Buttermilk Bend Trail is a 2.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Penn Valley, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length2.4 miElevation gain154 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashkid friendlyHikingNature tripsBeachRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeFee
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

Mostly flat with side trails down to the river. There is a $10 day use fee for this park.

Plenty of parking if you arrive early, but it was filled up when we left.

From Highway 49, take CA 20 West towards Marysville, right on Pleasant Valley Rd. The address for the visitor's center is 17660 Pleasant Valley Rd., Penn Valley, CA

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Reviews (208)
Photos (407)
Recordings (115)
Completed (514)
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Tammie Strong
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Hiking
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Tijan Oloa
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Nature tripsGreat!

Nice level hike, easy for beginners and kiddos. Parking says $10 but machine only charged $5

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Barbara Scheck
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Hiking
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Meredith Ayestaran
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HikingGreat!
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Sam Rolph
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Hiking

A really nicely maintained trail with benches along the way. Easy hiking with some great opportunities to get pictures of the South Yuba River.

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Virginia Asican
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WalkingGreat!

We loved it! Took my 2 boys 12 and 14 years old. We haven’t been on a hike in awhile so it was a great start for the year. Def recommended

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Cassy Elizabeth
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Nature tripsFee

Easy, little tight when you run into people. I definitely want to go back when the flowers are in bloom.

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Valentine Tan
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Hiking
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Rod Raub
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Hiking
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Dani Elle
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Hiking

Perfect short trail to take a 5 month old pup.

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Richard Todd
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Hiking

Great views of the river. Easy out and back.

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Michelle Fontes
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Hiking

Hiked this location again this past weekend. It was nice & relaxing. Went down to the river and sat on some rocks for a bit, enjoying the rushing water. Got to that abrupt end again and turned around. It was good this time as the person I was hiking with wasn't that experienced. This is a nice mellow hike that can easily be done at a brisk pace.

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Mary Aguiar
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Walking

It’s been a while since I’ve been...can anyone tell me if I can bring a jogging stroller?

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Megan Reynolds
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WalkingGreat!
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Sage Ira
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Hiking
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Laura Garzel
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HikingFee

09/25/20: parking area and trail are open.

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Matthew mascuzzio
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Hiking

super pretty but ppl need to pick up there trash

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Tanushree Biswas
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Just the perfect trail we needed to get away from heat n people during covid.

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Pamela Amo
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WalkingNo shadeRocky

The Alltrails app directions took me on Mooney Flat Road which is very narrow and winding. Use Pleasant Valley Road. Much nicer drive. This place was PACKED with people. I arrived at 10 am hoping to avoid the hoards but no such luck. I parked in the lot and paid the $10 fee. There are "No parking" signs on the main road but people were still parking there and walking to the river. Watch out for this. The trail is mostly sun with very little shade and quite narrow. Difficult for people to pass. Drop off on one side to the river and steep uphill on the other. Watch your children. When I left the CHP and rangers were ticketing the cars parked on the road. I also saw a tow truck headed to the site but not sure if any vehicles were actually towed. I'll try to go back another time during off season to walk and take photos.

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Britt Broady
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Hiking

Great trail and capped off with fun in the river for the whole family! Huge crowd at the start of the trail near the parking lot. Follow the trail- the further you go before going to the river, the less people and more fun you will find! Great for our 4yo, 9yo and 35 lbs dog.

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Tosha Skeen
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HikingFee

The first part of the trail was pretty crowded due to a lot of people going down to the river, but once you get past all of the access points it’s pretty secluded. It was a nice easy hike, also access to the water at the end of the trail and there was no people in that part of the river. Fun for me and the pup!

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Caryn Malak
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Hiking

Great hike even with kids. Pretty narrow near the end but a few different spots to go down to the river along the way. Prob not good for unsteady walkers. Be aware of poison oak along the path.

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Dan Allen
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Hiking

Fun place to take the family swimming

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Beth Bridges
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HikingFee

My three kids (ages 10, 6 and 8 months) and I did this one today, I wore the baby in the carrier and the kids toted their own water. It was an easy 2.6 miles in and out from the parking lot to the trail ends sign. There wasn’t much shade but there was a handful of places with benches to stop and sit and enough shady spots that we could take a break here and there. The pictures I snapped don’t do justice to the views. I did pay $10 for parking but it was well spent, we had a good time.

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sammy kilgore
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Hiking

was a good trail to hike the hill walking down is kinda steep for older hikers but Overall was easy to get down. it was also kinda steep to go back up. there is a couple diff trails u can choose to take you. we took the one to the left after u walked down to the water where it splits. great weather bring sunscreen great area for picnic. good swimming spot for the kids.

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Maliyah Severson
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Hiking

Loved it! There’s such easy access to the river before and after the hike. There is loose dirt so be mindful of that. There’s tons of shade making it a very nice to stop along the benches so you can sit down and take a break. Very easy trail with lots of pretty bridges and little water holes. You can see the beautiful river almost the whole time!!

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Shannan Ramirez
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HikingFee

Beautiful hike with lots if sun and some shade. We did this hike on Memorial Day with our dog. There are couple of spots that might be difficulty for those who struggle with mobility, especially if you want to visit the water, but overall it was pretty easy. There were so many gorgeous views of wildflowers and rapids. I enjoyed the benches along the trail. They were great for water breaks. Everyone on the trail was super friendly and all dogs were leashed. The path is narrow, but I didn't feel unsafe or feel like it would be dangerous to bring children. There is a fee to park. The lot was not open when we arrived in the morning, but it was when we were leaving. Even if you park on the street, you will need to pay the $10 fee. The machine takes cards.

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Alicia Russell
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HikingNo shade

I loved this trail! It might be because it wasn’t busy or because it’s my first time... but it’s a flat trail with a. Drop off to the river on one side... super awesome views and plenty of trails down to the river with little beaches to chill on, you could spend the whole day out there chilling on warm rocks and walking around

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Janelle V.
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Hiking

Parking lots still closed! Argh! Had to park on the roadside just up from the trail head. Loved the easy trail with beautiful views of the rushing river. Steep drop off on most of the trail so hug the far left. I don’t believe it’s wide enough for a dog walking. I’d also be nervous with young kids. I’d recommend age 10 and up personally. A little muddy today in some spots due to the rain overnight. However, the fresh scent of a new rain was intoxicating! Get on the trail early in order to snag the very few parking spots off the road near the trail.

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