American River

California State Parks (DPR) prepared a feasibility study to examine potential options to provide a trail crossing of the North Fork of the American River for all trail users between Auburn and Cool.

The ACT Crossing Feasibility Study Is Now Available!

The Auburn to Cool Trail Crossing Feasibility Study has been completed and is now available. Below is a link to the document and due to file size, separate links to the figures in the document.

ACT Crossing Feasibility Study (without figures)

Below are the figures in the document.

Fig 1 - Project Overview
Fig 2 - Regional Geology
Fig 2a - Site Geology
Fig 3 - Seismicity
Fig 4 - Existing Crossing Alternative Geology
Fig 5 - Upper Outlet Rapid Geology
Fig 6 - Oregon Bar Geology
Fig 7 - Prefab Steel Truss Bridge
Fig 8 - Stress Ribbon Bridge
Fig 9-11 - Suspension Bridges & "Jim Jones" Bridge
Fig 12 - Pipe Bridge
Fig 13 - FPR Truss Bridge
Fig 14 - Alternative Bridge Sites
Fig 15 - State Route 49 Bridge
Fig 16 - SR 49 Pedestrian Bridge Options
Fig 17 - New Multi-Use Trail Option
Fig 18-19 - No Hands Bridge & Upper Outlet Rapid
Fig 20 - Upper Outlet Option #1
Fig 21-23 - Upper Outlet Options #2-4
Fig 24 - Oregon Bar


The Auburn to Cool Trail (ACT) was a multi-use recreation trail route between Auburn and Cool within Auburn State Recreation Area. The trail crossed the reach of the North Fork American River that was dewatered by the diversion tunnel for the construction of the Auburn Dam. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) worked together to build a new Pump Station just upstream of the Auburn Dam site and as part of the project, restored the North Fork of the American River to its historic channel. The work on this project was completed in early 2008. Returning the river to its historic channel has restored river recreation opportunities, but the restored river divided the Auburn to Cool Trail. In the EIR/EIS (completed in 2002) for the American River Pump Station Project, the loss of the trail was determined to be a significant but unavoidable impact. As part of the mitigation for the loss of the trail crossing, California State Parks committed to studying the feasibility of various crossing options.

The ACT Crossing Feasibility Study

California State Parks recently completed a feasibility study for various crossing options including a new permanent trail bridge; temporary seasonal bridge options; and construction of a new multi-use trail across the canyon which would utilize one of the existing bridges, Highway 49 or “No Hands”.  State Parks contracted with a consultant team which included structural bridge engineers, architects, engineering geologists, hydrologists and other expertise to help develop and analyze the feasibility of these crossing options. Some of the factors that were considered in the feasibility study include geotechnical considerations, access and construction impacts, conflict with potential Auburn Dam site, bridge length and constructability, cost, maintenance considerations, length of trail connections, aesthetics and visual impacts, user function and safety, and other public input considerations.

The ACT Crossing Feasibility Study is not a decision document or an environmental document. The feasibility study will provide information for State Parks to consider in assessing the cost, constructability and desirability of various crossing options. Any decision to allow development of the ACT crossing would first be made at a conceptual level in the General Plan/Resource Management Plan (GP/IRMP) for the Auburn SRA. California State Parks and Reclamation are currently in the process of developing a new GP/RMP for Auburn SRA. It is anticipated that this GP/RMP planning process will be completed in 2018. In addition to providing broad direction for a crossing option in the GP/RMP, once a decision is made on a particular crossing option, project specific environmental analysis would need to be completed in compliance with CEQA and NEPA. 

If you have questions or comments regarding the ACT crossing Feasibility Study, please contact Jim Micheaels at (916) 988-0205 (ext 202) or

Auburn SRA General Plan

Below is a link to the Auburn State Recreation Area General Plan/Resource Management Plan in progress web page.

Auburn SRA General Plan