Beginning from the Hells Crossing trailhead, find a snowshoe trail that follows the American River for a peaceful stroll that you can make as long as you like, or even make a 10-mile thru-hike of it and end at Lodgepole campground.
Start at the Hell’s Crossing SnoPark, where an established snowshoe trail follows the southeast banks of the American River. This trail meanders through a quiet forest. It’s a stark landscape through a former burn where you can hear only the river rushing. Blue diamonds mark your route through this rolling terrain (There is a groomed ski trail on the north side of the river. Please note that in this trail system, snowshoers and dogs are not allowed on the groomed ski trails).
About 4.5 miles from the trailhead, arrive at a crossing of Kettle Creek and a connection with the Pleasant Valley Sno-Park. You can make this your turnaround point, continue another 3.5 miles to another junction with the road, or go the full 9.9 miles to the Lodgepole campground.
Depending on recent snowpack, this trail may need snowshoes or be hikeable in hiking boots and gaiters. Check trip reports before heading out to know what you’ll need.