Lake Clementine Dam

Lake Clementine Dam

About forty minute northeast of Sacramento, California you can find some really great hikes, one of which is the Lake Clementine Dam. It’s a great 4 mile out-and-back hike to do on a Saturday afternoon with beautiful views along the American River. 

The trail head begins at the Auburn State Recreation Area where you must pay $10 to park since it’s a state park. There are port-o-potties and picnic benches available overlooking the river so it’s a nice spot to have lunch even if you don’t go hiking! From the ranger station, cross the bridge over the river and begin hiking on the trail to your left. You’ll see the Foresthill Bridge 700 feet above you, which is also the tallest bridge in California, and then keep walking the gradual incline for the next 2 miles.

After 2 miles, you’ll reach the end of the uphill and see a forked road – one is paved, the other is dirt. Make sure you take the dirt trail another quarter mile to lead you to the dam! It’s a great spot to hang out, have lunch, and even swim! Since there has been so much rain the water was pouring off the dam like a waterfall and the river was really high. Hopefully next time I hike the trail it’ll be warm enough out to swim and float down the river!

16 Replies to “Lake Clementine Dam”

  1. This is such an iconic place. I remember visiting as a kid! On a totally different side note – I’m an architect from 9-5 (who are we kidding, we never work those hours…) and also enjoy weekend warrior-ing about in Colorado!

    1. That’s amazing, Meg! I’m so glad you’ve had the opportunity to visit and you’re also a fellow weekend warrior! 🙂

  2. I recently found out that Scaremento was the capital of California and since then I’ve wanted to visit. If I do this short drive to Lake Clementine Dam will be very worthwhile. I love your pics, Instagram worthy!

  3. I haven’t been to Sacramento but I do love to hike so I really enjoyed this post. Your pictures are unreal 🙂 Makes me want to take a trip down south!

  4. Anna, that last pic of you is stunning! About to move to the Bay Area and I am trying to accumulate as many road trip weekend journeys as possible. Seems like my kind of weekend fun! $10 to support NPS? Yes please!

    1. Aww, thank you so much Izzy! That’s amazing, I hope you find a lot of great things to do! I live near the Bay so I’d love to collaborate sometime!

  5. Breathtaking scene of flowing water and yes, what an immense structure. Lakes are usually a great source of spectacular views and that one certainly delivers.

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