American River Parkway - Sailor Bar


Sailor Bar is a park with a lot of history and wonderful present day opportunities. Settled by gold-seeking sailors, this park was dredged for gold during the Gold Rush. Today, visitor activities such as rafting, fishing, horseback riding and nature gazing, have replaced the adventures of historic explorers. 

​Fast Facts:

  • Legend has it that Sailor Bar is so named because a sailor
    jumped ship to stake his claim during the Gold Rush.

How to Get There:

From U.S. 50, exit onto Hazel Avenue. Make a left at Winding Way, then another left on Illinois Avenue. The park entrance will be at the bottom of a small hill.

View Sailor Bar Map​


  • Sailor Bar is a very popular launching spot for small watercraft and rafts. A gravel road provides launch access.
  • An equestrian trail weaves through the park, while access to the Jedediah Smith Memorial Bike Trail can be found across the river.
  • Early fall finds fishing enthusiasts’ eager to take advantage of both pond and river fishing. A fishing pond near the river offers year-round angling.
  • Also near this pond is a nature trail that leads to riparian (riverside) and historic locations where deer, coyotes, hawks and owls may be seen.

Hours and Fees:

The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Parking fees are collected year-round, even on special event days and on weekends.

Park Fees:

  • $7 Vehicle
  • $13 Vehicles with Trailer (ex. Boat or Horse) or RV​
  • $28 Bus
  • Vehicle fees increase over Summer Holiday Weekends.

Special Event fees vary by event.
Self-payment is required if no fee collector is present.

Picnics Allowed: Yes

Additional Information:

We have recently been completing some deferred maintenance to the un-improved roads and maintenance roads in Sailor Bar Park, consistent with the American River Parkway Plan Sailor Bar Area Plan Map.  We will re-open the un-improved roads as mapped out in the Parkway Plan. While we have also completed some maintenance to the maintenance/emergency access roads, these will not be opened to the public. 

Below is an FAQ about what's going on at Sailor Bar:

What is happening at Sailor Bar? 

We are completing deferred maintenance at this park site.

​Current maintenance

  • Post and Cable Repair
  • Filling in pot holes on un-improved roads and maintenance/emergency access roads
  • New signage
  • Repairs to rock walls

​Future Maintenance

  • Invasive plant treatment in grassy area and at pond
  • Planting of native pollinator plants
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Equestrian Trail maintenance
  • Mapping and signage for foot trails
  • Removal of old picnic tables which are in disrepair

Where is the environmental document for this?

This is maintenance work, and CEQA is not required.  No new roads are being made.  The un-improved roads are included in the American River Parkway Plan as part of the Sailor Bar Area Plan.

When were any meetings held to discuss this project; Why were neighbors not consulted?

This is maintenance work, and we do not typically hold neighborhood meetings for such.

​Are you putting in a road to connect the Olive and Illinois access points?

No, there is not a public road that connects these two access points.  There are maintenance/emergency roads that connect the two, but those are not open to the public.

Aren't you concerned about increased trash/illegal activity/fires?

The Board of Supervisors have made several augmentations to the Regional Parks Maintenance and Ranger staff, which allows us to complete this work, as well as provide the necessary maintenance and patrols, including new equipment and staff specifically for fire prevention, encampment clean up, and addressing environmental crimes.

Have these roads have ever been open to the public?

These un-improved roads were closed when there were drastic reductions to Parks staffing levels.  Since that time, the Board of Supervisors have made several augmentations to Maintenance and Ranger staff, which allows us to re-open them.

Who is responsible for opening/closing the gates?

Our Park Ranger Assistant or Maintenance staff open and close the gates within the Regional Park system, depending on location.​