Point Defiance Trail is a 2.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near North San Juan, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.6 miles
498 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running






wild flowers



Beautiful Loop Trail with views of both the surrounding mountains and a River/Lake on the back side of the hill.

9 days ago

Nice trail, good elevation changes for a solid hike. picnic area where the south fork and north fork meet. Its a little campground you can reserve. If you're doing this in early to late summer, pay no mind to the parking lot. Most everyone is swimming in the Yuba right there.

2 months ago

Great hike. I like to do this as a training hike followed by a swim. This is not a super hard hike and it can be done in either direction. I have a video of swimming in the river at the park at Chris and Bobs adventure channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uyGtgFQLEM&t=16s

4 months ago

It was good hike, but not easy for a beginner and its more like 3.1 miles not the 2.5 listed. This is not a hike for kids under 10, took my 3yr old and 7 yr old and it was rough for them. A large part of the trail has overgrown vegetation. If i have known of all of the elevation changes and narrow paths, I would not have gone to this trail with them.

6 months ago

took my 3 year old

7 months ago

Great trail. Took the whole family including my 4yr old. Go to the right if you want to knock out the hills early or left if you want to do the hills at the end.

7 months ago

Gorgeous. We recorded 3.5 miles on this trail.

7 months ago

Nice trail, great views of river, wild flowers beginning to bloom. Take the left entrance to the trail across from the State Parks kiosk. Once you get to the lake, if you continue on the loop, you’ll follow the road up a significantly steep grade, then down some switchbacks to the kiosk. Nice lunch spot at the lake. The meadows at the top of the road were worth the steep climb up the road. All in all a great little hike.

8 months ago

nice trail.. less people than trail by the parking lot..but i would chose the otger trail..butter. than this one just for the views.. but from here you do great view of the old covered bridge..

8 months ago

Great hike. Loved the three different "climates". Especially liked the covered bridge & oak grove. Dogs did good. Parking lot was full when we left around noon. Glad we got there early (10am).

10 months ago

A beautiful trail, if you go Left to start it’s an easy grade, but if you go right there’s a pretty aggressive climb bordering on moderate difficulty

10 months ago

nice trail veiws were good the trail by the lake reminded me think of hobbits every rock and tree covered in moss

10 months ago

Beautiful quick morning walk today. Agree with the other folks that starting L along the river is the best way to go. It's.nore like easy+. Hills and rocks.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Great little hike. Beautiful views of Lake Engelbright and the canyon. There is a nice sandy beach at Defiance Point.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Not a lot of scenery at the start of the trail however it is very nice as you approach the river and lake may be difficult for dogs since it is rockyin parts

Friday, July 07, 2017

Easy and very beautiful trail. It is a pity that there is not enough funding to restore the covered bridge.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nice loop. Walk along river 1st then up along road ro meet lovely trail through oak & Pine open forest back to road.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Great trail but I wouldn't consider easy! Gorgeous views of Engelbright. Would do it again!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Easy hike. Good for kids. No grand "view" but water was beautiful

Sunday, January 01, 2017

I didn't really care for this trail. Views were ok. To many obstacles to climb over.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Cool trail, great views. There are many obstacles along the trail but in my opinion, that's part of what makes it fun.
There is a campground at the end of the trail with restrooms and fresh water.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Love the hike and the views.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A great hike for a fall day - especially with dogs - they had a blast in the river. It was easy and not very long but plenty to see. There are two very different landscapes making the first half of the hike different from the second.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Go left. You want to start this trailhead on the left. That way you're approaching the big switchback hill face as a descent, not a climb. And the back hill ascent is a fairly gentle rise.

If you go right you're gonna have a bad time.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Never been to this trail. Took my best friend on her very first hike here. I have to say it is absolutely a great trail for beginners. Absolutely love the fact that there wasn't careless people throwing trash on the trail!!
I'd do this one again.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A fun hike with three sections. First, some steep switchbacks up a hill. Second a firebreak road down to the lake shore. Third, a narrow mostly shaded trail through rocks, trees and flowers. Takes about an hour but worth bringing a picnic to enjoy at the edge of the lake.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Decent lil hike. Hot during the summer. Water at the campground is ice cold. Go a little further down and the trail and the water is perfect. Decent up and downs, some parts of the trail are a lil rough and worn but other than that nice lil hike. Easy to make a day trip out of it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

We are a senior citizens group (Alta Hikers) and like to take the Point Defiance Loop (see our map) first and then do the Buttermilk Trail after lunch at a leisurely pace to enjoy the flowers. Have to time it right - a phone call to the ranger station can help you decide when to go in early spring. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Really nothing special. The beginning was probably the best part.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Beautiful hike with many wildflowers and butterflies. Great scenery which includes the river and a lake. Rocky narrow trail to start and wide open lush meadows with a downhill descent bring you back. We started hiking along the river and it was mostly in the sun. Second half included more trees and shade.

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