Sailor Flat

North Fork American Area

Foresthill Ranger District


Tahoe National Forest


General Information

Mileage: 3.3 miles one way

Elevation: 6400 to 3360 feet

Difficulty: Most Difficult

Use Level: Light

Topographic Map: Royal Gorge 7.5'

Duncan Peak 7.5'



From Interstate 80, take the Foresthill exit and follow the signs to Foresthill. Continue on the Foresthill Road for 25 miles to Sailor Flat Road and turn left. Go 1 mile north to the trailhead.


Trail Description

The first 1 ˝  mile follows an old mining road and is relatively easy. The trail then becomes steeper, with many switchbacks, as you drop down to the North Fork of the American River.  The remains of an old gold stamp mill still stand near the trailhead.

A popular trip for many is to enter via this trail, proceed downriver, then exit via the Mumford Bar Trail. This can be accomplished in one or two days, but would require the use of two vehicles or arranging for pickup. (Total distance is 15.6 miles.)



“Only water from developed systems at recreation sites is maintained safe to drink. Open water sources are easily contaminated by human or animal waste.  Water from springs, lakes, ponds, and streams should be properly treated before drinking. One recommended method of treatment is to bring clear water to a rolling boil for five minutes.”


Foresthill Ranger District

22830 Foresthill Road

Foresthill, CA 95631

(530) 367-2224