USDA Forest Service
Tahoe National Forest

Contact: Victor Lyon
(530) 367-2224

Western States Trail Open Deadwood to the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River

FORESTHILL…..The Forest Service has opened a portion of the Western States Trail that was damaged in the American Fire from Deadwood Ridge Road to the west bridge abutment of the Swinging Bridge. The trail crosses the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River (NFMFAR) over the Swinging Bridge. The American Fire started August 11, 2013 and burned all of the upper NFMFAR drainage. The bridge burned and is unsafe for use. Another smaller bridge on the WST also burned in the fire and is unsafe for use. This smaller bridge is below Last Chance, and is located between the NFMFAR and the Last Chance Townsite. The WST from the west bridge abutment of the Swinging Bridge eastward to Last Chance Townsite will remain closed for the time being.

District Ranger Victor Lyon states "opening the trail from Deadwood to the west side of the bridge allows use of part of the Western States Trail. Once the small bridge below Last Chance is reconstructed we will look at opening up that part of the trail. The Forest Service has requested funding to reconstruct the Swinging Bridge, but to date it has not been funded." The Western States Endurance Run and Ride organizations have volunteered to reconstruct, and donate the materials for, the smaller bridge. Last fall WST volunteers contributed hundreds of hours of effort on Burn Area Emergency Repairs to the trail alongside a few Forest Service specialists. "I am incredibly impressed by the massive well-orchestrated effort that the WST volunteers have provided; they have our sincere appreciation." Ranger Lyon continues "The WST is a multiple use trail; all users should anticipate two way traffic on the open section between Deadwood and the west end of the Swinging Bridge. All users are urged to be cautious of, and considerate to, other trail users". Post fire conditions are dynamic. Trail users should be cautious of rocks and limbs on the trail. Trail maintenance is ongoing; please listen and watch for work activities.

The American Fire area, including the Western States Trail and Loop 6 (11E44) of the Sugar Pine OHV system, have been closed to the public since the start of the fire. The American Fire area opens on March 13, 2014. Loop 6 is closed under Forest Order 17-14-01 along with the rest of the OHV Trails in Foresthill.

Additional information concerning this closure is available by contacting the district office by telephone at (530) 367-2224 Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30.

Ride and Tie 2014

All proceeds will be donated to Western States Trail Foundation

Ride & Tie: 21, 12, & 9 Mile Courses
Equathon: 12-Ride/9-Run OR 9-Ride/9-Run

WHERE: Olmstead Staging Area, Cool, CA. This course is on the Beautiful Olmstead Knickerbocker trail that includes views of Sierra Nevada. Trail varies from single track to fire road, mostly rolling with varied climbs - ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult.

DIRECTIONS: From Sacramento I-80 going East: in Auburn, take Elm Exit, Turn L at stop light, one block, L on High St (hwy 49). Follow signs to Cool (6 mi). Right, St. Florain Ct. Olmstead Staging Area is behind the Fire Station.

CAMPING and PARKING: Olmstead Staging Area. As of now, no tent is camping allowed so you’ll need to sleep in your trailer. This may change so feel free to check in with us at a later time regarding tents. State park charges $25.00 for Friday and Saturday night. Day use $10 or display Poppy Pass (Annual state park pass). No cars in Equine staging area! We are in the process of negotiating the overnight fee.

CHECK IN: Friday – arrive anytime. Check in starts at 4 pm. Vetting – Friday: when vet arrives, usually around 5-6pm PM, Saturday morning starting at 6:00AM

POTLUCK and SOCIAL: Friday night at 6:30pm. Bring your favorite dish!

STARTING TIMES: Ride Mtg: 7:00 am. Starting Times: 7:15am & 7:30am

CREW: All vet checks are at race camp, Olmstead Staging Area

LUNCH/AWARDS: After races. Approx. 1 pm, Lunch ticket for fabulous personal pizza or sandwich, salad and drink at American River Pizza & Grill. Lots of prizes for all participate.

RAIN? The County Parks Department requires that we cancel the ride if it rains. It is your responsibility to see if the ride is on. Please text Sue Smyth the Friday before the ride - we usually make a decision that morning if the weather has been questionable. These trails stay stable at this time of year even with some recent rainfall.


  • Olmstead staging area has a day fee of $10 per day or state park pass displayed, be sure to pay or risk getting a ticket. You do not need to pay this if you pay the camping fee; the day fee is for those who only come for the day. Camping is additional charge.
  • Please clean up your camp - All manure and hay must be bagged and taken home with you. We will provide bags.
  • All dogs must be leashed – the park rangers usually cruise by and check!
  • This ride is property that is open to the public. You may see hikers, bikers, riders, dog walkers, etc! Please be courteous to other users – if the Park receives complaints, we won’t be able to come back
  • Horses are unpredictable and helmets are recommended.

Race Director: Sue Smyth 916-316.2096
Assistant Director: Eve Blumenfeld 916-838-0376

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