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Auburn to Rattlesnake Bar

This segment is best hiked from Auburn to Rattlesnake Bar because of the extreme steepness. The truly hardy are welcome to the challenge.

Take Interstate 80 to the Newcastle Exit south of Auburn. Take Indian Hill Road (near the two mini marts) to Auburn-Folsom Road, then turn left. Go to Maidu Drive, then turn right. Follow Maidu Drive until you reach the building complex.

At about 100 yards before the complex the Shirland Canal crosses under Maidu Drive. To the right of Maidu Drive and the left of Shirland Canal is the trailhead.  The first 2 miles of trail have many crossings and are a mix of road and trail.  Although the next several pictures provide greater detail, in general, follow the "Cardiac Hill" signs to the bottom parking lot, where the "Pioneer Express" trail heads south-west along the river.

After leaving the trailhead, go on the trail to where a corrugated pipe crosses the trail and canal and pass around to the left of it and continuing on straight.

Go to where another trail crosses the first trail and the canal. Turn left and go on this trail until you reach a paved road.

Turn right on the paved road, and go to a second paved road.

Turn right and go to where there is a trail on the left side of the road.

Turn left onto the trail as shown and continue to an unpaved road, as in the picture below.

Turn right and go to another road.

Cross this road to where there is a trail on the other side.

This trail goes to Rattlesnake Bar (approx 7.5 miles), and is prominently marked as the "Pioneer Express" trail with distinct trail markers every 1/2 mile.  While there are occassional cross trails, keep moving parallel to the river down-stream and you'll be fine.

At Mormon Ravine you cross over the south canal on a nice wooden bridge and pass a unique low-head power generation station.

After passing the power station and the station parking lot, drop back onto the trail on the left, and stay left to pass Avery's Pond and the minimum-impact campsite.  Continue past the pond, down-river, for another 1.5 miles.

The trail exits at Rattlesnake Bar on the entrance road, west of the main parking areas.




251 Commerce Circle
Sacramento, CA 95815

phone: (916) 929-1417

Hours of Operation:
8:30am - 5:00pm (M-F)
Closed Saturday & Sunday

River City Scout Shop

251 Commerce Circle
Sacramento, CA 95815

phone: (916) 649-1800

Hours of Operation:
9:00am - 5:00pm (Monday - Friday)

10:30am - 3:00pm (Saturday)
Closed Sunday

NorCal Scout Shop - Chico

3881 Benatar Way, Suite D
Chico, CA 95928

phone: (530) 809-0400

Hours of Operation:
11:00am - 6:00pm (W-F)
10:00am - 2:00pm (Saturday)
Closed Sunday, Monday & Tuesday

Order of the Arrow - Amangi Nacha