Quarry Trail

Auburn State Recreational Area, California

Distance5.6mi
Elevation Gain2,386ft
Trailhead Elevation656ft
Top861ft
Elevation Min/Max577/861ft
Elevation Start/End656/656ft

Quarry Trail

Quarry Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in El Dorado County, California. It is within Auburn State Recreational Area. It is 5.6 miles long and begins at 656 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,386 feet. Near the trailhead there are parking and an information map. The Memorial Wall and Scale Wall cliffs, the Hawver Cave Gate A cave entrance, and the Cave Valley Limestone information board can be seen along the trail. There are also picnic sites and restroom along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Browns Bar Trail and Maine Bar Trail.

Quarry Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Sacramento (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jordan Summers
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"Quarry Road Trail is the easiest of walks—for the first 2 miles. Just by adding an idyllic destination, you can turn this simple walk into a challenging adventure. The falls and pool hidden away on American Canyon Creek are worth every step you take along this historic mining trail. Your hike starts at the green gate, followed by signs indicating distances to various locations and facilities along the trail. You’ll find picnic tables at 0.2, 0.6, and 1.2 miles into the hike, as well as pit toilets and trash receptacles at the first and last of these." Read more
Hiking The Sierra Nevada (Falcon Guides)
Barry Parr
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"The scenery along the lower American River Middle Fork’s canyon is not always pretty, but it has a rough-and-tumble kind of charisma borne of its gold rush legacy. Preserved today as part of the Auburn State Recreation Area, the Middle Fork of the American River’s lower canyon is undergoing a transformation nearly as dramatic as the changes brought by the forty-niners, but this time in reverse. In the 1850s thousands of gold miners worked rich placers along this river, building flumes and diverting channels. Into the twentieth century, hundreds of quarrymen worked the canyon, gouging out a mountainside and trucking out the rocks along what now serves as the Quarry Road Trail. The forty-niners are long gone, their encampments existing only as names to mark a particular bend or shoal in the river. The quarrymen have also departed—moved farther up the hill, actually—leaving the scarred mountainside, and our trail." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Sacramento (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo-Chourre
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"The abandoned bed of the Mountain Quarry Railroad rolls across the historic No Hands Bridge and then follows the American River downstream through a lovely stretch of canyon. Abundant riches typical of California’s Mother Lode surround this easy route—not riches that can be mined from mountainsides or sifted from river bottoms, mind you, but the wealth of a wildland journey through the steep-walled American River canyon. The Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail lies on the bed of a historic rail line that once linked a limestone quarry on the Middle Fork American River with the town of Auburn and Southern Pacific tracks that continued to Sacramento. The rail trail includes passage over the No Hands Bridge, so named, according to local trail experts, because for many years it didn’t have guardrails (now it does). Once the longest concrete bridge of its kind in the world, the scenic bridge survived the collapse of the Hell Hole Dam in 1964, Additional information: Trailhead amenities are minimal." Read more
"The trail that rides on the abandoned bed of the Mountain Quarry Railroad rolls across the historic No Hands Bridge below the confluence of the Middle Fork and North Fork American River, then follows the river downstream through a lovely stretch of canyon. The modern riches typical of California’s gold country surround this easy route. They can’t be mined from mountainsides or sifted from river bottoms, but consist instead of self-propelled travel through rugged canyon country awash in sunshine and watered by a rushing river." Read more
Best Hikes Near Sacramento (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo- Chourre
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"The abandoned bed of the Mountain Quarry Railroad rolls across the historic No Hands Bridge below the confluence of the middle and north forks of the American River, then follows the river downstream through a lovely stretch of canyon." Read more

Quarry Trail Reviews

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5/3/2009
This traill is very wide and not very technical. The scenery is beautiful and there are a lot of interesting things to see along the way. The ups and downs are aerobically challenging if you do it when muddy!!!
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8/12/2007
It was a nice beginner trail, nothing real technical. Just what I needed. Haven't done too many trails yet to have experience to compare but overall this trail was fun. I have a 10 year old that had a tough time getting up the hills. It's a beautiful ride as it follows the river.
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5/13/2007
This is a nice easy trail with picnic benches along the way. My wife and two kids, ages 10 months and 4yrs made it easily to the Quarry site which has river access and approx. 4 picnic tables. The trail is friendly to jogging strollers and has some shade along the way. It was an enjoyable afternoon.
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3/20/2007
I give this trail a four-star rating largely because of some great views of white water on the Middle Fork of the American River. About 1.5 miles out, you will hear white water below you but might not see it. Watch for some large rocks about half hidden on your left (outbound). About 20 yards off the trail and after climbing the rocks and over a dead tree, you will get a spectacular view of a narrow stretch with great rapids almost directly below you. At about 1 mile out you pass a picnic area at the site of limestone mine. Stop and take a closer look and read the history of the site. The mine ceased operation in 1942 when the steel track and locomotive and such was needed for the war effort. Also read about all the ways limestone is used (including in some of the foods we eat). This is an easy trail and probably popular with families on mountain bikes on weekends (most of the route along the river is wide and smooth). The parking area for this trail is on your left (southbound) about 1/4 mile south of the bridge where Hsy 49 crosses the American River (below the confluence of the Middle and North Forks. It's not on any map I've seen and is easily overlooked even as you drive by it. There are four or five trails
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Quarry Trail Photos

Trail Information

Auburn State Recreational Area
Nearby City
Auburn State Recreational Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Auburn State Recreation Area, 501 El Dorado St., Auburn 95603-4949; (530) 885-4527; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502
Local Contacts
USGS Auburn CA; Auburn State Recreation Area brochure available at recreation headquarters on CA 49 and online at www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502 Note: In some resources the trail is known as the Railroad Bed Section of the Western States Trail.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018