Clavey Bridge Road

Sonora, California

Clavey Bridge Road

Clavey Bridge Road Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The trail leaves FR 14, northeast of Tuolumne, and follows a graded dirt road into Stanislaus National Forest. The Riverside Picnic Area, near the start of the trail, is a pleasant, shady place to stop along the North Fork of the Tuolumne River. The first few miles of the trail pass through parcels of private property within the national forest. Remain on the graded road, ignoring private tracks on the left and right. The long trail passes through an area burned in the Ackersop-Rogge Fire of 1997. However, the area is recovering quickly. Special Attractions: Dramatic shelf road to the Clavey River; Long winding road with a network of side trails to explore; Angling for rainbow trout in the Clavey River. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

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Clavey Bridge Road Trail Trip Reports

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Turlock, CA
Explorer | 30 pts
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
This trail was beautiful as far as we were able to go on it. The USFS has closed the trail at the Wet Meadow area at road 1N17 due to the devastation caused this year (2013) by the Rim Fire. The directions on Route Directions are a bit confusing. Heading east at about mile 2.6 there is a slight track off of the main trail 1N01 with a closed and locked gate controlled by Tribal Police. The directions said to track left this was not possible due to the locked gate. Directions better served to say "continue on graded route; then cross over Duckwall Creek." The next confusing direction is after you cross Hunter Creek Bridge heading east. The track on the left goes for a few hundred feet then dead ends at a primitive campsite. It should read Cross Hunter Creek on bridge: then track on right to continue on 1N01." Otherwise for the most part the directions were correct, as far as we were able to go due to the trail being closed halfway up.
Winter Park, FL
Pathfinder | 112 pts
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
This is a pretty drive through the lower altitude Sierras. We went with a lower drive because we didn't want to get challenged by snow, but it was obvious we could have gone for a much higher trail. Most of the drive was fairly benign with only the western approach to the Clavey River Bridge getting to the tougher side of easy driving. With the exception of a couple side trips, 4WD was not required, though probably would be in wet conditions. A high clearance vehicle is required for the bridge approach. We were unable to complete the full trail as a large tree blocked the road just past the Corral Creek crossing. Picked up a few new scratches in the clear-coat - brush encroaches in numerous places.

What I liked:

- Very remote. After getting onto the trail proper we saw no other people until we were on paved forest roads. For a 30+ mile trail, that's nice.

- The Clavey is a beautiful, fast-running river.

- Nice place to stop at the bridge.

What I didn't like:

- Very limited other places to stop and take in the scenery. Most vistas were from relatively narrow shelf portions of the trail with no nice place to get out.

- For being rated 9 out of 10 for scenery I was a bit disappointed. No doubt some of the views of the Clavey and some of the valleys are grand, but those are few.

- Too much easy driving, few challenges.

All in all, I enjoyed the trail as the first of the year. Would I do it again? I don't know if there is enough to bring me back.
Manteca, CA
Pathfinder | 126 pts
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
It was ironic that the paved road was impassable while the trail was fairly clear. The trail had a boulder that had fallen in the middle of a shelf road and it took a bit of maneuvering to get around it, However FR31 was strewn with boulders and fallen trees. After rescuing a Suburban that was high-centered on one of the fallen trees we decided to return to SR120 via Cherry Lake Road instead of Cottonwood Creek Rd back to Tuolumne. All together we spent five hours on the trail stopping frequently to take in the scenery. It was a very fun trip with great California weather for late March.

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
3.5 hours
April to November, best in dry weather
2,300 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,400 feet
Top Elevation
Stanislaus National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Tuolumne, Duckwall Mountain, Cherry Lake South, Oakdale, Yosemite Valley
Local Maps

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