Lake Clementine Trail

Sacramento + Davis Metro Area, California

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Lake Clementine Trail


  • The beginning of the Lake Clementine Trail.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • The North Fork of the American River below the Lake Clementine Trail.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • Wonderful fall foilage on the Lake Clementine Trail.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • The North Fork Dam that creates Lake Clementine.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • Lake Clementine.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • A portion of the trail that was once a stagecoach route.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • A view of the Foresthill Bridge.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • The trail passes spots that are perfect for summer swimming.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • A narrow section of the Lake Clementine trail.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • The Lake Clementine Trail parking area and new facilities.- Lake Clementine Trail
  • - Lake Clementine Trail
Overview + Weather
Great views. Swimming holes. Dog friendly. Historically significant.
Crowded. Hard to find parking. Dusty.
Sacramento + Davis Metro Area, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
347.00 ft (105.77 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
0.00 mi (0.00 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
578.00 ft (176.17 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Running along the North Fork of the American River, the Lake Clementine Trail proceeds directly under the Foresthill Bridge and ends at the North Fork Dam that creates Lake Clementine. The dam was constructed in 1938 by the Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate the sediment generated by hydraulic mining operations upstream. Today the lake is used mainly for recreation, and in the warmer months you will often see kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders cruising the clear waters. The Foresthill Bridge is the highest bridge in California, the fourth highest in the United States, and ninth the highest in the world; it has also appeared in several films.

The large, concrete ruins from an old Steel Bridge that was used between 1911 and 1955 can be seen within the first quarter mile. You'll also encounter Clark's Hole, a popular local swimming area in hot summer months that offers a little cliff jumping and a sandy beach for relaxing. Roughly a mile down the trail you will notice large rock abutments that are the last remains of a toll bridge used between 1852 and 1875.  Crossing the wood covered bridge cost 6 cents per cow, 50 cents for a horsemen, and a dollar for a wagon and two horses. The last section of trail was originally used during the late 19th century as a stagecoach route connecting the city of Auburn with the Gold Rush camps located along the river.

Numerous chestnuts trees, oaks, madrones, and white alder acorns root in the hillside, and the trail weaves through manzanita, lupine, star thistle, California poppy, and larkspur. Throughout you will see plenty of squirrels and birds.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(17 within a 30 mile radius)

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