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James Bar Trail is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Valley Springs, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 0.9 miles Elevation Gain: 68 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly


horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers


no dogs

Hike along a section of Camanche-Pardee segment of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail This trail is gentle grade to James Bar, suitable for wheelchairs, and then moderately challenging grade to Gunsight Pass before returning along the same path. The trail begins at Rich Gulch parking area and traverses alongside the intermittent Rich Gulch Creek and the upper end of the Pardee Reservoir River Arm to historic James Bar, before continuing on to Gunsight Pass. A native boulder vehicle barrier at the trailhead incorporates an opening for trail access designed for wheelchair navigation. "4 Wheel Bob" Coomber, a frequent Coast to Crest Trail hiker, demonstrates access in his recent hike in 2010. The James Bar Trail is in the East Bay Municipal Utility District. A trail permit is required. For those wishing to continue on from Gunsight Pass, the MCCT heads west from there, up steep and challenging terrain to Patti's Point, named in honor of Patricia Garamendi, wife of Congressman John Garamendi(D-10). _________________________________ The Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail is a 300+ mile, non-motorized multi-use trail bisecting California, roughly following the Mokelumne River from one end at the Pacific Ocean near Martinez to its headwaters at the Sierra Crest. There are five segments. The MCCT is about 50% complete, with more trail added each year. The MCCT is also one of twenty seven official California State Parks trail corridors that form a statewide trail system linking mountain, valley and coastal communities to recreational, cultural and natural resources throughout the state.

5 months ago

Beautiful trail on a quiet piece of land and water. However, we came across two folks who may have been dealing with serious drug addiction. The woman was passed out face down on the bench, motionless to the point of us feeling like we had to approach her and ask if she was ok. She didn’t respond, but a male companion rose from the tall grass nearby and said she was ok. “Too much partying.” We let them be and continued on, but ultimately felt so uncomfortable we ended the hike early. Reading other reviews of nearby locations, this seems to be a sad trend in some of the area’s parks.

7 months ago

the road to get to the trail is a little bit bumpy and there’s quite a lot of potholes but this trail was a lot of fun. i hiked the trail and onto the MCCT and did the “hardest mile” and turned around. there’s a cool lookout point before dome peak and i stayed there for a while just admiring the view. it gets pretty difficult though and i ran out of water a lot sooner than i expected but the James Bar part of the trail was super well maintained and there was so many flowers everywhere and they all had labels on them sayings what type of flower/plant they were which was unexpected but cool. i didn’t know wild cucumbers grew around there

Thu Jul 06 2017

There is not much to see here. There is water but is not accessible. There were a lot of blackberries on the trail. There were some wild flowers. You must have a permit. Luckily we got internet signal near the parking lot and were able to get the permit online. I see other reviewers suggesting that it was beautiful. I am guessing that we went during the wrong time when it was too dry. I wouldn't go there again.

Wed Oct 19 2016

Beautiful trail! Hiked it while carrying a baby so it's a nice steady trail for any level of hiker, beautiful views.

Thu Aug 18 2016

view http://www.mc2ct.org for more information about the entire 300+ trail, including trail connected to James Bar Trail.

3 months ago

6 months ago

10 months ago

Sat Apr 14 2018

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