Northeast of Sacramento and Auburn, the 35,000 acre Auburn State Recreation Area has over 100 miles shared use trails along 40-miles of the North and Middle Forks of the American river. Once teeming with thousands of gold miners, the area is now a natural area offering a wide variety of recreation opportunities to over 500,000 visitors a year. Most trails are shared by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Generally, the park (which is 20 miles long on two forks of the American River) is situated south of Interstate 80, stretching from Auburn to Colfax. The main access is from Auburn, either on Highway 49 or the Auburn-Foresthill Road.
The Western States Trail and the Wendell T Robie Trail both transect the park and provide a rugged, remote canyon experience. The Western States Trail is a 100 mile route, of which, about 20 miles pass through the park.
Many of the hikes begin in Auburn, but for more adventurous backcountry routes, try trailheads near Colfax, Foresthill and Georgetown. These trails can be quite steep rolling through rugged canyons.
Overall, Western States Trail is the 4th most popular hiking trail of all 88 hikes in California.