Explore the most popular trails near Penn Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Penn Valley, California Map
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this was an easy well maintained trail. Enjoyed lunch while cooling off in one of the many fresh water holes

hiking
10 days ago

More commonly called Bridgeport. Not a great trail for small children. I have a 4 year old and it’s a somewhat narrow trail for a child. If I was alone, I would rate it 5 stars. Lots of trails down to the beautiful water to swim. Very crowded in summer towards the trailhead, the further you go, the more peaceful it gets.

walking
11 days ago

A beautiful walk any time of year, but absolutely gorgeous in spring when the wild flowers are in bloom. Mostly flat, wide trail (unless you choose to go down to one of the swimming spots on the river). It's a popular trail for good reason!

Just did this hike today and was nice little hike. Only about 5 miles. Falls was beautiful. No people and free parking. Dirt road driving is rough so take proper vehicle.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018: weather was supposed to be cool and possibly rainy- not so. The reviews are correct that it gets hot along the trail, although there was quite a bit of shade. It isn't a hike I'd like to do in the summer months; there are plenty of swimming holes in Northern CA closer to my home. It's more of a walk than a hike anyway as there were only a few uphills, etc. Deer, bear, and maybe cougar tracks seen in the dirt trail. The road in was gravel and washboard but didn't need 4 wheel drive. I was fine in my Fiesta. Did not see anyone else along the trail. 1 hour in, 1 hour out. Overall a fun walk and a lovely day.

horseback riding
2 months ago

This was a beautiful place to ride our horses and there was some shade, wide trails, and access to water at the falls. However, the access road to get in and out was absolutely awful. 5 Miles of loose, bumpy, rattily gravel that at times could only drive 5mph or under. Even had to use 4WD at one point because our truck tires were slipping. Very rough ride on the body, and worrying about the horses, and for that reason we will not go again.

Loved this hike, nice easy walk to the falls. Dogs loved it and enjoyed the shade spots for a few breaks. Would highly recommend

hiking
2 months ago

Good birthday hike and first one since having children (youngest just turned one). Bring enough water! Shady spots to rest in here and there, and plenty of benches to sit on. Beautiful and deep swimming holes, although we didn’t swim this time. A bit rocky along trail in places, but nothing a couple of 72-year-olds and 3-4-year-olds couldn’t navigate.

on Buttermilk Bend Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great little trail. Easy to access and plenty of parking when I arrived at 8 am. Most of the trail is flat and unchallenging. I would imagine it’s beautiful in Spring when everything is green. Would go back for sure.

This place is getting trashed unfortunately. Would be helpful to try clean up the area. We filled the only bag we had but still had to leave with a ton behind. This place/waterfall was more beautiful when there wasn’t graffiti everywhere.

The hike/walk to the waterfall was very nice, we got there later than we wanted to, we got there at 10:30AM. It’s definitely up to you and your enjoyment but due to the heat and very little shade, I recommend getting there earlier. But the sun did feel very nice on my skin ☀️ and don’t forget your sunblock. We took the upper trail that lead to the waterfall. It took us a little over an hour to get to the waterfall then we climbed our way down to swimming hole. The waterfall was very nice but the scenery to the river was gorgeous! I could have spent forever there. One more thing, if you decide to take your pet(s) please check the weather, go as early as possible, and take a lot of water. We ran into a few very hot and dehydrated pets. Fortunately my friend was a genius and brought quite a few water bottles with her that we were able to give water away to them. Please be safe.

Great trail! Fun swimming spots, but beware there is little to no shade and on a hot day it’s a bit treacherous. Take extra water!

a nice hike that loops at the end. falls and swimming hole.

Great hike for kids and tons of water to play in once you reach the Falls. We were there at 9AM and were the only ones on the trail! Definitely would do this hike again.

A fabulous hike with diverse trails. We took the high trail to the falls and later found out it was the best way-better Trail. We got excited as soon as we heard the Falls so cut ourselves short. We should have followed the recommended route. We also went a bit of different route back but still a great loop.

Short survey walk of South Yuba River State Park. Very little access to river bank. Flat, wide, almost ADA compliant.

Reviews were so helpful! It made the loop feel very accesible as we knew where to go. Started out at 9am and weather quickly neared the high 90s, some shade but there was a nice cool breeze to help w the hike. Would go again in cooler weather or even just earlier on in the day this summer!

walking
4 months ago

We parked close to the covered bridge to go swimming in the Yuba River. It was such a nice area with sand and the water was the perfect temp and not too deep. There where people here but not too many. It’s such a pretty area! We will be back for sure! There’s walking trails near by so next time we will do some trails and end with swimming in the river! 

Easy loop hike, 7 and 4 year old made it with zero problems, beautiful scenery and tons of places to stop and rest, cool off or just enjoy nature’s beauty. Highly recommend

This was such a fun small little hike with the perfect spot for u to have lunch in the center and just chill and enjoy the waterfall id definitely do this one again we got there around like 10:30am and only one group of people where there but on our return there where a few more people going to enjoy the waterfall

taking the hike later in the day was really nice. not too many people and the weather was great. a bit hot but with the swimming holes throughout, it was well worth it. along the fork we took the upper trail to the waterfall and the lower trail on our return. highly recommend due to the steep walk of the lower trail. the non shaded trails wasn't that long in between the shaded areas. but the scenery was beautiful. at the end you have the option to either look at the face of the waterfall or look at it from on top. take plenty of water and bring either a friend or lover. as me and my lady enjoyed California's beauty together.

5 months ago

easy trail to the falls. nice watering holes to cool off.

We hiked this Memorial Day weekend. The flowers were still blooming, the water was amazing and we had such an enjoyable time.

Easy , great views of the river, $10 parking fee

beautiful hike. the upper trail is pretty narrow but the lower trail is pretty wide. good for kids and dogs. I was a little disappointed with the view of the falls but I would hike this again.

Great trail go early and beat the crowd

Awesome hike. Upper trail was very nice.

Beautiful hike, great scenic views of Yuba river. Easy walk with plenty of places to sit down and rest, very slightly up and downs.

Nice easy hike. Not a whole lot to see until you get to the waterfalls, but nice fields with some wild flowers this time of year. I wouldn't go any later into the summer.. there's virtually no shade for most of the trail. There's a couple nice hangout spots and swimming pools along the river near the falls.

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