Auburn State Recreation Area – Attempt One

Auburn State Recreation Area is a mountain bike destination, which is why Wildlife 4-8 spends so much time there. This time Aspen and I decided to tag along to find an adventure of our own. The idea was to go for a trail run while the guys were mountain biking.

My planned route was off of Hwy 49 by the bridge over the confluence of the north and middle fork of the American River. I wanted to take the Western States Trail and join up with the Pointed Rocks Trail to make a nice loop. That was the plan anyway… The map on my brochure didn’t match the name of the trail signs so with help from fellow hikers I got pointed in the right direction.


1. View from the Western States Trail 2. A hidden gem 3. View from Olmstead Loop Trail (I think) 4. On the Mt. Quarries RR Bridge

The scenery was nice and it was a great day for a trail run. However my run quickly turned into an adventure in dodging poison oak buds and checking Aspen for ticks. At the end of the run we had six ticks between the two of us – gross. To be fair though, that’s below average for a foothill adventure, ticks LOVE Aspen.

Back to the trail though, I took the Western States Trail to the second sign for the Training Hill in hopes that it would hook up with the Pointed Rocks Trail. After going up, up, up I popped out near I sign that pointed me toward Olmstead Loop – bingo! More up, up, up to great views and a nice wide trail that was poison oak free. It was at this point while enjoying a nice overlook I thought, this would be a great place for a geocache, I wonder if there is one around here. I got out my phone and opened the geocaching app – there was one in about a quarter of a mile. I set my sites on it and started jogging again. After a few minutes I realized I was jogging away from the geocache – the opposite direction I thought I was going. Normally I’m pretty good with direction so this was rather perplexing. Getting short on time, I decided not to be adventurous, I turned off the phone, turned around, and went back the way I came making only a partial loop.

In researching for this post I found something comforting – hope that I may have been on the right track for the Pointed Rocks Trail. This is my plan for the next trip, from the trail that follows the American River to the Mt. Quarries RR Bridge, follow the narrow trail up to the left. After the initial accent an unsigned trail cuts off to the right – apparently that’s the one I want. I think that will take me up to where I became perplexed and complete my loop! I had avoided that trail to begin with since it was narrow and unsigned, I figured it was a use trail and not a designated one; however according to this trail description that’s the one I want.

Until we meet again…

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