Calcutta Falls Trail is a 2.2 mile trail just FIVE MINUTES outside of Auburn, and MAN is it beautiful!
You start the trail at the American River Confluence off Highway 49. Take about 38.7 steps and you’re already crossing No Hands Bridge (a rather famous attraction around Auburn) – not a bad start, right?
The trail winds alongside the American River with plenty of openings to catch a gorgeous view of the river and foothills. There’s also several spots to meander off the trail to the river bank.
There’s plenty of beauty to soak in along with Calcutta Falls, views of the foothills, and the American River. My favorite? There are a ton of butterflies. In what I would call “mini-fields” that are randomly dispersed throughout the trail, you’ll see butterflies doing their butterfly things amidst the wildflowers.
Distance: It’s an out-and-back trail of 2.2 miles. Calcutta Falls is only 1.1 miles away from the trailhead.
Difficulty: On a scale of easy to hard, we’d rate this a solid “meh” (pretty easy).
I’m going to be honest with you, there’s no way to put a positive spin on the parking situation here. You’ve got to brave some mildly treacherous parking conditions alongside Highway 49 at the American River Confluence; BUT, take heart knowing that the risk-reward spectrum is at play here.
It should be noted that I’m a “cautious parker” (read: bad at parking)
You can’t miss the row of backed-in parking jobs alongside Highway 49 after turning right to cross the river – this is free parking. There is a $10 parking section if you stay straight (rather than turning right to cross the river).