Independence Trail West

EASY 194 reviews

Independence Trail West is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nevada City, California that features a waterfall 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.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
429 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

hiking
bridge out
27 days ago

1 month ago

Loved this one! We looped with the Jones Bar trail and it was a blast. Not very kid friendly over on the Jones bar part because of steep terrain but still a good trail to hike.

1 month ago

Awesome family hike and very flat. Little chilly as most of the trail is shaded.

Forested, shady, level and incredible views. We took this hike this year around Christmas. The trees were damp with dew, and the sun was peeking through the fog, highlighting the South Yuba River Canyon. The forest is a mixture of Ponderosa, Digger, and other conifers, along with California Oak, Madrone and Manzanita. The best part of this trail is the bridges. The wooden walkways provide good photo spots and break up the trail length. Don’t be fooled by the mountainous topography. This trail is almost 100% level. Flat. In fact, we heard it was one of the first wheelchair accessible dirt trails constructed in the USA back in the 70s. It follows an irrigation ditch built by the Chinese in the 1800s. Now used as a hiking path. At times, we switched from the top to the bottom of the ditch. Consider the unique canyon boardwalk as the destination. Making it about an hour round-trip walk. Great for groups, or anyone looking for a level start. Bring high-soled shoes and trekking poles if you plan to hike in the winter, as the ditch can be muddy in some spots.
- Mike and Angel Cutler, EarthTrek Gear

hiking
3 months ago

nice relaxing trail. I love going in the fall with the amazing color changes of the trees and salamanders every where.

hiking
4 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike! Ground was level and beautiful views and ran into some salamanders on the trail. Will definitely do it again!

hiking
4 months ago

The trail itself is beautiful, and though I would not describe the views as spectacular, the jaunt itself is pleasant and relaxing. I took the trail from the (very low) underpass to the right of the trailhead sign all the way to it's finish at the fire road (there is an end of trail marker there to let you know). A little anticlimactic since there was no sweeping view at the end. When I do it again, i will likely stop at the picnic tables located after the bridge. Great place to snack and recharge before heading back.

4 months ago

Great trail! lots of mosquitoes though. Easy walk, level and shaded.

5 months ago

this is a fantastic trail to take young kids who are just starting to get into nature walks without being in a stroller. it is long but easy for them to enjoy and explore. the trail has several little creekbeds that are filled with salamanders. the walk bridgws and paths are also nice for individuals who have difficulty walking. bridges have benches and great views.

walking
5 months ago

This trail is more a walking trail rather than a hiking trail. It’s very flat, mostly shaded, and provides a pretty nice view of the South Yuba river from above. It’s not a crowded trail since more people opt to spend time down by the river. The wooden bridges were a nice touch as well.

From what I saw, it’s an in-out trail. The only drawback was having to avoid dog poop which was not moved from the trail.

5 months ago

It was a very relaxing trail to hike. sad that part of it was damaged.

5 months ago

great for kids path is well maintained. a lot of people there so made it tricky for the narrow path

6 months ago

The scenery on this trail is ever changing! Which made it interesting and fun:) It wasn't challenging in any way, very chill. Adorable, really. Good for everyone! Adults and kids. Wheelchairs not so much).

7 months ago

Was a great little trail. We had it all to ourselves.
This would be a great walk for young children as well.
We had an illusion that we were walking slightly down hill both ways

hiking
7 months ago

the west trail is actually a loop of you take Jones bar and hike on the service road for a bit. you will see where the west trail meets the road. Take that back to the trail head. Very nice and shady. The most difficult part was the incline on the service road. we then went to to the east trail. This is an in and out trail. Easy and flat.

hiking
8 months ago

We weren’t impressed. This is an in and out hike, which we knew to begin with. The hike halfway in was nice and very easy. It was also wide enough and very level for wheel chair accessibility. The wooden switchback was blocked off and deemed unsafe. We were able to navigate our way down but definitely not accessible in a wheelchair. It was the only point on the hike that any water was visible. The second half of the way in was level and very easy for an able person. The trail narrowed to the point that a wheel chair would not fit and tons of poison oak encroached the path. There was also two fallen trees blocking the path. The trail led to an end of trail marker...a huge disappointment for myself and my two teen boys. Apparently, in other reviews, we could have crossed what appeared to be a county maintained gravel road and scaled down some boulders to a swim pond. Didn’t realize that until later. We headed back and then drove down the hill to the bridge where we joined several others at the swimming hole. Lots of fun there. Next time, that’s where we will spend our time.

8 months ago

I am in a wheelchair (power) and this was amazing!!

8 months ago

Just wanted to clarify that following the dirt road to the right at the end of the trail leads to an absolutely beautiful spot but the loop back to the trail is a very tough vertical hike. You will find it on the other side of a wooden foot bridge.

8 months ago

so much beauty

8 months ago

Easy hike. Bring bug spray and watch for poison oak. It’s everywhere. We were a little confused about .5 miles into hike there was a trail that leads down. Jones Bar. We took it and realized a mile in that we were off the trail and had to turn around. So stay on the upper trail.

hiking
8 months ago

It's a very easy walk for strollers, well-behaved pets, and well-behaved 4-year-olds... but it's too easy to be a real "hike". I absolutely love that it's wheelchair accessible, and I saw a young lady out enjoying her outing with seemingly no problems. The view is amazing with beautiful flora!! The trail is clean and very well groomed with picnic tables and benches, but long pants are advised as Poison Oak grows in abundance near (and onto!) the pathway. Some areas can get hot where the breeze just doesn't reach.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice botany hike with my CNPS colleagues. A lot of cool plants along the this little snippet of trail. I want to go back and hike some other areas, soon. Although I will be looking at plants, I can get more miles in with a smaller group.

hiking
8 months ago

Too easy for a hike but definitely a breath taking beautiful nature walk. Oh I forgot the mosquito repellent and was bit many times so don’t forget yours.

9 months ago

beautiful hike! i knew better then to leave the house without bug spray(lesson learned). There is many mosquitoes and a ton of poison oak . it was so nice overall and i will be going again forsure. very easy hike

9 months ago

Amazing

9 months ago

beautiful easy trail with good accessibility.

9 months ago

Nice walk - nothing difficult. Not well marked at the end so tough to get down to the river. We ended up using a “trail” that required we navigate some big boulders (and lots of poison oak) but in the end it was all worth it

hiking
9 months ago

Great, easy hike with great views. We didn’t know you can make a loop and go down to the river. We went to the end of the trail and turned around and went back the way we came, so I would suggest that if you want to get to the river turn right at end end of the trail and follow the dirt road. All in all a really great hike.

9 months ago

The trail was awesome, easily accessible, and beautiful! The weather was perfect and the trail is full of many shady spots along the way to let the dogs take a rest and drink! The only reason the trail didn’t get 5 stars is due to the fact that there were massive amounts of poison oak growing alongside the trail, mosquitos (shady, moist, and warm, we should have known lol), and water access was not possible with the dogs...the descent was too steep. If you can handle the cons then the trail is MOST DEFINITELY worth the pros!

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail for your dogs, beautiful butterflies 曆. Trail is easy and many wooden bridges to cross.

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