Foresthill Divide Loop – Auburn State Recreation Area (Please note – although horses are allowed on this trail, it is dominated by mountain bikes)
Location: approx 6-9 miles east of Auburn on Foresthill Rd (mileage depends on which staging area you go to)
(map is intersection of Foresthill Rd and Drivers Flat Rd)
Phone: Auburn State Recreation Area main # 530-885-4527
Web Site: Auburn State Recreation Area http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502
Directions: Off Hwy 80 in Auburn – exit Foresthill exit, proceed east towards Foresthill. West trail-head is located 3.5 miles east of the Foresthill Bridge on the right. The east trail-head is located 7 miles east of the Foresthill Bridge on the left.
Staging areas: There are 3 staging areas – the first is the west trail-head – known as the Grizzly Bear House turnout. It is located 3.5 miles east of the Foresthill Bridge on the right. It is a smaller parking area, when not crowded can handle a few rigs. It is located on pavement just off the road (a large turnout area). It can be crowded with cars for hikers and bicycle riders especially on a weekend. Staging at this area will add 1 mile to the overall loop.
The second staging area is Trail-head East 7 miles east of the Foresthill Bridge, located on the left, just past Drivers Flat Rd. This staging area is also located on the pavement in a large turnout area just off the main rd and can be crowded on weekends but can accommodate many more cars and rigs than the Grizzly Bear House turnout. USE CAUTION as you will be unloading in an area that is just off Foresthill Rd where vehicles travel at 55+ mph.
The 3rd staging area is located down Drivers Flat Rd - road turns into gravel road and is somewhat rutted. Short drive to the staging area. The staging area is small and can accommodate a few rigs.
Please note that rafting companies also use this road during the summer.
Dogs: allowed on a leash
Trails: The main loop is 8.2 miles starting from the Trail-head East. The trail is easy to moderate, mainly single track with a few areas that are wider. The trail is fairly well marked. Caution -The loop is mainly dominated by mountain bikes so horseback riders need to be very aware of bikes coming up behind them or towards them – sometimes the bicyclists are going very fast and some ring bells as they come up behind you. FYI - the bike riders tend to ride counter clockwise on the trail. Weekends are busier then weekdays. USE CAUTION if riding the full loop as you will have to cross Foresthill Rd 2 times and traffic is moving at 55+ mph. Visibility is so-so because of the curves in the road. Lots of poison oak along the trail. There are some wonderful views from the trail.
Water: water is available; there is also a hose (at least at Trail Head East)
Restroom facilities: Porta-potty at all 3 staging areas
Other info: Trails are mainly dominated by mountain bikes, they tend to ride the trail counter clockwise. Trails are narrow in many of the places so passing can get a bit tricky.
Fees: $10 day use pass for all parking including trail head west or east, which are alongside Foresthill Rd, and for Drivers Flat staging area (there is a yearly pass you can purchase , the Poppy pass is $125 for a year. The passes will work at many of the State parks - each type of pass comes with a list when purchased. Passes can be purchased at a state park ranger office or on line and are good for 1 year from month of purchase .)
See “trail pictures” tab located to the left of this page for photos and more information.
Print this page to take with you for reference.
Friendly reminder, be smart, do not leave any valuables in your vehicle.