Technical Level: Advanced
Strenuous Level: Advanced
Altitude Gain: Lots of options
Lots of options
To get There:
marking Trail Head
From Sacramento: Take Interstate 80 North towards Auburn.
Follow the signs to highway 49 South. You will twist through town,
and its easy to miss a turn, so pay close attention to the signs. At the
edge (literally) of town, 49 drops into the American River Valley.
Its kinda cool, one second you are in the middle of this town, and the
next you're falling off the edge of the earth on a really steep curvy road.
It's a couple really curvy miles past Auburn to the bottom of the canyon.
This is called the "confluence". When you get to the bottom, you
will see the river to your right. Turn right and follow 49 across
the river at the T intersection. Look to your right, and you'll see
"No Hands Bridge".
Follow 49 back up the river canyon. When you get to the top of the
canyon, you will enter Cool. Neat name huh? At the stop sign
in Cool, turn left on 193 towards Georgetown. Take 193 to Georgetown
and turn left on Wentworth Springs road. Note that Wentworth Springs
is labeled as Main Street at the intersection of 193, but it turns into
Wentworth Springs. You may be tempted to take Wentworth Springs from
highway 50, but it is a dirt road and I'm not sure if its maintained.
Anyway, head East on Wentworth Springs for about 5 miles. You want
to turn right the second time you see Balderston road (the road is a loop,
so it hits Wentworth Springs twice). There will be brown forestry
department type sign saying "Mace Mill 1 mile". You want to turn
right here and follow the signs towards Mace Mill staging area. A
couple miles after turning right onto Balderston, take a left twice at
forks in the road (which are both marked for Mace Mill). There is
a sign on the left side of the road marking the Mace Mill staging area.
The trail head is on the left side of the road where there is a break in
the wood fence.
This area is jammed packed with about a million trails. There
are so many trails that it is hard to give directions. Maybe if I
spend some more time on the trails, I will be able to come up with a good
course, but for right now I'll just let you take your own adventure.
I can tell you that I've ridden trail 18 (which crosses the road a couple
miles before the staging area) and it is really cool. You can take
trail 11 from trail 18 which will lead you to Rock Creek road. You
can then take rock creek way up hill, and end up back on Wentworth Springs.
With a lot of turns that I can't remember right now, you can ride up to
the top of Bald Mountain.
Thanks to the FATRAC guys and
the SASS girls for showing
me this trail. That was a great ride!!
All I can say is WOW. There is an incredible amount of great dirt
out there. This is all off road motorcycle trail. The motorcycles
keep the trails nicely groomed and in good condition. For example,
all of the corners in the trails are banked from motorcycles riding on
them. Someone has done an incredible amount of trail work and maintenance
in these trails. The trails are marked with numbers and a rating
-- green, blue and black (similar to skiing). The greens are pretty
easy. The blues are challenging single track. The blacks are
really really nasty. Most riders will have to walk parts of the blacks;
they are pretty hard.
I was a little worried about getting run over by the motocross dudes,
but after dealing with them on the trail I was very impressed. Everybody
we ran across was very courteous and usually stopped to chat with us.
This area apparently closes to off road vehicles when it gets really
wet by putting up a gate on the road that the Mace Mill staging area is
on. I'm not really sure if that applies to bikes, but I'm told (by
an anonymous source) that you can get around the gate if you drive about
a mile past the gate, and then take the trail on the left hand side by
the wood fence. This becomes trail 18, so I'm told.
Have fun, explore a lot, but don't get lost!