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Anyone Ever Hiked the North, Middle, South Yuba River areas?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:31 pm
by Lewis
Been to the area quite a few times, just returned from the area, very pretty, many mine sites, towns and miners trails dating back to the 1850's to explore.

Was wondering if anyone has hiked any of the old miner's trails near any of the North, Middle, or South Yuba River Forks?


Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:06 pm
by huts
I lived in the area for 12 years and covered a lot of ground (and water) in the Yuba basin.

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:25 pm
by Lewis

Curious about the North Yuba River Trail, ever hike it?


Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:18 am
by huts
Hi, Lewis!

I can't remember a trail with the name "North Yuba" but there may be something new. I left the area 12 years ago. I do know the "South Yuba Trail".

The North Yuba is right alongside Highway 49 for much of the way, until the highway climbs up the hill to Camptonville and the river heads down canyon (as they always do) into Bullards Bar Reservoir. There is a dirt road that continues down canyon. We walked back up from the slackwater once with the rubber duckies (inflatable kayaks) but it was a whole lot more fun to have a friend pick us up on the reservoir with the party boat. Once we were fishing on the N. Yuba and saw a snake jump off a rock and catch a fish by the tail. A battle ensued, the fish dragging the snake down, the snake pulling the fish back to the surface, until they entered a good little riffle and the snake came back up empty handed, so to speak.

We spent many summer afternoons lazing along the North Yuba but for our hiking excursions we went towards Sierra City and Bassets Station. I remember Pauley, Lavezzola, Wild Plum creeks, the Downie "River", Sardine Lakes, the fire lookout on Sierra Buttes. I have heard that the mountain bike crowd has cleaned up their act but 12-15 years ago some of these trails could be a little dangerous for hikers and I believe the # of bikers has increased exponentially. We had a mountain biker pull a handgun on us when we failed to "get the f--- out of [his] way". (there was a lot of poison oak along the trail and we were trying to get to a clearing before we stepped to the side)(many people still have a hard time understanding why I have a distaste for mountain biking)

The Middle Yuba seems to be more remote. We made a couple of epic canyoneering trips but most of our Middle excursions were (dare I say this?) deer hunting along Henness Pass Road up towards Jackson Meadow Reservoir.

The South Yuba was a glorious place. It probably still is in many ways but when the State Park "Gestapos" started searching ice chests and even backpacks for the outlawed cold beer or two we left and never went back. It was also a little creepy when we realized the Park Rangers were using binocculars to find skinny-dippers. {sigh} Gone are the days of hiking in nothing but tennis shoes, sitting on the rocks, swimming in the pools, having long philosophical discussions and sharing lunch with people we had just met - all naked. {sigh}Suddenly I feel very old......


Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:46 pm
by Lewis

Thanks for the response, the Yuba area is a beautiful area full of trails to explore. The North Yuba trail can be picked up via a dirt road out of Goodyears Bar, it's part of the orginal trail used by miners to access Downieville before there was a road. Have still to hike this trail.

South Yuba, the South Yuba Rec. area off of Hwy 49 is pretty popular, and patrolled by BLM, another spot on the South Yuba is the area off the single lane bridge at Edwards Crossing on the way to North Bloomfield State Park, clothing optional from what I hear.

I really like the Oregon Creek area on the North Yuba, great swimming hole, with private clothing optional areas.

Downieville is very popular with moutain bikers, I rode the Downieville downhill a few years ago, I couldnt belive how fast the bikers came down that trail, I felt sorry for hikers. I wouldnt hike that trail, way to dangerous.

There are many old trails in the area open to hiking and biking.

The Middle Yuba is the most secluded and remote of all the forks, but the most extream to get to. I know a guy who is mining a old gold mine that dates back to the 1850's there on the Middle Yuba, lives right there on the river, generates his own electricty with a pelton water wheel and has satelite internet. What a life.