A great hike along the American River North Fork. We parked at the end of Rattlesnake Rd prior to the gate and dropped another car off Hwy 49 just after it crosses the American Ricer North Fork. The trail starts with the Pioneer Express Trail and then follows the Western States Trail. We took a couple of sidetracks to the river and bushwhacked back up. Hiking next to the river at the location of the Auburn Dam site can be tricky as there is a 1/2 mile stretch of jagged rocks.
No charge for parking at either trailhead. There were mountain lion warning signs. Allow extra time to traverse along the rocks on the river bank.