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South Yuba Trail is a 19.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Nevada City, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 19.8 mi Elevation gain 2,942 ft Route type Point to Point
Dog friendly Kid friendly Backpacking Camping Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Nature trips Bike touring Running Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (73)
Photos (315)
Recordings (50)
Completed (144)
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Russell Stabler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

this is a wonderful trail starting from Purdon Crossing and heading up river. Many places to divert down to the river and swim with your dog. The area between Purdon and Edward's crossing is very family oriented, all nice folks. Little streams along the way give dogs plenty of drinking water. Mostly under the canopy for shade. The trail and geology changes towards Edwards crossing to a more cliff hanging experience. I haven't been near the Washington side of the trail and will wait until winter storms wash the nut cases away.

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Rachel Eastwood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
HikingScramble

Great hike! Our small group just went in a 2-3 miles, until we could find a spot to scramble down to the river. Just be aware there’s no cell service nearby, so need to coordinate meeting beforehand.

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allison smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 21, 2020
HikingBlowdownOver grownScramble

As the last reviewer said, the first 3.5 miles are great. Wonderful trail, wonderful conditions. Immediately afterward it becomes a catastrophe of downed trees. Too steep to go around, you’re basically swimming through downed canopies one after another. I counted 30 in one mile. I didn’t even make it to Missouri Bar before I had to turn back. It was fairly maddening. I recommend avoiding longer hikes until they can get a saw crew in there.

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Steve Moran
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 17, 2020

Hmm... part of me thinks I should keep my mouth shut... No parking restrictions, hardly any people... fantastic hike. Did just 3.5 miles down so 7 miles total. Lots of downed trees and talked to someone who said it got worse the further down the trail you go. But a great hike.

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steven edmondson
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 18, 2019
Backpacking

My son and I just came back from a backpacking trip on the South Yuba River Trail, Tahoe National Forest. We stepped onto the trail at Washington. Scattered directly on the trail, we came across luggage, clothes, sluicing boxes, etc.. We then encountered 2 very hostile individuals who appeared to be meth addicts (thin, missing teeth, wild looking eyes, etc). They approached us menacingly, and angrily demanded to know if we saw their sluice box. They also warned us about their loose pit bull. We continued along the trail and came across the pit bull. She held us at bay on the narrow trail for a very long time. The area along the trail where the trail meets the river was completely taken over by a permanent encampment. Trash and gold prospecting gear was strewn everywhere and there was no room to camp. Because we felt threatened, we hiked down the trail as far as we could get before dark and pitched a tent on the trail. On next day's return, we woke up and hit the trail before day light in order to get past the encampment and dogs, before they were awake. I apologize for giving you advice, however, if dangerous people and their dogs cannot be kept out, then the N.F. should post a warning. Thanks.

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Sayde Miura
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2019
Hiking

Had a great time on this trail. I only did the first 2 miles of it but it was beautiful! Beware of the ticks.

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Luke Entrup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2019
Backpacking

Two rattlesnake encounters in two days. One very angry, large rattlesnake that barely missed striking my leg. Lots of sunny, rocky sheer cliffs for reptile sunbathing. Fields of unavoidable poison oak. Lots of ticks. Intense rapids and strong currents in the river. Beautiful hike but super intense. Not a relaxing experience.

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TripOutside.com Gear Rental
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2019
Mountain bikingRocky

We mountain biked this trail last week and absolutely loved it. It's very remote with incredible scenery and few people. We rode out from the West trailhead and did about 4.5 miles until we hit the rocks at the river, where we hike-a-bike for a bit and then eventually turned around (it was getting dark). The trail had some bushes but wasn't too overgrown - we've done far worse! It wasn't very dusty either, the dirt was packed and great. It was all pretty smooth until you hit the river where the rocks were. We would love to do the full trail next time!

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Erin Slack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 6, 2019
HikingBugsRocky

We hiked about half of this trail and back on 6/6 through 6/7 2019. Really incredible views of the river and it was moderately difficult at points. The first campsite as others have stated is taken over by a miners belongings, but looked almost abandoned. The next campsites are pretty far along, (about 7 and 7.2ish miles in) right on the river. We took a dip in a calm part of the river which felt really nice. Unfortunately the bugs were insane during this trip. We ended up hiking back out and not doing a second night since it was so buggy. Also we found at least 15 ticks on us throughout the hike, so make sure you check yourself/kids. It is a very beautiful trail however and I'd definitely come back to do the entire thing (maybe in a less buggy season). The first half had some good intense switchbacks and also relaxed/flat parts, which kept things interesting. We only encountered one man and his child during the entire 2 days of hiking.

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Melissa Gutierrez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 29, 2019
Backpacking

We just did an overnighter at the 7ish mile mark from Washington drive! There are 2 campsites pretty close to each other right on the river. The first campsite a couple miles in looks sort of sketch like someone has been there for a while? Lots of poison oak but none of us got any. Less bugs than expected based on previous reviews, but ten million ticks on our dogs. Water freezing and current too strong to swim in, but it's starting to get warm so get out there and enjoy this hike!! I am interested in hiking upriver towards these sites from a point further south/west -- trying to figure out trailheads and learn more about the workings of the mighty beautiful Yuba!!

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Elizabeth Schell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 21, 2019
Hiking

Great trail but fyi AllTrails is underestimating by about 2-3 miles before Edwards Crossing bridge. Planned to do the whole 20 but stopped at Edwards crossing because my recording was at 18 miles and I wasn't sure I had another 5 in me or my dog. Currently the ticks are out in full force but the poison oak is just coming in. Hurry before it takes over the trail!

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Erin Jackson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 14, 2019
Horseback riding

Does anyone know where could we park our horse trailer to access the trail? It says it allows horses, but trailer parking is not specified. Thanks!

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Jennifer Myers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 2, 2019

Beautiful 10 mile backpacking trip on the Yuba river! 3,000 feet gain. Go during early April late March for waterfalls!

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Kyle Abare
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 26, 2018
Camping

The hike was absolutely beautiful! My group and I hammock camped near the river and had a fantastic time! Be wary of the poison oak, which is bountiful.

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Luis Mendoza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 15, 2018
Hiking

Be sure to check yourself and pets, lots of ticks.

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Cheyenne Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 14, 2018
Backpacking

I would like to backpack this trail. I am looking for some pointers as far as where the trailhead is for this 20 mile trail and where we would be allowed to camp? Can anyone help me out?

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Jason Martel Dye
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2018

It was sickkkkkkkk bring a rain jacket though if done in winter

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Ian Kinsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2017
Hiking

Hard to go back up, pretty rocky, moderate hike. Camping at the bottom, amazing clear water, river trout, bring snorkeling gear. Try and catch the fish by hand(noodling) those bastards are crafty. Floated down the river, where water shoes of some kind. Great spot, help keep our nature spots clean.

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Nuria Vendrell Llopis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2017
Hiking

Super nice trail. Ee found a creek at the beginning which we used to swim and refresh ourselves (it was more than 90F), and a couple more of those later to wet our t-shirt.

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Vincent Lockwood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 31, 2017
Backpacking

Beautiful hike with so much variety. It would be a 5 star for sure if there wasn't the most mosquito hawks / mosquitos / poison oak I've ever seen in my life. Just make sure to carry lots of good repellent with you as the bugs are out at all hours of the day, and wear pants to protect yourself from the poison oak and overgrown sections of the trail, which are plentiful. Tons of awesome little waterfalls, walking bridges, butterflies, caterpillars, wild flowers, non-poisonous snakes, and even found 2 tiny little scorpions under rocks! Backpacked out for 2 nights. The camp spots are few and far between - 2.75 miles 7.3, 7.5 miles 10.67 miles...at least on my GPS. Didn't go past that, but that's literally ALL the viable sites we came across.

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Jason Martel Dye
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 7, 2017

Great trail, sometimes the earth was so soft and narrow though along a cliff side that you couldn't enjoy the scenery since you had to watch your step constantly. Did in 3 days, easily doable for the average backpacker but get an early start if your slow and it's winter

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Gary Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 11, 2017
Backpacking

Great Backpacking Video on various trails in Yosemite National Park, Red Peak, Young Lakes, May Lake etc.. https://youtu.be/UfknMRQ9J2A

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C W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2017
Hiking

Only did a short section heading south from Edward's Crossing, but what I saw was gorgeous. Would definitely return to hike more of this trail. I was there in late December, and everything was green and the river was high, and there were a couple small waterfalls along the trail. Saw a couple kayakers running the rapids too.

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Maggie Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2016
Backpacking

Started at Purdon Crossing hiked through to Illinois Crossing primitive campsite for the night. Hiked back towards Purdon and stayed at Emerald Pool. Encountered gold miners, poison oak, and beautiful views. Lots of wildflowers. Amazing trail.

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Angel Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 28, 2014
Hiking

I only went up this trail for 2 miles but what I experienced of it so far was a great trail along the water ... good places to camp along the trail......I will be able to give it a better rating once I do more of the trail....I look forward to doing so.....it is quite,calm and free parking.....

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Clifton Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 2, 2014
Hiking

THIS TRAIL WAS AWESOME!! ALONG THE YUBA RIVER SITES WERE AWESOME. MANY LEDGES. PATHWAYS THAT LEAD DOWN TO THE RIVER. SOME STEEP HILLS. ONLY WENT OUT 2 MILES SEVERAL GOOD CAMPING SPOTS BUT MOST ARE ON FEDERAL MINING CLAIM SITES. PARTS OF TRAIL WAS ERODED.

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Boom King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2013
Running

Actually the trail continues past Edwards crossing up to Washington,with spur trails coming in from the malikoff diggings area. Beautiful trail will easy access all year. I remember backpacking into this area in the winter back in high school and only meeting miners coming out for supplies. It is a pretty popular MTB trail now. To continue the hike that the other reviewer describes below, just continue through the campground at Edwards Crossing. There is a very well maintained trail from there. Oh, lots of poison oak as would be expected at this altitude and environment but it is probably not much of an issue unless you dump your mountain bike into it.

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