Beacroft Trail

(North Fork American River {N.Fk.Am.R.})

Hike # 10

Directions to trailhead: Follow I-80 to Auburn and take the Foresthill Rd. exit. Drive 17 miles to the Mosquito Ridge Rd. junction (on the right). Set trip meter to 0.0 and continue straight on Foresthill Rd. At 20.5 miles, turn left into the signed trailhead area.

Trailhead UTM: 10 S 07 10 181 43 41 114

Topographic Map: Duncan Peak 7.5’

Elevation: 5452’ to 2869’ (2681’ total elevation gain)

Distance: 5.4 miles round trip

Difficulty: Very strenuous

Jurisdiction: Tahoe National Forest

Trail description: “Harsh mistress, seductress gold lured Beacroft half-mile toward hell.” The challenge of this hike is rewarded many-fold. There are old “candle stick” trail blazes, and a pleasant natural spring. This is a steep-slope trail, mostly well-shaded and north-facing but with some sun exposure. Near the trailhead, you will cross an historic water ditch (the Iowa Hill Ditch) that once was the life-blood for mines in the area, and part of a 40 miles-long ditch system that stretched as far as Iowa Hill. Care! At the ditch, the trail jogs to the left several yards, then continues downhill. The trail affords inspiring views of the Wild and Scenic N.Fk.Am.R. and its 3000’ canyon walls. A nice 9.7-mile one-way semi-loop day hike is from the Beacroft Trailhead, then downstream on the N.Fk.Am.R. Trail, then up to the Mumford Bar Trailhead.

Campsites: Many near the river, upstream and downstream.


3 Responses to Beacroft Trail

  1. Stephen Johnstone says:

    I tried on the weekend to find this trailhead, with no luck. It is definitely not signed from Foresthill Road. Not sure if the signage got destroyed in the fires, perhaps. And I couldn’t get to the Sailor Flat trailhead without a good 4WD or even ATV. Ended up doing Italian Bar trail which is well signed and a tough 3,000 foot drop, providing a real workout. I would recommend this alternative, as its trailhead is both well signed and not too hard to reach. And even on a summer weekend I had it all to myself.


    • Thanks for the update, Stephen!


    • Phillip says:

      Last year, i hiked down mumford trail and went north on the north fork trail looking for the beacroft from the canyon. Came across some hikers also looking for it but no luck. I ended up bushwacking up the canyon starting where I thought the trail should be hoping to come across it. Never did. On the way up I did find a survey marker with wonderful markings showing I was over a mile west of where the top of beacroft should be. Made my way eastward along the old Iowa Hill ditch and finally found beacroft as it crossed the old ditch. Followed the trail south, towards foresthill road. Last year in May the sign for this trail was visible on the road. I haven’t been on that road for a while. The trail turnout is popular for shooting guns, about 2 miles east of road 13 (American Hill road).


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