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Independence Trail West

EASY 262 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

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

muddy

This trail is wheelchair friendly when properly maintained, but sometimes rocks or down trees make the path more difficult to navigate in a wheelchair.

hiking
13 days ago

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
blowdown
bugs
16 days 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
20 days ago

hiking
20 days 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
22 days 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
bugs
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

We had completed the independence trail west yesterday. The pictures were very different than what we hiked but ending it and doing Jones Bar down to the river made it worth it. Independence trail was very narrow, DEFINITELY need bug spray, we made the mistake of not taking any and paying for it today. The trail was very enclosed and at just one or two spots very narrow with a drop to the right with no railing. The bridge was beautiful! It’s something you don’t see everyday and it was neat! I don’t think I’ll be doing this trail again but taking Jones Bar down to the river definitely worth it.

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

I would definitely recommend this trail, it’s beautiful, even though the waterfall was closed, my girl and I decided to go check it out anyways and it was well worth it! Beautiful. I recommend hiking down Jones Bar Rd when you hit the end of the trail, takes you down by the driver and makes a nice loop, rather than an out & back.

hiking
bridge out
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

easy trail with a few swimming spots along the way. bring bug spray and a swim suit. the swim spot are swim suit optional.

recorded Independence Trail West

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Go to Jones Bar to swim & cool off.

hiking
1 month ago

We went to the right down to the water then up and around. It’s a steeper decline down, but the more gradual incline on the way up is much more enjoyable. Trail is well maintained and follows an old gravel road through some of it.

hiking
over grown
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Trail narrows and is overgrown about half way through but trail was shaded most of the way. Bridge to the creek was closed, we hiked the trail until the end, turned right onto Jones Bar Rd and down to the river. Beautiful views of the river and a great secluded picnic spot! We decided to hike back up the steep incline to meet the independence trail again (STEEP UPHILL) instead of going back the way we came. Overall great views, wooden bridges are awesome!

hiking
3 months ago

Easy to walk, wide, comfortable path. A little confusing at 2 mile mark. Many paths to take so tried a few but much less traveled and maintained; wasn’t sure where they went and didn’t have service. Print map first if trying other routes. We enjoyed the exercise with a good pace and level path. Ran in to a few families with little kids also enjoying. Thank goodness for a bathroom too!!

off trail
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

this trail is good if you stay on the highway !! the maps will try to take you on a road called Jones bar road do NOT take the road you will get stuck and possibly fuck your car up , and there is no service so if something happens theres no one around to help for miles !! stay on the 49 freeway and it will take you to the trail safely !! other than that is was a cool adventure

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Has such wonderful views! But also sooooo much poison oak. The waterfall is quite beautiful. And the trail wasn’t overcrowded.

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy trail for just about anyone. Beware of the poison oak.

recorded Independence Trail West

hiking
muddy
washed out
3 months ago

Came here on a Sunday afternoon with my dog and there weren’t too many people. A few families and other pups. Trail is super muddy right now (after rain) but luckily there is a low and a high path so, we took the high path most of the way to avoid the giant puddles. Not a super exciting path but the waterfall and wooden bridge area are super pretty and worth the trek. Easy trail for families and older people

hiking
bugs
muddy
3 months ago

Very easy trail lots of people. I got there early and was able to park close. A lot of poison oak and I found a tick on me after I got home, check yourself! All in all, a short and easy trail with beautiful views!

hiking
4 months ago

I’ve been hiking this trail for 20 years and I love it. I am sad that there apparently is no funding to keep it up.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. Great for the dog and young kids. We made it into a loop by following the service road and then following the .4 mi Jones trail back up. Came out on a rainy day which made the trail quite muddy but the falls were all flowing great.

hiking
4 months ago

Each trail in Nevada County is unique. This trail is an easy walking trail with lots of shade for all ages and especially fun for young ones. I love that it is handicap accessible. Walk it often.

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