||Advanced (unrideable in parts)
||2000 ft. to Hell Hole Reservoir
||15 miles out and back to Parsley Bar
20 miles out and back to Hell Hole
||Spring and Fall, some snow in winter and really hot in mid summer
To get There:
marking Trail Head (Click on "More Detail" to see the roads on
Also, the end of the trail is at Hell
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.
Its a couple of fun miles past Auburn to the bottom of the canyon.
This is called the "confluence". Turn right at the intersection at
the bottom of the canyon to stay on highway 49 (you're heading towards
Cool and Georgetown). Take 49 back out of the canyon. 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 25 miles.
You will pass a cool reservoir on the way, stop and take a driving break!
Turn left just before the road turns to gravel. The turn is about
1 mile before "Uncle Tom's Cabin". There is a sign pointing you towards
the Rubicon River (I think). Take this road 5 or 6 miles until you
cross the big bridge across the Rubicon River. Park on the far side
of the bridge in the dirt. There is fire road on the right side of
the paved road on the far side of the bridge ( on the North West side of
the bridge). The trail starts on the left side of the fire
road a few hundred yards down the road.
Watch out, this trail is not heavily used and can be treacherous!
I have a feeling that it washes out pretty often, so be cautious about
those blind corners. This is not the trail to ride alone, there is
rarely anyone on the trail!
Well, there aren't really any intersections, but the trail gets really
difficult to follow in a few spots. Keep your eyes open!
The trail parallels the Rubicon River to Hell Hole Reservoir. I haven't
been all the way to Hell Hole because the trail gets basically unridable
at the end. There might be some good riding at the end, but I decided it
wasn't worth a lot of walking. There are a lot of spots in the trail
that you will have to do some creative bike carrying to get the old velocipede
across washed out areas of the trail. One thing I really enjoyed
about the trail was the variety. There was plenty of sweet smelling
pine forest, a lot of heavy deciduous forest and some small exposed grassy
planes. The single track is equally diverse. There are some
really hard climbs, but nothing impossible. There is smooth fast
single track, and there's also a lot of really rocky technical stuff.
Most people will walk several parts of the trail 'cause its just too hard.
But the best part is the river. The Rubicon River is beautiful.
It is lined with huge brilliant white boulders that can be blinding if
the sun strikes them right. The river is a really clear, which brings
out the white rocks. There are some great opportunities for beautiful
swimming holes, but its cold!
I finally made it back to Elliot's Crossing to finish out the ride to Hell
Hole Reservoir. And what a ride it was. This area is absolutely
spectacular. Hell Hole Reservoir is well worth the ride (and
the walk). Just past Parsley's Bar (7.5 miles), the trail starts
to get pretty thin. The trail basically climbs with the river
until Parsely's, and then breaks from the river and heads North West up
and around Hell Hole Peak (5300 ft) and then down to Hell Hole Reservoir.
It is about 2 miles from Parsley's Bar to Hell Hole, and most riders will
walk a good chunk of those two miles. If you would like to ride to
Hell Hole, you need to be familiar with the area and have a topo map, as
the trail breaks up several times and is hard to follow. About a
mile and a half from Parsley's, the trail becomes completely overgrown
in grass and disappears. It really through me for a loop, the trail
literally runs into a big rock and stops. It picks up again up and
to the left of the rock (look for the yellow USFS markers). I tried
to leave some marker rocks pointing the way. This is apparently the
part of the trail that no one uses. This trail T's into a more well
worn trail (turn up to the right at the T), which leads up to Hell Hole
Peak. The trail will T into a fireroad, turn right. This trail
T's into a paved road, turn right again. Up towards Hell Hole, the
trail is much better worn, and has lots of mountain bike tracks on it.
There must be a loop that people follow from Hell Hole. Anybody know