Back to index Bogus Thunder from Deadwood Hike
Trip Date:  04/15/2016

: 5.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 2300'

Group Size: 4

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Bogus Thunder Route
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Bogus Thunder Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 39 04.877, W 120 41.326     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 80 to Foresthill Drive, and head east towards Foresthill town.  You will stay on this road for approximately 32 1/2 miles, until you reach the intersection of Deadwood Rd on the right.  Turn here and follow this mostly dirt road (passable by street vehicles)  for nearly 9 miles until you reach Deadwood Cemetary, the start of your hike.
Hazards of Note:   Rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, mountain lions, significant route-finding and steep trail. Crowd Factor:   Negligible.  This is a mostly unused trail once off the Western States 100 which only has a handful of visitors a year.
General Notes:
Heading onto the Western States 100 trail just to the left of the Deadwood Cemetary entrance, the first mile is a reasonably gradual downhill.  The old trail junction comes up on your left, and can be pretty difficult to spot.  Follow this old leaf-covered trail for another half mile, until you crest on the small ridge just past a tree which looks like a cross.  Past this tree is the trail which heads down the south side of this ridge, taking you down a very steep 1500' in elevation over the next mile and a quarter.  Following the trail is pretty difficult during this section, and it is mostly unused these days meaning that the poison oak has grown unabated for a long time.  You will be glad to have worn your long pants, as contact with the plant is unavoidable.  
When you reach the Bogus Thunder campsite and mining claim plaque, the trail continues to the west, on down to the Middle Fork of the North Fork of the American River below.  There is a waterfall close by the camp which is alluring, but we decided not to visit it to ensure enough energy for the significant climb back out of the canyon after a lunch stop at the river.

An information sign near the trailhead with loads of historical info. Area Info
Nearby Deadwood Cemetary is a peaceful setting for an old, historically interesting cemetary for the gold mining locals. Deadwood More Deadwood
The first mile is a relatively tame downhill along a section of the Western States 100 trail.   WS100
Finding the junction to the old trail down to Bogus Thunder means you will be following more of a hint of a trail from long ago as opposed to a well-defined route.   Trail?
After a half mile of leaf-covered trail this 'Cross' tree will be ahead of you, with the path down the side of the mountain toward the river just ahead and on the left. Cross Tree
This is the trail heading down from the ridge near the Cross tree, probably the most welll-defined of the entire rest of the journey.  Too bad the red dots weren't actually there while we were making our way down and back up afterward. Well marked
There are some very nice views along the way down (and back up,) which allow a brief pause to catch your breath or wipe away some of the poison oak which has to be navigated through at some point along the way.
Not quite to the river is the old Bogus Thunder mining campsite, with a pretty spectacular waterfall nearby and old mining equipment scattered about.  This historical marker indicates the mining claim from the bygone era. Marker
The last bit to the water is well worth the extra effort, as you are rewarded with a place all to yourself with ghosts of history all around you.
On down
Finally down to the water, there are a couple of mine locations nearby, and an old cable still is visible strung across the river, as well as remnants of an old wall or road support across the way.
About a half mile to the east, following the water this direction is an open area for camping (per some previously found reports,) but we were happy to hang out in the spot and enjoy lunch.
Scattered all around the rocks were these fishing/mining weights, which after picking one up was apparent why nobody had decided to haul them back up the mountainside.
Water from the falls near the mining site a little bit above our lunchspot made for a fantastic setting as it cascaded down the mountain and finally into the river next to us.  
Another look at the lush area created by what must have been a very convenient water source for the miners at the site.
More Water
After a nice break and a chance to douse our feet in the cold water, everyone was thrilled at the challenge ahead of climbing back up and out of the ravine.
Ready to go
Following the steady, steep climb up out of the canyon, flat trail was a welcome sight as we headed back out to the WS100 and the last mile of gentle uphill to the finish.
Back to flat
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike