Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

Visit desovw.org for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Visit Recreation.gov or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations. Visit Campfire Permits to get a permit online. More about Leave No Trace principles.

April 22, 2011

Mossy Rock Trail, 2 mile easy hike, Auburn, CA



Difficulty: Pretty easy, though it is a little workout right at the beginning
Distance:  Less than 2 miles.
Notes:  Trail head is located at the new restroom on the left side of Foresthill Road just East of Highway 49 bridge crossing the river on your right. Free parking at this time although there is talk about fees being required soon. For more info: Stagecoach Trail History . Dogs are allowed on leashes (per a sign at the trail head), and children who like the outdoors could do this hike.  Some of the Mossy Rock Trail would be unsuitable for a stroller due to deep trench like sections eroded from water and use. I haven't used GPS there, but Wikiloc may have tracks for it.
  • There is now a $10 parking fee at the Confluence.
This was expected to be a rainy day hike so I carried my day pack with a waterproof shell and a warmer fleece, just in case.  The Stagecoach Trail, which began climbing uphill toward the giant Foresthill bridge, was wide, weathered, and lined with ferns and wildflowers. 

As I climbed I caught views of the bridge.  It was gratifying to see it at almost eye level! 
I put the hiking poles away and focused on hiking and getting photos. 
The trail "Mossy Rock" took off to the left, narrowing quite a bit,
but intrigued me...almost a deer trail.  Bicycles had obviously used it, even recently.  
The butterflies floated playfully around me,
but I had the hardest time catching them in my camera frame! 
With persistence, I finally captured shots of a couple of them resting and snacking. 
They shimmered and glistened in the sun.  When they rested on the trail, 
they flopped down and spread their wings flat to the ground as if dead!  
But as soon as I got close enough to frame and shoot them, 
off they went, teasingly defiant.
The American River Canyon photographed from the Mossy Rock Trail.
The storm I expected to hamper my hike was visible in the distance. I was hiking in short sleeves.  I had to reset my camera lighting for too much brightness.  The view was rewarding when it opened out into the canyon every so often.

This was a surprising view, caught just between the trees and

shrubs along the trail,

of the old Quarry Bridge crossing the American River

just downstream of the confluence.

 
Rounding a corner another window opened a glimpse of the river rapids.

This bench was placed in remembrance for a person who loved the canyon.  
It makes a nice resting place to just soak in the warmth and views.
This was part of the Mossy Rock Trail, lined with blooms that day, and well shaded.  
There were several small and shallow water crossings along the way.  
A final canyon view and it was back to the car.    I spent three hours there, 
but quite a bit of it chasing butterflies!

Happy Trails and I hope you have a great time!

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