The Auburn State Recreation Area of the North and Middle Forks receives around a million visitors each year.
To get to the Hawver Cave: take HWY 49 south from Auburn California and proceed down HWY 49. A few thousand feet and you will enter the boundary of California State Park property. The photograph below shows the HWY 49 entering California State Park property.
If you keep driving down HWY 49 pass the California State Park boundary you will see some amazing views of the American River and its breath taking views. Once you take in the amazing views of the American River you will pass the California State Park Headquarters Office on the left hand side. The photograph below shows the entrance to the compound.
As you still drive down the canyon headed towards the confluence you will see many more amazing views along the river’s edge. The photograph below shows the confluence where the North and Middle fork American River come together you will need to make a right hand turn headed towards the town of Cool.
If you look down stream after you make the right turn you will see a concrete bridge. This bridge is called Mountain Quarry Rail Road Bridge and was constructed in 1910. As you drive towards the town of Cool you will turn left on a small dirt road ¼ mile south of the river crossing. The photograph below shows the road that leads to the parking lot where you should park. The Trailhead/parking lot GPS is: (N38-54-713; W 121-02-095).
Please be careful and take all valuables with you. This is a prime spot where vehicles get broken into and your personal items stolen. The photograph below shows the trailhead beyond the parking area at a green gate with a Beautiful metal sign informing you about trail information and the location of the Hawver Cave.
This wide, level trail can be used for a half-day walk and a pleasant picnic along the Middle Fork American River. It goes through some of the best scenery available in the American River Canyons. Picnic tables and out houses are provided along the first 1 ¼ miles of the trail. The photograph below shows the first picnic table and a restroom.
After 1 ¼ mile, the trail baring right up a short hill above the picnic area. Remnants of a large limestone-loading platform for the rail cars can still be seen on the left. Just up the steep road and you will find yourself at the Hawver Cave Gate A. The photograph below shows where you need to stay to the right to reach the Hawver Cave.
Just as you reach the top of this road you will find a separate unmarked trail to the right called the PG&E Road Trail. This trail takes off uphill from just above the ruins of the limestone-loading platform and Hawver Cave Gate A.
The PG&E Road trail offers fascinating and breath taking views of the now abandoned Quarry. A short uphill hike and a couple of switchbacks will bring you to a spectacular amphitheater in the base of the abandoned Quarry. The photograph below shows the base of the quarry.
As you enter the base of the Quarry you will see breath taking shear walls. If you look carefully to the left you will find the Hawver Cave Gate C. This gate has taken a few beatings from the vandals. However cold air blows out during the summer time and can be refreshing.
As you take in the entire beautiful views take a look at the walls themselves. You can see lots of fractures in the limestone where millions of years ago cracked and green stone filled in those cracks and resalitafide.
One other great opportunity found on this trail is a game called Geocaching. This is a game free to the public and you only need a GPS Unit. This game is a great opportunity for a treasure hunt with your family. For more information just look them up on the internet. Their is a geo cache called hawver cave. GCT7ZR Hawver Cave (Multi-cache) in