18 miles from Bell Tower. Easy 3 miles, round trip. MAP
When you visit this outpost north of Camino you will probably find it hard to believe what a busy hub of activity took place here. From the turn of the century in 1900 to 1949 over a billion board feet of timber was carried high above and across the South Fork of the American River on a unique cable system operated by the Mich-Cal Lumber Co. The trees were the largest Sugar Pines in the world and located off the Georgetown Divide, southeast around Pino Grande. With a lumber mill, lumber camps, and a narrow gauge railroad system, logging ran from 1891-1951.
There was an early attempt to use the river itself to move logs down to Folsom, but this proved impractical due to low water of summer, and the rocky nature of the gorgeous canyon.
The cable went 2650 feet across and 1200 feet above the river, and had sag of 170 feet from its enormous weight. Today all that remains is the foundations of the north and south points. After a fire destroyed the south tower in 1949, trucks were used to transport the timber and most all lumbering yards scrapped.
Directions: Go east on Highway 50 for 8 miles and take the exit for Camino (54), go Left under the freeway and straight on Carson Road for ½ mile and turn R on Cable Road. Set your odometer to 0. Follow this for 2.8 miles to bear L at Mace Road, at 3.8 miles the pavement ends, follow the main road that stays level and ignore the side roads, at 6.2 miles stay L at FS 11N04Y and level at 7 miles. Park at the locked gate at 8.9 miles.
The trail simply continues as a road beyond the gate. Walk its level grade for 1 ½ miles where you’ll find cement foundations near a sharp left turn in the road. With magnormous views of the river and Slab Creek; spy the other side for the site of the north Cable Point and imagine a ride across the canyon.