Mosquito Rd Loop

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult to very difficult 
(3600' total climbing) 
Riding Time: 3-4 hours  Printable Area Map:  Mosquito Rd Loop  (Adobe Acrobat required)
Season to Ride:  Year round.

Description:  This ride is exceptionally beautiful, and is certainly a treasure of El Dorado County.  Rock Creek Rd has wonderful views of the American River Canyon, and the descent down to Mosquito Bridge (an single car cable suspension bridge - about 100 years old) is priceless.  By all means bring your camera, or you'll be kicking yourself afterwards.  The first half of the ride is relatively moderate, it's the last half that is difficult.  The loop can be traveled in either direction - the direction shown here is given for two reasons - first it puts you on the canyon side of the road on Rock Creek Rd (better views), and it gets you through the busy Highway 193 as quickly as possible.  An added plus for this direction is that the steep climbing is on the north side of the hills (cooler in summer). An extra special time to ride this is after a good rain storm (there will be several spectacular waterfalls along the way).  

Special note:
The descent on Mosquito Rd down to Mosquito Bridge is steep - especially as it gets near the river (several switchbacks).  This is not a time to see how fast you can go on your bike!  Please go slowly around these corners and give respect to the cars coming uphill.    

Traffic notes:
 Highway 49 and 193 can have heavy to moderate traffic.  Rock Creek Rd generally has light traffic, but cars/trucks can appear suddenly around it's many curves.  Mosquito Rd (generally light in traffic) has several very sharp corners - and caution is advised - especially on the steep descent down to Mosquito Bridge.




Start at corner of Main St and Highway 49.  Head north (across Highway 50).
Parking available nearby in town.


Intersection with Highway 193.  Turn Right onto Highway 193.


Cross American River.  This area is also known as Chili Bar (limited groceries on north side of river).  Start climb up to Rock Creek Rd.


Turn Right onto Rock Creek Rd.


Cross Rock Creek Bridge.  Climb next 1 mile is stiff.  After that its less steep.


Mosquito Cutoff Rd continue straight (on Rock Creek Rd).


Finnon Lake Campground.


Turn Right onto Mosquito Rd (just past end of Airport runway)


Pass Mosquito Cutoff Rd (continue straight downhill).  Road levels out shortly, then starts steep descent into canyon.  Please ride cautiously as road is narrow, and several sharp corners are coming up.


First of 4 very sharp switchbacks


Mosquito Bridge (suspension bridge).  You may want to walk your bike across this as narrow bike tires can slip in-between the gaps in the boards.
Very steep (15% grade) climb for next 0.4 mile.


Top of steep grade.  Remaining climb is less steep though still very stiff in a few spots.


Top of first climb.  Road descends for a bit, then continues climbing.


Intersection with Union Ridge Rd.  Mosquito Rd goes to Right (turn Right here).


Very sharp corner her e just past old stone wall and stone barn.


Turn Right at stop sign (continue on Mosquito Rd)


Turn Right at stop sign (go under Highway 50). 
See details on map below.


Continue straight at stop sign. Road now becomes Main St.  Follow this straight through Placerville.


Ride ends at corner of Highway 49 and Main St.