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Sacramento, CA: South Yuba River Trail

Dive into wild and scenic Gold Rush country on this 20-mile hike past mining relics in Tahoe National Forest.

Trip Tools

This strenuous 20-mile shuttle hike through historic gold country on the South Yuba River National Recreation Trail is accessible year-round, but hike it in spring or early summer for the best wildflowers.
From Poorman Creek (2,600 feet) in the Tahoe National Forest, head west into the canyon of the South Yuba (a California Wild & Scenic River). Though the trail is technically downhill, you’ll climb up and down as you follow the river—savor outstanding views into the wild canyon on the ups. Greenery transitions from pine and fir forests to oak woodlands as the trail descends. You’ll find the best campsites—and swimming holes, as long as spring flows aren’t dangerously high—where the path drops to the river near Logan Creek (3 miles), Missouri Bar (7.7 miles), Humbug Creek (10 miles), and Illinois Bar (about 14 miles). Finish up at 1,600 feet at Purdon Crossing.
Tahoe National Forest: (530) 288-3231;
BLM Folsom Field Office: (916) 985-4474;
Hike provided by Steve Evans, author of Top Trails Sacramento (Wilderness Press)

To Trailhead

Start: From Nevada City, drive 13.5 miles east on CA 20. Turn left on Washington Rd., then go 5.5 miles north to town of Washington. Turn left on Relief Hill Rd. and drive 2.5 miles west to Poorman Creek Trailhead. End: From CA 49 and North Bloomfield Rd. in Nevada City, go north on North Bloomfield Rd. .5 mile to intersection with Lake Vera Purdon Rd. Continue straight on Lake Vera Purdon 5.5 miles to Purdon Crossing Trailhead.

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