Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

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

May 13, 2011

Western States Trail from Confluence to Auburn

DIRECTIONS:Park after you cross the highway 49 bridge (toward Cool) on the West side, preferably backed in at a 45 degree angle for ease in exiting and as a courtesy making room for more cars to park. (Other parking areas are fee based.) The trail head is right there after crossing the bridge, the traditional green forestry gate, 150.
TOTAL MILES: 1+   Hike up the small hill and you'll come to a junction to either head toward the Training Hill and Cool, or toward Auburn, crossing the old quarry bridge. For this hike, cross the bridge and take in the canyon views.
It's a nice hike in part due to the spaces alternating between long open sunny views and shady areas,
like this one, to cool down! This was one of several very small creek crossings.
Another virtue of this hike for me is the rolling ups and downs, making it more interesting terrain, but easy enough for folks transferring their city walks into woodsy hikes. 
These are built in "stairs" that make downhill footing easier.
Opening up to the canyon, there are some excellent wide spots, great for resting areas, and getting photos of the river and canyon, not to mention wildflowers, and when you're lucky, wildlife!
An especially comfortable place to enjoy the shade, peace, and avoiding ants in your pants!
I found mounds of these blooms (hip height bushes) with bees buzzing all over the place, but couldn't get a focused shot of bees to save myself. I quit after numerous tries, but still, the blooms are colorful and fanciful.
An uphill side trail. The lavender blooming bushes are to the right.
An interesting outcropping.
The well known Foresthill bridge and the Quarry Bridge on the way back to the car.
Gorgeous blooms hanging alongside the trail on tall bushes.
Crossing the bridge on the way back to the traditional "Holy Grail"...the car!

My final pleasure on the hike was capturing photos of this butterfly snacking.
Hike as far as you choose or as little.  Take water and sunscreen, sunglasses, and start early on warm days.

Related Articles:
ASRA ~ Auburn State Recreation District

Happy Trails!