13 miles from Auburn Courthouse. Easy-moderate options. MAP
Too bad it cost money these days to access Driver’s Flat Road. Most walkers and hikers aren’t used to paying for exercise, especially on public lands. It’s like having to pay to use your own property. Of course some people argue that the users should pay their own way and that it’s not fair for taxpayers to contribute to parks they don’t use. But on the other foot, I don’t think public land should be reserved for people with money.
Save money—ride a bike—poor people won’t be able to afford a car anyway. Actually if you’ve priced bicycles lately—they won’t even be able to afford bikes much longer! Guess we can always walk in, it only adds 6 steep miles to your access here. Let me get off my soap box and get on with business.
Directions: Take I-80 east to Foresthill/Auburn Ravine exit in 3 miles, go another 7.6 miles to turn right on Driver’s Flat Road, pay your $10 if you can afford it, and continue 3 miles down the rough road to the river. Parking will be determined by which way you wish to hike.
The trails go up and down the river. Just back up the road is the trailhead for the Poverty Bar trail, an easy stroll going downstream for a couple miles to Poverty Bar (at Poverty Bar you can wade the river if it isn’t running too deep and hike all the way to the confluence on the Quarry Road).
The upstream trail is along the river on the road for a couple miles which turns to trail all the way to Ford’s Bar (3 miles O.W.) where the trail climbs away from the river to reach Todd Valley estates or you could continue on to Foresthill if you’re feeling frisky (this section is part of the WST).
Rucky-Chuck is a highlight upstream, an un-runnable rapid that has to be portaged by boaters, you’ll surely recognize it by its sound.