South Yuba Trail

Technical Level: Advanced minus 
Strenuous Level:  Advanced 
Altitude Gain: ?
The Ride: About 25 miles one way, 50 miles total
Where:  Near Nevada City
When: All year, but its really hot in the summer 

 

To get There:

 Map marking Trail Head  Map marking end of Trail
From Sacramento:
Take I-80 East towards Reno.  In Auburn, exit North on Highway 49.  Take Highway 49 through Nevada City.  On the outskirts of Nevada City, 49 turns into Highway 20.  Take Highway 20 to Washington Road and turn left. Stay on Washington Road through the town of Washington (which is pretty far, and because the road is so windy it takes a while).  Just after town you will pass a bridge, turn left at the bridge.  There are signs that will point you from here to the trail (watch closely for them).  I think that you have to bear left when you come to the fork in the road, but I'm not really sure.  Either way, its marked.  There is a parking area and a toilet at the trail head.  NO water is available.

The Ride

The trail is pretty well marked.  The only exceptions that I saw were at Missouri Bar and at the South Yuba Campground ( not the primitive campground).  At Missouri Bar, the trail Y's and you need to bear left.  Missouri Bar is about 9 miles from the trail head.  At about 18 miles you will come out in the South Yuba Campground on a dirt road.  Turn Right and head up the road.  You will come out on North Bloomfield Road.  Turn left and head down North Bloomfield Road.  In about 2 miles you will cross an old bridge.  The trail starts again on the far right side of the bridge (Southwest side) and is labeled.  This is called Edward's Crossing.  The trail continues from here for 5 miles to Purdon Crossing.  As far as I know, this is the end of the trail.

There are several loops that people often take instead of doing an out and back ride.  You can take the trail to Missouri Bar and head up Missouri Bar trail (go right at the Y).  Take Missouri Bar Trail to Relief Road, which is the first road you will come to and turn right.  This road comes out at the trail head.  You can also ride up Round Mountain near Edward's crossing and come back down on another road (I'm not sure where this comes out).  In short, there are a ton of different ways to ride this trail.  I'm told that Coyote Bike Store in Nevada City or Grass Valley (I can't remember where it is) has good maps.

The Trail:

One word summarizes this trail: WOW!!  This is one of my favorites!  The trail is long, hard, and technical.  Much of the trail is covered with large rocks that make it a big-ole technical challenge.  There are large drop offs on one side of the trail for much of the way.  The trail is well maintained and heavily used by hikers, bikers and horsers.  There are some great places to stop, whip out the picnic and take a really long break with your feet in the river.  The trail parallels the river the whole way (except the part on Bloomfield road) so there are always opportunities to jump in and cool off.  Unless you are in excellent physical condition, I would suggest that you not ride the whole thing.  Be sure to bring plenty of water, its a hot trail!

Wanna see some pictures??
  Check these out from the Environmental Resource Inventory and Analysis (ERIA) Page
   Picture of Edwards Crossing     Another of Edwards  Picture of River at Edwards
   A nice beach on the S. Yuba!   The Sun on the Yuba
   Purdon Crossing   Another of Purdon Crossing

Some More Pictures from  The South Yuba River Citizens League
 

Trail Details:

 Sunrise/Sunset
 Weather