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 Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore (Wilderness Press)
Matt Heid
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"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."
Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Jason Fator
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"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."
Best Hikes with Dogs: Bay Area & Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Thom Gabrukiewicz
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"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 Trip Reports

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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

Trail Log