Elliot's Crossing

Technical Level: Advanced (unrideable in parts)
Strenuous Level:  Intermediate plus
Altitude Gain: 2000 ft. to Hell Hole Reservoir
The Ride: 15 miles out and back to Parsley Bar
20 miles out and back to Hell Hole
Where:  Near Georgetown
When: Spring and Fall, some snow in winter and really hot in mid summer

To get There:

 Map marking Trail Head  (Click on "More Detail" to see the roads on the map)
Also, the end of the trail is at Hell Hole Reservoir

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.

The Ride

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!
Critical Turns:
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

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 about this???

Trail Details:

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