Looking for a great trail in South Yuba River State Park, California? AllTrails has 13 great hiking trails, views trails, dogs leash trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 8 moderate trails in South Yuba River State Park ranging from 1.6 to 19.8 miles and from 1,246 to 4,980 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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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.

hiking
8 days ago

I do this trail reverse go I can be by the pretty water first and avoid that first initial incline BUT boy, that incline 2/3 in will kick your ass! Lol

Great spot for an autumn hike. The fall color was gorgeous and it was a really chill atmosphere.

hiking
17 days ago

The trail description needs some editing. The trail is a little over 5 miles out and back, according to my Fitbit. It took us 1 hour 10 minutes to reach the overlook at the end of the trail, so maybe 2.5 hours total. After parking, go down the hill and you’ll see a sign marking the trail head. My husband and I hiked it in late October. Pro tip: we found the view at the trail head to be as good or better than at the trail’s end. It makes a good photo op, plus you can eat at the picnic table if you like. As for the trail itself, there were a significant number of mosquitoes (10am-1pm), plus signs warning of mountain lions, Black bears, and snakes. Made it a bit hard to relax and enjoy the trip. If you’re going to hike this trail. I recommend bringing insect repellent, wearing long pants, sleeves and hiking boots, and hiking when the weather is cool. While we didn’t see any large predators, it wouldn’t hurt to bring something to deter them.

hiking
27 days ago

Nice easy trail. The trail is blocked/ closed for repair of some of the walkways. I can see that all the wonderful things said about the trail would be true. Some pesky gnats and a few flies on the part we were able to hike.

hiking
29 days ago

I spent the summer hiking the Missouri Bar trail, the Humbug trail, and the South Yuba River trail. I wanted to explore the Highway 20 side of the Missouri bar trail, so I recently parked my truck along highway 20 and the Pioneer trail at N 39° 19.366 w 120° 51.888. Then I drove to the town of Washington with a friend, and hiked on the South Yuba trail to the river crossing. I tried a flat wide pool that looked shallow, but actually went up to my waist. My friend chose a narrow, rocky area to cross and kept his shorts dry. Once across, I followed the red track on my phone and quickly found the trail, a broad path, almost a fire road, up the mountain. Very steep and tiring, but the trail continued on until it ran into some properties near the top. But the path turned parallel to highway 20, then went around the homes, then got to the Pioneer trail, which we hiked to my truck... An excellent adventure.

Beautiful fall hike! Easy for all skill levels and has a beautiful view of the Yuba River ❤️

Great conditions and great views with lots of shade. Trail was well-maintained and clear, though there were a couple of downed trees where the trail had been slightly rerouted. Weather was perfect in mid-October. DId this hike as an out and back. Explored a bit of the other side of the river (across the bridge) once I reached Purdon. Spent the night about a mile from Purdon Crossing a little way past the day use area (overnight camping is not allowed in the areas marked for day use at the beginning and end of this trail). A few other people camping on the river but by no means crowded. I'd say that is based on it being pretty late in the year. Got down in the low 40s at night but was prepared with layers so I kept plenty warm. Not too crowded. Only met one kind of sketchy looking individual on the trail in the Private Property crossing area who was carrying a pick axe and gold panning tools, but he seemed more or less harmless. About four carloads of people showed up looking for fun on the river when I returned to the car on Sunday. This leads me to believe that while this hike seems like it could be a lot of fun during the summer (with lots of great swimming holes) I'd be willing to bet the place is generally overrun and too crowded for a peaceful backpacking trip during the summer months. Unlike many other reviewers, I did not find any ticks. However, because of the time of year I was wearing lightweight full-length hiking pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Also, poison oak seemed minimal and I am highly sensitive to it (again, caveat could be due the time of year).

hiking
1 month ago

Great conditions and great views with lots of shade. Trail was well-maintained and clear, though there were a couple of downed trees where the trail had been slightly rerouted. Weather was perfect in mid-October. DId this hike as an out and back. Explored a bit of the other side of the river (across the bridge) once I reached Purdon. Spent the night about a mile from Purdon Crossing a little way past the day use area (overnight camping is not allowed in the areas marked for day use at the beginning and end of this trail). A few other people camping on the river but by no means crowded. I'd say that is based on it being pretty late in the year. Got down in the low 40s at night but was prepared with layers so I kept plenty warm. Not too crowded. Only met one kind of sketchy looking individual on the trail in the Private Property crossing area who was carrying a pick axe and gold panning tools, but he seemed more or less harmless. About four carloads of people showed up looking for fun on the river when I returned to the car on Sunday. This leads me to believe that while this hike seems like it could be a lot of fun during the summer (with lots of great swimming holes) I'd be willing to bet the place is generally overrun and too crowded for a peaceful backpacking trip during the summer months.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

A bit buggy, but a much more scenic route than the western leg of the trail.

hiking
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

nice. mosquitos not a problem. was pretty but not as nice as the pics. sections of the trail needs maintenance.

hiking
1 month ago

someone below insists that this is a 4 mile trail ... surprise Bunky, it is exactly as listed according to my multiple laps around it with my GPS agreeing every time. 2.6, repeat after me, 2.6 miles.

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

Nice easy hike. Between 1.75 and 2.0 miles there were 4 trees down, though. 3 were just trunks across the path and easy to get over, the fourth, at 2 miles, was a fresh canopy fall. Had to clamber through/around limbs to continue. UPDATE: The eastern leg is much more scenic, so I’m taking one star away.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick off HWY 20 hike. Nothing epic about this except the killer view.

hiking
1 month ago

Took me 2,5 hours, and I’m a fast walker. Do it’s more than 4,3 mi. Beautiful, especially after the rain! Good hike not too tough, no climbing. Highly recommend. I’ve heard a bear, so be careful.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful well maintained trail. started at 9am one day after a little rain.About 1.5 hours to reach the end. The view is just awesome ,No need to park in the rock quarry,the trail head has a large gravel area to park in .Had the trail all to myself, no bears, no lions, no ticks. Will be back.

I would have enjoyed this trail more if it was marked better. I didn’t see any signs after the trail head. Also, bring bug spray! I went at 9am and the bugs swarmed to me and my dog.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
blowdown
bugs
2 months ago

A tree has fallen with the crown of the tree on the trail. Its about 800 feet before the road down to the river. There's no way around, but it does look like some folks have been climbing through. We chose to turn around and go back. Otherwise, this may be our new goto hike. Heading back in a few weeks to try and catch the maples in color.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Completed this hike on Labor Day weekend. Really easy with not to many views. Would probably be a better hike in the spring.

hiking
2 months ago

Short but beautiful hike along the Yuba River. This would have been a 5 star hike;however, there was no parking, thousands of people, loud mariachi music, trash, copious amounts of marijuana use, and human feces scattered along the trail. I even came across a used tampon next to a pile of feces in the middle of the path. It was so sad to see a beautiful majestic trail like this destroyed by inconsiderate people.

hiking
2 months ago

It was easy and flat, very pretty. The waterfall wasn’t running much but it was really beautiful. We took the Jones Bar trail down to the river which was worth the super steep hike back back up to the main trail. I would do this again!

hiking
2 months ago

5 stars because this trail handicap accessible and I think that’s awesome!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail high along the river canyon. Many steep trails that go down to the water before you get to the Hoyt's Crossing. This is a nude area so if you aren't comfortable with that, find a closer to the beginning of the trail.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Thia trail is not 2.6 miles. It is around 4 miles round trip. I would also rate this as moderate, not easy. We are in relatively good shape, but it's a bit of a climb on those switchbacks. Overall, good hiking area and the campground had no one there on a Saturday afternoon. The public restroom was well maintained. Good trail, but it is 4 miles!

on Point Defiance Trail

hiking
2 months ago

I would put this trail at Easy+ or Moderate. I hiked it both ways and suggest going counter clockwise (start with the switchbacks). Definitely bring your swim gear especially on a hot day. The clear, blue river is very inviting after a good, hot hike! (Bring goggles to see all the fish too)

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