The Clementine Loop is a great local route that bobs and winds through patches of oak woodlands and grassy hillsides. The majority of this ride is either a climb or a descent and will leave the more physically fit wanting more. If that's the case take the Clementine Trail back up and around again.
The trail starts as a 2 mile downhill, into the Auburn Ravine. A nice, wide, fire-road, it is used by hiker's as well, so have some respect, because the posted speed limit is enforced at 15mph.
Near the end of the trail is a hard right that'll take you down to Old Foresthill Road. Head left over the bridge, and immediately after crossing the bridge, you'll find the Clementine Trail on the left.
Continue along the North Fork of the American River, with the "New" Foresthill bridge looming above. Stay on the trail as it parallels the river, until you climb to a paved road. This is Lake Clementine Road, which will take you up for roughly 4 miles, to the Fire Break Trail/Culvert Trail.
Look for a metal gate and large rocks to the right, this will be the trail-head for Fire Break/Culvert trails. Go through the opening in the rocks and proceed up the climb to the right. The trail will start descending... Be sure you take the first defined trail to the left. Careful... This down-hill gets technical in spots.
Now you're heading down towards Old Foresthill Road which you will cross and ride into Mammoth Bar OHV Park. Follow the paved road downhill for 0.5 miles, to the trail-head on the right. This is the most technical section of the ride with many rocks, exposed cliff-sides, trees and roots.
Follow this trail, along the Middle Fork of the American River, back to Old Foresthill Road. Take a left onto the road and cross the bridge that you crossed at the start of the loop. To complete the loop, just climb back up to your car at the top of Stagecoach.
The Five Trails Of The Clementine Loop...
Stagecoach - A 3-mile beginner-intermediate, down-hill fire road, running from Russell Road (Off of Lincoln Way, in Auburn) to the 'Old Foresthill Road Bridge', on the North Fork of the American River. Cross the bridge, to hook up with the Clementine Trail on the left.
Old Lake Clementine Road Trail - Begins where the Auburn-Foresthill road crosses the North Fork of the American River. It runs northeast, alongside the North Fork, for roughly 4 miles, until reaching Lake Clementine Road. Photo!
Lake Clementine Road - At the end of the Clementine Trail, you'll hit this 3-mile paved climb to the Culvert trail.
Fire Break Trail/Culvert Trail - Runs from Lake Clementine Road to the Auburn-Foresthill Road, via the Culvert Trail and into Mammoth Bar.
Confluence Trail - For Advanced Riders! This trail begins off Old Foresthill Road (Northeast of Auburn), out of the Mammoth Bar OHV Area. It runs southwest back towards the Old Foresthill Road Bridge, for 2.5 miles, following the northern side of the canyon that is formed by the Middle Fork of the American River. Photo!
This loop has some beginner level riding but is mostly Intermediate, with some Advanced sections. The climb up Clementine Road is a rough one for beginners, but doable. Just hang in there... After all, it's only pavement!
Your only other climb is up Stagecoach and back to the car which after you get past the lower slightly technical section, it's just a long, gradual, scenic climb.
The second most technical trail is the Fire Break/Culvert Trail. If you like to "catch air" there are several fun jumps down this. Make sure you stay in the middle while riding through the tunnel, it's dark in there but safe as long as you don't get to close to the sides.
Be cautious on the Confluence Trail, it's quite technical and there is not much room for mistakes. You'll be 30 feet below in the river if you mess up!
Location: East of Sacramento, in Auburn, CA
Distance: 11 miles
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous, moderately technical
Skill Level: Intermediate / advanced
Elevation: 1000' gain / loss
Ride Type: Loop
Trail Type: Single track & fire roads
How To Get There:
From I-80, take the Elm Street exit and head toward Hwy. 49 South. Turn left onto Lincoln Way and then proceed north to Russell Road. Make a right and stay on Russell Road, until the road makes a hard turn to the right. You'll find the trail-head, on the left, out of what looks to be a small dirt turnout.