Dave Moore Nature Area

South Fork American River, Near Lotus, California

Dave Moore Nature Area does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


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

What you need to know:


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

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