Clydesdale Trail

36 miles from Georgetown. Moderate 6 miles, round trip.                           MAP

FS 12EO6 Devil Peak Quad sec 12 and 13 near Zuver

Trail connects Blacksmith Flat mine site along Ralston Ridge Road (12N55) to the mining site of Zuver below Nevada Point Ridge. This old trail crosses footbridges over Long Canyon and Wallace Creek. Between the two bridges the trail is now under logging roads. Zuver is the largest hydraulic mining site in El Dorado County. This trail makes a good connection between Nevada Point and Ralston Ridges allowing hikers and equestrians an alternative to riding on Eleven Pines Road.

Back during the heyday of hydraulic mining entire hillsides were blasted away to loosen gold from under the ancient tertiary river courses that once ran north and south, crisscrossing the present east/west running river channels. This destructive practice ended after the city of Marysville filed a lawsuit in 1884 (Sawyer Decision) against the operation at Malakoff Diggins.

This trail connected Ralston Ridge with Nevada Point Ridge by crossing both Long and South Wallace Canyons near numerous old hydraulic mines sites, such as Zuver and Clydesdale.

Directions: Take Wentworth Springs Rd. 23 miles and turn L on Eleven Pines Road (FS 2). Drive 10 miles across the Rubicon River Canyon to turn L on Nevada Point Ridge Rd. (12N41). Go approx. 3 miles to turn R on the road to Zuver (12N46) The trailhead is at the end of this road at a log landing.

The trail starts on the back side of a large log at the end of the road and winds down the Wallace Creek canyon side to cross a green footbridge before climbing back up to the Clydesdale mine site (open pit on the left). The trail then becomes a dirt road that climbs a short way before leveling out. Several other logging spurs intersect but stay on the road straight ahead. Just before our main road turns right you want to follow the logging road that goes L and drops down into Long Canyon. As you approach the creek watch for the old trail taking off on the right, it takes you down to a damaged bridge that crosses Long Canyon creek. The trail continues up for another mile to a logging road (FS 14N25B) just east of Blacksmith Flat.

Blacksmith Flat is the site of another old hydraulic mine. One could of course park near Blacksmith Flat and hike the trail in the opposite direction, this just entails a longer drive from Georgetown. Zuver is by far the largest mining site in this area and once supported a small community. Fun to explore.

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