nature trips





kid friendly

dogs on leash

wild flowers

This 20-mile portion of the South Yuba River canyon stretches from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park to Bridgeport covered bridge. The area includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world, the steep rugged canyon of the South Yuba River, and the Independence Trail - the first identified wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country. South Yuba River State Park offers many scenic vistas. Visitors can view fast water pouring over massive granite ledges in the spring and warm, slow moving emerald swimming holes during the late summer. Visitors can enjoy: swimming, hiking, panning for gold, beautiful wildflowers in the spring, and exploring the trails leading to historic mining sites. Docent-led history, nature, and gold-panning tours are also offered at selected times throughout the year. Adventuresome hikers have a choice of trails ranging in difficulty from the easiest (Independence Trail), to other more strenuous trails throughout the park.

The trail is very accessible, easy to follow, and not super crowded. The Switchback is closed unfortunately which was the cool part, and the trail ends suddenly at a road. Bathrooms at the trail entrance, use at your own discretion!

Great shaded trail wide enough for stroller (jogging style). No inclines or declines so it was a nice smooth walk or jog. Lots of spots to stop along the way for a break if needed to. Not sure though how far it goes as we only got about about 1.69mi in and there was a large tree across path blocking our safe route with stroller so we called it quits and headed back unfortunately. Would like to try East side next time and see where that goes. Not a ton of parking so get their fairly early. Bathrooms are right at beginning of trail only (pretty typical of a trail of course). After the trail head back in your car another quarter mile up the road and take a nice dip in the beautiful scenic river which also offers more trails but for more advanced hikers.

7 days ago

During the warmer weather this is not a dog friendly spot and the hiking is harder than moderate. There is a lot of downhill rocky parts and than all up hill. Better for during the fall time and its very hard to get down to the water if you need to cool off.

Definitely better views than the West trail. Had to scare a rattlesnake off the trail. Very flat, easy walk.

17 days ago

Easy interesting trail and very pretty. We took a detour via the jones bar trail down to the river and that part was definitely challenging.

24 days ago

Hard to go back up, pretty rocky, moderate hike. Camping at the bottom, amazing clear water, river trout, bring snorkeling gear. Try and catch the fish by hand(noodling) those bastards are crafty. Floated down the river, where water shoes of some kind. Great spot, help keep our nature spots clean.

26 days ago

Not a lot of scenery at the start of the trail however it is very nice as you approach the river and lake may be difficult for dogs since it is rockyin parts

The bridge was in accessable when we went (October) but otherwise a gorgeous little trek.

Pretty good places to swim water is emerald green could have a bit of fun tubing as well