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Course and Transportation

Course Description

The American River 50, per our permit protocols for 2021, will have multiple wave starts staggered 5-10 minutes apart. Race management will assign waves based on projected finish times, tarting at 6:00 A.M. There will be NO early starts.

American River 50 Mile Endurance Run begins at beautiful Folsom Point, at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in the Sierra-Nevada Foothills. With Folsom Lake as the sparkling backdrop you'll traverse through oak woodland and meadows, over bridges and creeks, up and down switchbacks and along the most spectacular trails in the area.

Runners will begin their 50 mile journey on single track trails and return to Folsom Point. At Folsom Point (Aid Station #1, mile 7.11), runners will make a loop on the service road and proceed past the park kiosk. At East Natoma Street runners turn right and continue west to the Folsom Lake Crossing.

The course then heads South on the American River Parkway past the historic Walker and Rainbow Bridges. Runners then turn right onto the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge access path. After crossing Lake Natoma the course remains on the south side of Lake Natoma on the American River Parkway through Willow Creek (Aid Station #2, mile 15.21) and then to the Sacramento State University Aquatic Center. After the Aquatic Center, the course traverses across the Hazel Street Bridge, makes a short climb to the River Access Road, then goes back down for a brief stint on the American River Bike Trail.

Just before mile 17, runners veer to the left onto a single track trail that takes them to Main Ave. and up to the Hazel Bluffs. Upon descending from the Hazel Bluffs, the course will follow single track trails until it re-connects with the American River Bike Trail at the Negro Bar Aid Station (Aid Station #3, mile 22.66). Runners then stay on the American River Bike Trail until Beal’s Point (Aid Station #4, mile 26.91).

Upon leaving Beal's Point, runners will enjoy single track trails and head north to the path worn by gold miners in search of riches: the Pioneer Express Trail that begins near the entrance of the Granite Bay State Park. Runners will cross the entrance road to the park and continue on the Pioneer Express Trail to the Granite Bay Horse Assembly area (Aid Station #5, mile 31.46). Stock up here! The distance to the next aid station is 6.5 miles.

After exiting the Horse Assembly, the route continues north toward Twin Rocks Rd. The course continues on the Pioneer Express Trail just above the Beek’s Bight parking lot and continues along the North Fork of the American River to Buzzards Cove, Horseshoe Bar (Aid Station #6, mile 37.96) and Rattlesnake Bar (Aid Station #7, mile 41). No, we aren't talking about stopping at local pubs, but rather passing by the sand bars where miners would pan gold… so enjoy the aid stations! The route then continues along the river to the Power Plant, Avery's Pond and Dowdin's Post (Aid Station #8, Mile 44).

After leaving Dowdin's Post, the trail wends its way to the infamous "Dam Wall." Runners will take a deep breath before climbing up to the “Party at Last Gasp” (Aid station #9, mile 47.5). The refreshing Popsicle Palace, motivational mile marker signs, cow bells and our energetic cheerleaders will boost your spirits as you tackle the last climb of your final 2.5 victory miles to the well-deserved finish celebration in Auburn.

No trekking poles for runners , no dogs, no bikes, no horses.

*** FOR 2021 - NO PACERS, SPECTATORS ALLOWED FOR AR50 (due to permit capacity allowance) ***
CREWS are only allowed at Beals Point

Official Course Cut off is 14 hours

Plotaroute Mapping

  • plotaroute.com - AR50 2021

  • Transportation


    Drive car to the finish at Overlook Park, Auburn.  Free parking at Overlook, Railhead Park and on local streets.  Buses leave at 4:30 a.m., taking runners to the start at Folsom Point in Folsom.

    Remember to keep the noise down as this is a residental area, and the residents are sleeping!!

    Morning bus $20, sign up here:  https://raceroster.com/store/47001/listing

    Option 2

    For runners staying at partner hotels in Folsom, there is a complimentary shuttle to the start at Folsom Point at 4:45AM. There is no need to sign up for this service, just be in front of your hotel prior to 4:45 am.  Be sure to check with the hotel for the departure point.

    For the return, those staying at the partner hotels in Folsom, the bus (Folsom Cordova District Busses) will depart from Overlook Park at 5:00PM and again at 8:00PM, returning to same Folsom pick up points.

    If your expected finish time is later than 8:00 p.m. you must choose a different option.


    Drive car to the start at Folsom Point, park for the day, pay parking fee ($12). Early arrival critical, lot will be temporarily closed from 5:20 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

    For the return, the bus will depart Overlook Park at 5:00PM and again at 8:00PM, returning runners to Folsom Point and the proceed to the hotels. Lot closes at 8:00 p.m., no exceptions.  

    If your expected finish time is later than 8:00 p.m. you must choose a different option.

    Option 4 – CREW

    Have your driver drop you at the start, entrance to lot closes temporarily from 5:20 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.


    *Driver can connect with runners at the finish line. .

    *Entrance to the AR50 Race Start parking lot will be temporarily closed from 5:20 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. on race morning.