This ride in the Auburn Ravine includes all of the major trails on both sides of the ravine plus the connector trail and the Foresthill Divide Loop. This ride is for people who are in excellent physical condition. The ride can either start at the trailhead on Russell Road or down in the Confluence Area on Old Foresthill road. The only difference between the rides is whether you start with the Stagecoach Climb or end with it. I prefer ending the ride with a downhill so usually start in the Confluence Area.
Note: I don't recommend riding this route in the heat of the summer, while most of the Auburn Trails are decently shady this route includes the Fuelbreak Trail which has some steep sections of trail. It's brutal any time of year but during the summer there is no shade at all on the section which makes it doubly brutal. You have been warned. The _Triple Loop_ has just as much mileage but a touch less singletrack and a lot less suffering.
Starting From the Top
Take I-80 East from Sacramento to Auburn, exit on Lincoln, and turn right. Turn left almost immediately onto Russell Road and it will wind downhill (careful it's a 1 lane road) for about a half mile. You will see a dirt parking area on the left, park there. If you want to take Manzanita then DON'T take the Stagecoach trail at this point. Get on your bike and go down Russell road. Russell Road Y's after a short distance, go left and the road will dead end into the trailhead. After getting onto the trail you want to take a left onto the singletrack trail.
Starting From the Bottom
Take I-80 East from Sacramento to Auburn and turn off on the Hiway 49 exit. Carefully follow the signs to Hiway 49 South. Follow Hiway 49 into the Ravine until 49 turns right across the American River. At this point continue straight for another ~1/2 mile and start looking for parking. This area is the confluence of the North and South Forks of the American River. The road will shortly cross the North Fork of the river. The trailhead is on the West bank of the North Fork American River. If you start at the bottom and want to ride Manzanita ride to the top trailhead and follow the instructions above to take Manzanita.
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If you start the ride in the Confluence Area you will start by going up the Stagecoach Road climb. If you are in the ravine looking at the Foresthill Bridge (The big Green one) it's on the left side of the river tucked behind the porto potty. Take the fireroad up, it's a touch steep in the beginning but mellows out after the switchback. The fireroad is about 2-3 miles long and ends at the Russell Road trailhead.
Photo: Creek Crossing on Manzanita Trail
From the Russell Road trailhead you will head (left) down the pavement along Russell Road till the road forks. Take the left fork and follow it until you hit a green gate. Keep going and look for some singletrack on the left hand side. This is Manzanita trail, a fun little rocky/ rooted run though manzanita. There are some fun sections here, stay on the main trail all the way until you hit Stagecoach Road.
Photo: Dan'ger near the end of Manzanita in the Springtime
At Stagecoach road turn left (uphill) and you will climb for some time. Near the top of the climb you will see a trail on the right with a fairly conspicuous sign for "Upper Stagecoach Trail". Take Upper Stagecoach across the face of the mountain for about a mile until you see a trail going off to the right.
Photo: Fred-da-Trog near the end of Manzanita Trail overlooking the Confluence Area.
The trail to the right is Flood Trail, it's a rutted out chute that doubles as a creek in the winter time. Be careful and have fun but don't miss the turnoff on the lefthand side of the trail for Mossy Rock trail.
Mossy rock is a sort of hidden gem in Auburn. It's a skinny little singletrack that gets very little use. It's not super technical but it's a lot of fun and includes some bits that will challenge a lot of folks. Enjoy this trail because suffering is coming soon.
Photo: A group heading up the steeper-than-it-looks climb on Mossy Rock
Mossy Rock dumps you out into a small clearing with some cool views of the ravine and the Foresthill bridge. After enjoying the views take the fireroad immediately to the left of where Mossy rock put you out into the clearing. It's easy to recognize, it's the one that goes straight up the hill.
Photo: The view from the end of Mossy Rock