Lake Clementine Trail in Auburn, CA

Lake Clementine trail is a moderately easy and accessible trail near Auburn, CA. It offers excellent views of the American River, access to a favorite local swimming hole, and a stunning conclusion featuring remarkable sights of the North Fork Dam.

The trail crosses under Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California, and coincides with a historic stagecoach route used during the gold rush.

Combining California history with gorgeous water views, Lake Clementine Trail is worth an afternoon outdoors.


Most hikers consider Lake Clementine Trail to be an easy to moderate trail. The most difficult spots are where the trail narrows due to wash out.


Lake Clementine Trail’s length is 1.9 miles out and back.

Trail Begins

Lake Clementine Trail’s location is about 3.5 miles outside Auburn, California. The trailhead is located off HWY 49, at the confluence area on the side of the Foresthill Bridge. This is 1.75 miles south of the Auburn State Recreation Association Headquarters.

You can view a Lake Clementine Trail map here. Or, for a detailed trail map, you can download California State Park’s official trail app, OuterSpacial.

Gear / What To Bring

Lake Clementine Trail is mostly shady. However, the first half-mile of the trail is in full sun, and in the summer, it can be very hot. So, bring plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen.

At the ¾ mile mark, a side trail leads down to Clark’s Pool. Clark’s Pool is a popular local swimming hole with pristine blue water. You may want to bring a swimsuit and towel to enjoy it.


You can read over 2,000 reviews on Lake Clementine Trail on


Dogs are welcome on Lake Clementine Trail, but they must be on a leash. However, Lake Clementine’s recreation area is not dog friendly, and no pets are allowed. So, if you plan to go on to Lake Clementine, you may want to leave your pup behind.


Hiking Lake Clementine Trail is free, but parking is $10.

Hike/Ride Time

For most hikers, Lake Clementine Trail’s length is about two hours.

Best Seasons

Lake Clementine Trail is open year-round, and you can visit it any time. However, the best time is in spring and early summer when it’s not too hot. Early fall is also an excellent time to experience the trail.


The minimum elevation of Lake Clementine Trail is 538 feet. The maximum is 944.


Parking is located to the left of the trailhead and costs $10 for the day. Lake Clementine Trail hours are from 7 am to sunset, and the parking lot may not be available outside of that period.

It’s also important to note that this is a popular trail. So, parking is sometimes difficult, especially on weekends and during the summer. There are other recreational parking lots further down the street, but they will add to the length of your hike!

Route Type

Lake Clementine Trail is an out-and-back trail.

Bikes Allowed

Bikes, including pedal bikes, mountain bikes, and class-1 electric bikes, are allowed on Lake Clementine Trail.

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Featured image via Visit Placer