Independence Flat Loop Trail is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Jackson, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
This is part of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail (MCCT) to Highway 49. A pretty ramble through woodland and rolling foothill rangeland, passing the lonely sites of many vanished gold miners' camps.
Beautiful views in the spring. Great for kids as well.
Tip: go left if you want a gentle climb, right for more intense.
Well worth the trip
Loved it. The hike was comfortable and undemanding, which was perfect for my wife as this is our first hike in over 3 years. As mentioned by another review, March is a beautiful time to go as the hills are lush green and flowers are beginning to bloom. The river was running quickly, but serenely and the brooks coming down the sides of the hill provide a tranquil gurgling that almost begs for a sun salutation to be done.
I really appreciated the review that gave directions. Going down the single-lane road I began to question whether I was on the right road or had missed a turnoff, but I remembered that another reviewer had stated that it was nearly 3 miles down to a bridge. Also appreciated, were the heads up to purchase the permit at the trailhead. I paid $10 for the yearly permit at www.ebmud.com/recreation using my phone. Very easy.
My wife and I had a wonderful time hiking, listening to the river, brooks, and birds. I also liked that there wasn't garbage all over the place (e.g., water bottles, snack wrappers, etc.). We will be back with our 6 and 5 year-olds to hike part of the trail and picnic--the whole loop is a bit much for them.
Great hike! It's well marked with easy access from the Middle Bar Bridge. Requires a permit that you can buy at the entrance via your smart phone for $3. March is the perfect time of year while the hills are lush and green. Wildflowers are starting to bloom. A great spring hike!
Be prepared to back-up if you meet another vehicle on sections of the narrow single lane access road. The trail traverses beautiful country and is worth the drive. You can purchase a permit at the trailhead if you have a smartphone with internet access.
This was a nice hike, but not great. The trail head is located about 3 miles down a rough, single lane road. After parking, cross the bridge and veer left. There is a check in and several signs indicating that a permit is required. We did not have a permit and did the hike anyway. Trail is well marked and you will pass through several cattle gates. We did not see another person on the trail. The first portion of the trail follows the river and was very green and wet. As we came away from the river, the landscape became more pasture and we could hear and see cars on Hwy. 49. The section of the trail that follows the river is very pretty and feels remote. It's the second half that made me give it a lower rating. Not a difficult trail, and took about 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
It was so green and a great walk
Well marked. Restrooms in parking lot. Nice views. It says you need a permit from EBMUD, but they don't say where to get the permit. So you risk a ticket...part of trail bear hwy 49 is noisy, but that part is short.
great trail with river access and nice views from the top.
Very pretty and quiet trail. Everything was so green with gorgeous views at the top.