Back to index American Canyon hike
Trip Date:  05/20/2014

: 8.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1900'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
American Canyon trail route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
American Canyon Trail Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 54.803 W 120 55.628      End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 49 to the town of Cool.  
Turn East on Highway 193 (Georgetown Rd) then turn left on Sweetwater Trail.  
Parking is just about 1/4 up the road, just before a gated community.
Hazards of Note:   Poison Oak
Crowd Factor:   Very isolated 
General Notes:
This trail has a pretty significant descent for most of the first few miles, with a steep canyon off to the right as you make your way down the trail.  You are in shade for most of the trip down to the river, with intermittent views through the trees.  
Just off the trail a couple of miles in is a waterfall with a use trail leading down to where you can see the water.  I am guessing that in the late summer this waterfall will be negligible or non-existant.
On the way back we took the Maine Bar trail, which is an extremely steep and sunny section of the trail, giving you the chance to gain back most of the elevation within a relatively short distance.  The advantage of this was that we didn't have to backtrack for much of the way.
Take the Wendell T. Robie trail and you will come to an outstanding view of the river canyon and the memorial bench for Barbara Schoener, who died near this area from a Mountain Lion attack in 1993.

The start of the trail near the American Canyon Trailhead (ACT) was very green and overgrown.  Reminiscent of trails in Hawaii. Green everywhere
We crossed both the American Canyon Creek and Hoboken Creek within about 100 yards of each other early on the way down the canyon. Tristan at the creek
A little off the trail is an old dam from gold mining days that was almost 30 feet high.  A lot of work went into building this. Old dam
At one trail junction is a nice waterfall on the Hoboken creek. Tristan at the waterfall
Close down by the river was a nice location with a picnic table where we stopped and had a nice lunch. Tristan at lunch
This sign was at the spot where we stopped and had lunch. Lunch spot signs
To make our hike a circle we ended up taking the Maine Bar Trail which was a ridiculous climb up.  Very similar to Training Hill a few miles downriver.
Heading up the hill
This memorial bench was put in place by the family of the jogger who was attacked and killed by a mountain lion near this spot in 1994.  Very sad and reflective area. Memorial Bench
Tristan on the trail just below the bench location. Bench view
One last shot of Tristan at the bench checking out the views.
It's a long way down from here
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike