Western States Trail

(Poverty Bar to Ford’s Bar)

 20 miles from Georgetown. Easy 8 miles R.T.

This trail is great for early Spring wildflowers in March and river access any time of the year. The Western States trail is 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn and a popular endurance race for runners; its held annually nearest the full moon of mid-June. This section is on the Placer side of the river and managed by California State Parks (Auburn State Rec. Area, ASRA).

Directions: From Auburn go east on I-80 to the Foresthill exit a few miles east of Auburn. Follow Foresthill Road to Drivers Flat Road, Go Right. This road is sometimes rough depending on winter rain activity and grading but usually passable with 2 WD cars. Park at the bottom near the river. The upstream trail follows the road while the downstream Poverty Bar trail begins a short ways back up Drivers Flat on the river side of the road.

The trail upstream towards Ford’s Bar (4 miles) follows the road for 1 1/2 miles before it turns to single track beyond a gate. It passes the washed out Greenwood Bridge that failed when Hell Hole dam collapsed Dec. 24, 1964. The bridge was never replaced. The noisy rapids upstream of the bridge site are known as “Ruck-A-Chucky” and are usually too dangerous for boaters to safely run.

The trail is pleasant and usually offers solitude to Ford’s Bar where it continues as a road up 12 miles to Todd Valley. Ford’s Bar was an old mining town with a post office during the gold rush and a daily stage connected it to Todd Valley.

The trail downstream is mostly easy for its 2 miles to Poverty Bar. It offers access to the river along the way and good wildlife and wildflower viewing all year. During the low summer end flows of the river one could cross at shallow Poverty bar and access the Quarry Road/Trail on the opposite side and continue to the confluence with the North Fork American

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