Bullards Bar Trail is a 13.8 mile loop trail located near Camptonville, CA and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Camptonville: Travel south on Hwy. #49, turn west (right) onto Marysville Road and proceed approximately 2 miles to the picnic ground and trailhead on the right. Both the east and west trailhead can be reached from here.
Very nice, peaceful trail in January. The weather was in the 40's and although the trail was damp to wet, it was manageable. Surprisingly, we were the only ones on the trail and there were only a couple small motorboats fishing in the bay.
This trail is not as hard as every thing I have read says. It's just long. I did ten miles of it, fairly even, would be slippery when wet. Tons of newts and slugs, the water was low in the lake due to drought. It is however beautiful and nicely shaded. I would recommend it. And probably will do it again.
The trail is beautiful. Lots of newts and banana slugs and millipedes. The trail is however very poorly marked and even using a map I printed off from the Emerald Cove website we ended up getting a little lost. Our gps wouldn't connect because of all the trees. The views of the lake or gorgeous and the trail is a very easy hike. We are going again on Sunday.
We enjoy a shorter segment - about 6.2 miles. We leave a car at the boat ramp at Dark Day and shuttle the hikers to the Vista parking lot (farther west-before you cross the dam) on your right (restrooms). The trailhead starts there and it is about 2.5 miles to the Schoolhouse Campground. The .7 miles up to the campground (where we sit at a picnic table and enjoy lunch, gets your appetite going!!! Then back down the .7 miles to the main trail where you turn right and hike about another 2.3 miles to the boat ramp. Spring is lovely with the Dogwoods and fall gives you better views of the lake as the leaves have fallen.
This is an absolutely beautiful hike and you can make it as long or short as you want (we ended up doing 15 miles inadvertently :). Started at the boat ramp, there are a lot of people boating (and jet skiers etc), but once you get into the hike, it's beautiful and quiet. We met only about 4-5 other people the entire time. Can get a little slippery but nothing dangerous. The colors of the water are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.
This trail is really easy, and long if you want it to be. Lots of places to stop and swim, bullards bar is warm and fun.. The water is emerald color, really neat. I like to start at vista point and jog all the way to the end, and back, but there are a couple of other entrance points.. Dark day is at the other end and schoolhouse is the midpoint. 12-14 miles round trip, and shaded almost the entire way. Even in 100 degree weather it stays cool. So it's a perfect hike, really.. And of course, blackberries everywhere.
Highly recommend. I'm born and raised in Tahoe so I can be a bit of a trail snob, but this hike gets 5 stars. I love it.
I give this hike four stars! Not "as" epic as some of the Yosemite trails, but this is a truly hidden gem. It's sad that there are people living within 20 miles of this marvel who've have never been.
Be sure to visit the Rock House, Turtle Rock and the US Coast & Geodetic Marker.
Best time is March and April, I just went on this 3rd day of May and there was no water anywhere. But it was still an awesome day on the Rock.
It's worth the drive,...DO THIS HIKE!!!
Only got to hike part of the trail today, but it is an awesome hike. Lots of leaves on the trail, makes it a little slippery, but otherwise no problems.