Dave Moore Nature Area

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY.

What you need to know:

  • Dave Moore Nature Area is a Day-Use area only. No overnight camping.
  • No equestrian use on trail.
  • CLOSED to all hunting and target shooting.
  • Potable water is not available. Bring your own water.
  • Please be aware that there are bobcats and rattlesnakes in the area.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Firewood cutting and collection is prohibited.
  • A Special Recreation Use Permit is required for all commercial, organized groups, or competitive activities.
  • Hiking on Public Lands


One of the main features of the BLM, Dave Moore Nature Area is a loop trail about a mile long which goes from the parking lot trail head to the South Fork American River and back again passing through several habitat types. Nestled in the heart of Gold Rush Country, the trail is lined with remnants from nearly 150 years ago when Chinese laborers channeled creek water by hand with pick and shovel for gold mining. Tailing piles from the Gold Rush period blanket the area which lend to the characteristic landscape that makes this area so unique.

As you travel along the Dave Moore Nature Trail you will encounter several natural features - most interesting is "Mushroom Rock" - two stacked granite boulders with a softer layer of decomposed granite in between that has been weathered by the river of the past.  Look for the tall Ponderosa pine trees too big in diameter to put your arms around.  And the majestic California Madrone tree in all it's awesome beauty is worth a stop to feel it's cooling smooth bark. Throughout the trail are hand made walls of lichen and moss covered rocks which guide your way to the South Fork American River -- your destination easily reached within a half mile from the parking lot trailhead.

After you explore the cooling rivers edge, you can return along the trail the same way you came or choose to take the lower loop back up to the parking area.  Within the half mile loop back you travel thru shaded riparian habitat and oak woodland.  You will encounter large Incense cedar trees towering above you, gigantic granite boulders three times your height in amazing configurations and sizes, and beautiful native wildflowers, shrubs and trees of the local area.  Listen as birds call out to alert your presence on the trail.  Enjoy being surprised by the lizard in the grass scurrying across to greet you.  And see if you can find what little treasures have been left behind....

Please read about Hiking on Public Lands


David Moore was born June 4, 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee and died August 13, 2001 in Calistoga, California.  He graduated from Calistoga High School in 1967.  After graduation, he entered the Navy and served for a term of four years, then attended Humboldt State University where he graduated in 1975.  For the next ten years, Moore was employed by the Bureau of Land Management as a Conservation Ranger.  He was stricken with multiple sclerosis at age 35 and forced to retire in 1987.

David Moore was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish, whitewater raft, and golf.  His disability brought to his co-workers such an awareness of the challenge faced by disabled persons that they developed a Nature Area along the South Fork of the American River near Coloma, California.

On June 4, 1994, National Trails Day and Moore's 46 birthday, the staff of the BLM Folsom Resource Area (aka Mother Lode Field Office) held a grand opening of the Nature Area, and dedicated it as the Dave Moore Nature Area.

A special thanks to Captain Frank Clark and his crew from the Growlsburg Conservation Camp and all the other individuals and groups who made this Nature Area possible.  We are sincerely grateful.

Also VISIT: South Fork American River webpage

Other BLM Trailheads:

Return To: BLM, Mother Lode Field Office

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Iconograph of binoculars
Iconograph of three picnic tables
Iconograph of a person using a gold pan in water
Iconograph of two people wearing backpacks and using walking sticks
Iconograph of a spoked wheel and an arrowhead
Iconograph of a person in an inflatable raft
Iconograph of binoculars

Geographic Coordinates

38.8155, -120.91967


The site is located approximately 2 miles west of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park at Coloma on Highway 49 in El Dorado County, California, along the scenic and popular South Fork American River.

Detailed Directions:

From Eastbound Highway 50 - Take the Ponderosa Road exit and go over the freeway bridge to the stop sign. Turn right on North Shingle Road and proceed for 3 miles. Turn left at the "Y" onto Lotus Road and continue for 5 miles heading north. Turn left at Highway 49 and cross the bridge at the river. Continue for about 1 mile along Hwy 49. The entrance is on the left at the cobblestone wall.

From Eastbound Interstate 80 - Take the Highway 49 exit heading south at the town of Auburn. Continue along Hwy 49 through the towns of Cool and Pilot Hill, approximately a 14 mile drive. The entrance will be 3 miles south of Pilot Hill on the right at the cobblestone wall.