The underrated Confluence Trail in the Auburn State Recreation Area hosts a stone perch perfect for watching the north and middle forks of the American River collide and continue as one toward Folsom and beyond. A large Native American grinding rock sits just behind this point. I can only imagine people sharing stories and using this location to grind acorns while enjoying the river and the canyon it flows through.

After a good rain, the rapids are raging. The boulders and beaches on the Confluence Trail are a sight to see. Remnants of the first Foresthill Road are still evident in the bits of pavement visible along the trail.

Mary West is author of the book series Day Hiker — Gold Country Trail Guide I, II and III (2nd edition Available on Amazon). The books are a collection of the Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond. West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Column and the 2020 Craft Award for her second book in the series-Day Hiker Gold Country Trail Guide by the Outdoor Writers of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram.