty, the Middle Fork of the American winds its way through a deep and remote canyon in the heart of the Mother Lode. Alternately wild and serene, the Middle Fork offers a combination of thrills, excitement and quiet wilderness.