Pickering Bar

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

Hike # 4

Directions to trailhead: Follow I80 to the Gold Run exit. Take an immediate right onto Magra Road, go 0.3 mile (parallel to the freeway), turn left on Garrett Road. Go 1.7 miles and park at the end of the road, near a house and a driveway signed, “No River Access.” Walk down the dirt road ahead and past a green gate. Continue about 1/2 mile further generally east down the dirt road and take the right-hand fork at the “Y”. Continue to the end of this fork to find the beginning of the unsigned footpath.

Trailhead UTM: 10 S 06 85 383 43 35 779

Topographic Map: Dutch Flat 7.5’

Elevation: 3101’ to 1497’ (1960’ total elevation gain)

Distance: 3 miles round trip

Difficulty: Very strenuous

Jurisdiction: BLM

Trail description: The trail trends generally southeast, just east of Sheldon Ravine, until near the river where it turns sharply north. One sees sugar pine and knobcone pine near the trailhead. At about 2750 feet elevation, you come to a rock outcropping known as Chert Point. This is a good place to rest and enjoy outstanding views of the canyon. Iowa Hill is to the west across the canyon, and Giant Gap is up canyon to the east. At about 1800 feet, find a faint trail on the right, which goes to a creek in Sheldon Ravine. This creek was once the source of water ducted along a mining ditch to the main trail, then down the ridgeline. There are spectacular views of Giant Gap from several points along this trail. At riverbank, note the rocks, beautifully sculpted by sediment-laden floods. Pickering Bar is on the opposite side of the river, formed from glacier deposits.

Campsites: One campsite is located near the river.

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