Damascus Site

Foresthill Divide Area

Hike # 13

Directions to trailhead: Follow I80 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 11.3 miles, turn left onto Elliot Ranch Road. (Caution; road suitable for 4WD vehicles when the road is wet or snow covered). At 0.5 mile, take the right fork. The trailhead (not signed) is on the right side of the road, 1.1 miles past the fork. Park safely off the road.

Trailhead UTM: 10 S 06 96 051 43 36 482

Topographic Map: Westville 7.5’

Elevation: 4169’ to 3974’ (692’ total elevation gain)

Distance: 3.2 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Jurisdiction: Tahoe National Forest

Trail description: Turn right (south) just before the green gate trailhead to Humbug Canyon. Walk through a stately grove of incense cedars, in a direction roughly parallel to Elliot Ranch Road, back along the way you drove in. The trail at this point is a level road blocked to motorized traffic by several mounds of earth. In about 0.5 mile from the trailhead, an OHV track (for motorized vehicles) comes in from the right. Cross this track and continue on a level grade (do not follow the OHV track downward to the left). Humbug Canyon exposes gold-laden tertiary gravels beneath ancient lava flows in this area. Damascus was a mining village and once supported a post office!

Campsites: Near the trailhead.

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