1.4 miles from Foresthill. Moderate 6 miles, round trip. MAP
This little known road used to connect the town of Foresthill to the town of Volcanoville on the other side of the canyon. The road on the other side is known as Josephine Mine Road today. The connection was short-lived however with the construction of a tunnel in the late 1850’s that made the Middle Fork of the American River take a short-cut and thus dry up a lucrative 1 mile of river channel that yielded many, many pounds of gold. That tunnel is known as “Tunnel Chute” to rafters today and is a very exciting start to a classic run on the Middle Fork.
The beginning of Three Queens Road is blocked by private property, but a detour trail on public land gives access to those willing to hike a short steep detour trail from the Mosquito Ridge road.
Directions: As you arrive at Foresthill on Foresthill Road turn R on Mosquito Ridge Road and go 1.4 miles to a turnout just big enough for a couple of cars. It’s right where the canyon view opens up. The trail is hidden in overgrown manzanita.
The trail goes off the side here and drops steeply for less than a quarter mile to the road. Go L and enjoy the views and steady descent towards the river. Sharp eyes might see the complimentary Josephine Mine Road on the other side of the wide canyon. About halfway down you will come to a fork in the road. The left way goes to the Three Queens Mine (private property) which is still active, so go right and continue down to the river.
Note: Apparently the land at the river is a continuously patented mining claim that today is used by a fly fishing company. I’ve never met anyone down there or seen any signs, but I have heard of some fighting over fishing access along the other side of the river along the El Dorado County side.