Bullards Bar Trail

Tahoe National Forest, California

Distance12.1mi
Elevation Gain8,916ft
Trailhead Elevation2,249ft
Top2,783ft
Elevation Min/Max1918/2783ft
Elevation Start/End2249/2249ft

Bullards Bar Trail

Bullards Bar Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Yuba County, California. It is within Tahoe National Forest. It is 12.1 miles long and begins at 2,249 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 24.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,916 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms. Along the trail there is a pipeline. This trail connects with the following: Rebel Ridge Trail, 7 Ball Trail and Schoolhouse Trail.

Bullards Bar Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is the lowest-elevation ride in the Downieville region. Therefore it experiences the least amount of snow, and is often snow-free when other trails are covered. The trail can become quite muddy after large or frequent Pacific storms. The corollary to this is that it can be quite hot during the summer: hot enough for me to suggest that you avoid riding in the middle of a summer afternoon. Most of this ride passes through a shady forest of ponderosa pine, incense cedar, and Douglas fir. Poison oak lines most of it. Dress accordingly; you won’t be able to avoid brushing up against it. In cooler, shady areas dogwoods are in bloom in May and in color in October. The ridge is open and faces the west in several places, making it quite hot in summer. Highlights: A narrow, exposed, and recently constructed singletrack contouring around the edge of a reservoir; streams surrounded by ferns and bigleaf maples; shady forests; dogwoods and wildflowers blooming in spring; dogwoods and big-leaf maples in color in fall."

"Dogs that like to swim will love the Bullards Bar Trail. Owners who like to swim, fish, and view wildflowers will love it just as much."

"Dogs that like to swim will love the Bullards Bar Trail. Owners who like to swim, fish, and view wildflowers will love it just as much. This easy trail follows the contours of Bullards Bar Reservoir, a 4700- acre lake that offers 56 miles of shoreline wrapped by both the Plumas and Tahoe National Forests. Most people hike this trail in spring, when temperatures are most comfortable, but don’t forget that as the summer wears on, use drops. One of the best features of this recreation area is that it’s heavily wooded with huge ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, which means every campground site is shaded from the heat of a Sierra Nevada foothills summer. With the lake within easy distance for the entire 14- mile trip, there’s always the chance to cool off. And you’ll always get the feeling that you’re the only one at this clear mountain lake, which doesn’t get as much pressure as some other Northern California reservoirs."

"This is another great ride submitted by Greg Williams of Yuba Expeditions. Sandwiched between the south shore of Bullards Bar Reservoir and Marysville Road, many configurations of varying distances can be ridden—you can make this an all-day or half-day affair."

"New Bullards Bar Reservoir, 65 miles southeast of Chico. This is one of the longest and best singletrack rides in this book. The trail is well maintained. Upper portion is wide, smooth, fast, and fun. Trail is almost entirely shaded and pretty. New Bullards Bar reservoir offers opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and swimming. (Call 530-692-3200 for campsite reservations),"

"Try this ride for miles and miles of sweet, rolling singletrack on a very well-marked trail system with inspiring lake (OK, it's a reservoir) views, old-growth forests and great swimming possibilities. Part way between Nevada City and Downieville, it makes a good addition to a trip to either area or a stop between the two. Camp at one of the area campgrounds and spend a couple of days exploring the whole trail network. It's well worth it. There are enough options to keep everyone from the advanced beginner to the hard-core rider happy. The northeast end of the trail is more technical, cliffy and narrow than the southwest end, which is wider, smoother and not as steep, making the long loop the choice for advanced riders and the short loop a good choice for intermediate riders."

"New Bullards Bar Reservoir, 65 miles southeast of Chico. A very smooth, gently rising and dropping, curvy singletrack trail close to the reservoir, with lots of shade, providing a fun and scenic ride. New Bullards Bar Reservoir offers opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and swimming."

Bullards Bar Trail Reviews

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4/29/2011
I have heard about this trail for a long time and kept missing the couple of times in the area. Finally was able to go do it today and it was a bit of a let down. Certainly a decent trail, just could not live up to the hype. i did a different version that included the descending Rebel Ridge Trail (good) and skipping Bullards Bar past the boat launch due to the trail being closed due damage. As a whole good solid trail and environment but a lot of traversing. Not technical but hard to really open up the legs. Overall worth doing but not a blow out or all out ride.
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9/7/2010
Great little trail. Plenty of ups and downs and pretty well balanced. Usually start at vista point. I'm a flat valley road biker and mtn biking this was just challenging enough for me. Its super dog friendly and we have returned for a repeat run many times. The lake isn't very accessible from the trail unless the water is very very high. If you feel inclined to carry your bike for a bit you can, however, access many little rocky beaches for a quick swim.
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6/5/2010
We took the trail from Dark Day campground to Vista Point walking, as opposed to mountain biking. it's a nice trail, and as Dark Day implies, under heavy forest cover. One thing worth noting is that despite the fact that you're following the edge of the reservoir, the water is well below the trail, with only 2 fire road access points to the water. There are also a few points where you could scramble down the hillside to the water, but again, no easy or prepared access to the water, and the hillside is fairly steep. Be sure to bring bug repellent - water plus heavy forest cover ensures a heavy crop of mosquitos - our trip in early June was no exception. The mosquitos were intense. Also, if you're planning on taking a dip in the water (recommended) be sure to bring a swim suit - it's a busy spot for recreational boating, so don't expect to find a private spot to swim au natural. On the plus side, it's a pretty walk and the views are lovely. The trail is well marked, and well maintained, despite lots of recent erosion due to heavy snow melt. While the overall elevation change is negligible, there is enough up and down in short spurts to keep the walking from getting boring. On the minus side - it's a reservoir, so expect boat traffic - its a good sized body of water, and there was quite a bit of powerboat noise on a Saturday. If you're looking for quiet and serene, this is probably not for you. You are sharing the trail with mountain bikes, and although the trail is quite well maintained, it is fairly narrow, on a heavy slope and lots of blind corners. Getting out of the way of the bikes can be a bit of a scramble, and the lack of visibility can mean that you and the cyclists don't have a lot of warning that you're going to encounter one another, especially if the sound of a ski boat prevents you from hearing the bikes coming. It's not a bad experience, by any means, but you want to be aware.
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4/26/2008
Made this a last minute night hike, with an overnight stay. This was a great trail, little to no elevation gain and soft under foot. Yet for an easy trail it still felt rugged and secluded. We made camp at a clearing along the trail, but proper camp sites are few and far between with the steep hillside on both sides of the trail. The setting was beautiful along the entire length of the trail with many nice creeks to cross along the way. One word of advice though, make sure you dogs have had their Frontline before this hike. My poor pups had more ticks on them then I had ever seen before. It made a otherwise perfect trip a bit on the rough side. Luckily we were all able to make it out alright but ticks bites are never fun. As long as you and your dogs have their repellents you will have a truly enjoyable trip.
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4/12/2006
The trail was well groomed, albeit wet from previous showers. Mostly moderate climbs with no real long sustained downhills. Enjoyed the scenery along the way, but some junctions were a litte confusing and not well marked. Overall very good ride. Watch out for oncoming traffic if using on busy weekend!
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Trail Information

Tahoe National Forest
Nearby City
Tahoe National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Tahoe National Forest, North Yuba Ranger Station
Local Contacts
USGS Camptonville, USGS Challenge
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018