Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail

Auburn, California

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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.

Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running
Nearby City: Auburn
Distance: 4.2
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Spring and fall.
Local Maps: USGS Auburn
Driving Directions: Directions to Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail

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May 2018