South Yuba Trail

South Yuba River State Park, California

Elevation Gain5,853ft
Trailhead Elevation2,581ft
Elevation Min/Max2133/2581ft
Elevation Start/End2581/2581ft

South Yuba Trail

South Yuba Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Nevada County, California. It is within Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, South Yuba River State Park, and Tahoe National Forest. It is 18.1 miles long and begins at 2,581 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 15.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,853 feet. The Edwards Crossing attraction and Pit Toilet and another restrooms are near the trailhead. There are also parking, a parking, and an information board. The Emerald Pool and China Dam attractions and the South Yuba Primitive Camp site can be seen along the trail. There are also a rock, an information map, restrooms, and a beach along the trail. The trail ends near the Missouri Bar attraction. This trail connects with the following: Round Mountain Trail, Illinois Crossing Access, Missouri Bar Trail and Humbug Trail.

South Yuba Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The South Yuba Trail is becoming a gold mine in and of itself. What was formerly known as the South Yuba River Project, this treasure trove of white water, history, and scenic vistas became the South Yuba River State Park in November 1998. Co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management, South Yuba River State Park, and Tahoe National Park, the park encloses the 20-plus miles of South Yuba Trail, stretching east from Englebright Reservoir into the Tahoe National Forest. Plans are in store to extend the trail farther east of the town of Washington and into the singletrack mecca of Grouse Ridge. That will add 10 more miles to the already 20-plus miles of single-track that make up South Yuba Trail. This loop exposes you to over seven miles of this tasty trail."

"The South Yuba river flows through the heart of Gold Country in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. This region once swarmed with miners and prospectors seeking pay dirt. Today the river flows through a quieter landscape as it cuts through a deep valley in the South Yuba Wild and Scenic Recreation Area."

"This is one of the longest continuous (except for 0.5 mile of dirt road) singletracks in California, and travels through an incredibly beautiful river canyon. It’s not appropriate for beginning singletrackers, but is quite ridable by those with well-developed intermediate technical skills. Warning: This ride includes a lot of climbing even though it ends up downstream of where it started. It also involves several hours of riding. You must be a strong rider with good endurance to complete it! You won’t encounter any signs of civilization for the first 17 miles. Highlights: A wonderful singletrack undulating through a shady forest on the side of a river canyon overlooking a roaring river in spring and early summer, and deep pools in late summer and fall. No motorcycles are allowed on this trail."

"The mid-1850s in gold rush–crazy Nevada County brought engineering marvels of all kinds to extract the precious metal from the streambeds and canyon walls. The origin of the Independence Trail was an old miner’s ditch once known as the Excelsior Canal. It was built in 1859 to carry water from the South Yuba River to hydraulic mining sites in Smartville, some 25 miles away. California legislators outlawed hydraulic mining in 1885, and the canal was used for irrigation until 1967."

"As you stroll along the western trail, you’ll come upon a grand overlook of the South Yuba River. In spring, the overlook is covered in wildflowers. Come summer, the canyons switch to green, then dress up for autumn in red and gold hues. Hike back and take a stroll along the eastern trail. You’ll cross cliffhanging flumes, take in more great views of the river and surrounding foothills, and have the opportunity to take a dip in several swimming holes that have been scooped out of the granite. The eastern side of the route is 2.5 miles of maintained trail."

South Yuba Trail Reviews

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Really nice scenic riding with several loop options with spur trails. There is a lot of traversing and a ton of poison oak but it is worth these nuisances.
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Trail is awesome, but be careful with the topo map above. If you do this ride, use a different map since it's an old USGS map. You can buy the eTrail (trail or chapter from guidebook - sure the book has maps).

South Yuba Trail Photos

Trail Information

South Yuba River State Park
Nearby City
Tahoe National Forest
South Yuba Wild and Scenic Recreation Area; Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and California State Parks
Local Contacts
South Yuba River Recreation Guide by the US Forest Service, USGS 7.5-min. North Bloomfield
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018