Buttermilk Bend Trail

EASY 75 reviews

Buttermilk Bend Trail is a 2.3 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, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.3 miles
196 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips





wild flowers


Mostly flat with side trails down to the river. There is a $5 day use fee for this park.

2 months ago

Easy trail and loads of great views

4 months ago

I highly reccomend hiking this after the rains the trail does not get muddy and it is nice to see the river running fast.It is a very safe trail during the winter months since you are a safe distance from the river but still have the views.

4 months ago

Awesome trail can walk down to the river pretty chill!

6 months ago

Enjoyable, easy trail alongside the Yuba River. Lots opportunities to climb down to the river for a swim.

6 months ago

8 months ago

We hiked this trail on 6-30-17 and loved being near the river easy level trail with some steep drop offs

9 months ago

This is a pretty awesome place to hike. It is a super easy hike for kids and not too many people on the trail on either a Saturday or Sunday. There are about 5 or 6 off trails that lead you down to the river that is just roaring at this time. You can see the amazing rainbow fish swimming upstream even through all that force of water going against them. The only thing I would say is bring bug spray. There are quite a bit of mosquitoes out, and a bit of Poison Oak, which honestly I feel is at any hiking trail at this time of year. We've been about 3 times and will keep going back.

10 months ago

Beautiful vistas along this trail above the South Yuba River. Very pleasant easy to walk with some access to the river near the end of the hike.

10 months ago

First time here, walk was easy. The views were exceptional. Cannot wait to go back!

10 months ago

An easy hike that was clearly marked and my child appreciated the many benches along the trail. The views of the river were beautiful and I recommend taking some of the side trails towards the river.

11 months ago

I went hiking with the dog in the rain here today and found it to be a very enjoyable walk. Very scenic views of the river. Nice, clear paths with cute sign reminders here and there not to pick wildflowers or leave your dog unleashed. (However with the quick drop off on the side of the path, I wouldn't ever risk leaving my dog off leash on this particular path since she is distracted easily and would probably go over the side if a stray butterfly flitted that way.)

As much as I was enjoying the hike, there was a point I simply had to turn around as the very clear path started getting extremely muddy and squishy, especially since my dog is on the smaller side and close to the ground, but I was also slipping around too. Without a guard from the drop in places, it just wasn't safe enough for me to continue with my pet. There was a couple up ahead of me (only people I saw besides the rangers in the hut when I parked) and it seemed it wasnt getting less muddy, but I'll be back when it's a bit drier. There was no one on the path on the way back.

Lots of natural stone benches to sit on, scenic view points of the river and pretty bridges over smaller brooks.

11 months ago

Beautiful spot with tons to see! you can walk down to the river to see the Covered Bridge which was swarming with swallows and butterflies today, or hike the trail with beautiful views of the river and landscape. The wildflowers are even marked so you know which flower species you are looking at. There were nice little benches along the way to stop and just take in the scenery. We loved this hike and area!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Not a bad walk at all. Great views of the Yuba River with easy access to the river if desired. Lots of shady spots to stop with benches if you need to. Only bad thing was nobody seems to know how to pick up there dogs poop. Great trail other than that.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Great place to ask your lover to marry you!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I walked this trail in the spring with my husband who has a bad back and has to rest frequently. The trail had a lot of benches so he could sit and rest. The wildflowers were incredible. A very nice trail.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Friday, July 15, 2016

The hike was easy. The river was beautiful and this is a great swimming and river relaxation spot. I will be going back to hangout for the day!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

decent trail. well kept. nothing spectacular about it though. easy enough and plenty of spots to go down to the river and cool off.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Easy hike. Ends where you can take a fairly easy hike down to river edge. Beautiful area. Loved the sound of river as we relaxed near water.

Friday, May 20, 2016

great, short, easy hike.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Went here for the first time with a new friend and I loved it!! Great views of the river bend and a great spot for a picnic! We even brought our babies and they loved it too. Not stroller friendly. We used baby carriers.

Monday, April 04, 2016

So nice with all wildflowers and a lot of water in the river.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hike this easy trail every year due to the prolific abundance of beautiful wildflowers in the spring. The river was flowing great and it was a gorgeous day. Only issue is the trail is really busy and too many dogs. Would prefer to go on a weekday when it's less crowded.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Great view and swimming holes

Friday, March 11, 2016

This is another hike that I took my over-50 ladies group on. It is a very basic, easy hike with pretty views of the river on one side. There are clean, state maintained restroom at the parking lot as well as picnic benches. Across the street is the beautiful Bridgeport Bridge and a walk around Bridgeport State Park. There is an old cemetery if you enjoy looking at headstones, etc as well as an old 1950's remodeled gas station and other FREE things to see as well as easy access to the river's edge. It makes for a nice day if you have out-of-the-area visitors. Lots of space for kids to run. Please don't leave valuables in sight in your car. I did have my window smashed and items stolen on one visit. I will visit this location again. I love it here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

too easy for a real hike. this is basically a nature walk. as a photographer, I can always find beauty here. As, a bird watcher this can be productive.
In the spring there are many wild flowers.
If you walk slowly and appreciate nature it is worthwhile. If you are young, in a hurry, looking for a challenge, or seeking quiet go elsewhere.
It is a very popular weekend stroll.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Even though it states that is 2.5 miles, it felt as we walked 7 miles. Trail is easy for beginners. There are spots where you could see how steep the fall could be. The river had cold water for a Summer day. Given the drought, there are a few spots to get in and swim but with many rocks and slippery for the moss and green growth on rocks. Surprising visitor center with information about the site.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I was looking forward to this hike mostly for the wildflowers but it seems I came about 2 months too late. The hike itself wasn't challenging at all and it ends abruptly which is a bit awkward. A tad disappointed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Great family hike. Completed the trail with my wife, two kids and our baby in an off road stroller. Decent shade on the second half. Well maintained trail with many resting benches. Great views. After completing the trail we went to the river for a dip bringing the baby in a front pack. Great time was had by all. Not too crowded (considering that it was on Memorial Day).

Sunday, April 05, 2015

One of the most beautiful trails I've gone on because of the views. The majority of the trail follows the river and has a view of everything. I went with my dog and it was an easy hike for us. The water was cool and lovely to swim in. There are many different flowers along the trail as well. When we went there were tons of butterflies- one landed on my pups nose. Great for families or to just have a relaxing stroll along the mountain. There is also a $5 parking fee!

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