Stagecoach Trail

Technical Level:    Beginner
Strenuous Level:   Intermediate
Altitude Gain:       Around 800 feet
The Ride:             3 miles one way, 6 miles total
Where:                 Off of Highway 49 a few miles east of Auburn
When:                  All year, but its really hot in the summer

To get There:

 Map marking Trail Head (also marks  Clementine Loop )
Note:  The map marks 49 as Eldorado St., I have no idea where that came from, its just 49.
The trail is on the map!! Its the light line the Stagecoach arrow is pointing to.  Neat-O

The Tunnel on ManzanitaFrom 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 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.  49 turns right and crosses the river at the T intersection.  Go straight (towards Foresthill) at this intersection instead of following 49.  There is dirt parking along side the road immediately after the T.  Park somewhere.  Get ready to ride!!
If you want to start at the top of the trail, take highway 80 Russell Road Exit.  There is a dirt parking area on the right side of the road about a mile from Lincoln.  The trail is at the end of the dirt parking area.



The Ride

Nasty Hill on ManzanitaThis area is known as the confluence because the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American River join here.  This trail follows 49 back up into Auburn and comes out on Russel Road.   The Trail starts on the left hand side of the road just before the Old Forest Hill bridge (North West side of the bridge), most likely right beside where you parked.  The trail starts climbing immediately, and doesn't stop till the top.  It is a hard climb, but you can always walk.  Stagecoach is non-technical.  Just watch your speed on the way down, there are some big drop offs, but the trail is wide so it shouldn't be too hard.

Technical Option:  For some good technical dirt, try Manzinita Trail.  It starts a little ways from the end of Stagecoach and rejoins it besides the bench on Stagecoach.  Ride to the top of Stagecoach, and turn left on Russel (actually the street name changes right there, but I can't remember what its called at that particular point)  when you get to the top.  About 100 yards down the hill, turn left when the road Y's.  Bear right on this road.  In a 1/4 mile it dead ends into Manzanita Trail.  There is a gate at the start of the trail. The picture to the left is on Manzanita, that's a killer spot.  It was one of those moves that I was totally out of control, and somehow pulled it off (almost took a dip in the little creek right underneath this -Yikes!).
Critical Turns:
There's only one turn, but it isn't marked so here you go.  Just after the start and after a really good climb, there is a 160 degree switch back to the left.  A trail goes straight, but you don't want to take that (actually you can, it's kinda interesting but I don't remember if it goes anywhere).  Anyway, turn hard left and head up the trail.  About a mile or so up the trial there is a cool view and a bench to take a break on.  To the left just after the bench is where Manzanita Trail comes out (see above).  Turn around and start down when you hit the dirt parking lot and the road.


The Trail

Its a nice ride for beginners who are in good riding shape.  If your not in shape, this is not the ride for you cause its a killer climb.  Its a fun downhill! Manzanita is especially cool, and very technical.  The 2 photos at the top of the page are from Manzanita.  The picture to the left is the bench mentioned above.  This was taken at the 1996 Muni Weekend (I'm not pictured, I was looking for some keys or something).  This is  a pretty popular trail, so make sure and keep your speed under control.  You never know what's around the next corner.  You can't beat the view here, it is incredible!  I think this is a great novice trails, because it is very un-technical, but it is on dirt, and will provide a challenge to those haven't been lucky enough to beat the dirt a lot.

Trail Details:

Thanks to John Foss, the unicyclone for the pictures!!