Experience the majestic, awe-inspiring power of nature.
Start your day at the Auburn California Welcome Center , where you’ll find help planning your trip, as well as maps, brochures and other materials. Then, enjoy a day of fun-filled whitewater rafting on the Class 3 South Fork of the American River, headed up by Whitewater Excitement or many other groups. Don’t forget sunscreen and a change of clothes!
Head to your motel room to freshen up, then it’s off to dinner at Latitudes , where you will sample the excellent cuisine of the current month’s latitude, which could be Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, South America, Germany or another area. Taste the excellent local wines from the cellars of Placer County. Top off your evening with world-class music at one of our local bistros, where the jazz is cool, the rock hot and the blues mellow.
After a leisurely breakfast at one of the excellent local restaurants, stop by the Farmer’s Market to pick up a baguette of bread, some sandwich fixings, tomatoes fresh off the farm, ripe peaches, homemade potato salad and other side dishes. Finish it off with some cookies and assorted beverages to take on a drive and picnic in the Sierras, where there are hiking trails, pristine lakes, and peace and quiet.
From the Welcome Center, drive out Foresthill Road, crossing the spectacular Foresthill Bridge – at 730 feet, it stands as the tallest bridge in California. Continue on to Foresthill , one of the historic crossroads of the Gold Rush. Turn right on Mosquito Ridge Road and wind your way along the adrenaline-building canyon face, where eye-catching vistas of the Rubicon River, Oxbow Reservoir and Horseshoe Bar Tunnel rapids appear alongside you.
Drop down the paved road to Ralston Dam. The easy 1-mile Grouse Falls Trail and overlook are to the left of graveled Peavine Road. The must-see Placer Big Trees Grove (make sure you pick up your interpretive pamphlet at the Welcome Center!) lies a short distance on a road to the south, an easy half-mile hike. The grove, the northernmost Sequoia in the Sierra Nevada, consists of six Giant Sequoias surrounded by huge pines and firs. Continue east at the FS#43 road intersection and visit French Meadows Reservoir for your picnic lunch. Afterward, return to the #43 to connect north to Foresthill Divide.
You may wish to drive to the historic Robinson Flat, first used by Native Americans to camp and trade wares before becoming a ranch and finally a fire guard station. The 1911 residence remains, as do several buildings from the 1920-30s. There are numerous other historic sites left over from the Gold Rush days along your way, as well as many beautiful lakes and trails to explore.
Return to Auburn with the heady scent of the forest lingering in your brain, a profound sense of peace after communing with nature for a while and a feeling for the world as it once was before civilization overtook it. For the past few hours, the only sounds you heard were the birds that you may never have seen before, and you touched the trees that were already tall before the first Europeans ventured to this country.