buttermilk bend trail in south yuba river state park

Buttermilk Bend Trail

17660 Pleasant Valley Rd.
Penn Valley, California 95946
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Local Phone: (530) 432-2546

The Buttermilk Bend Trail is an easy, 1.5-mile hike along bluffs above the South Yuba River. It's especially popular in March, April and May, when wildflowers frame views of the churning river below.

In summer, the river calms down and reveals several popular swimming spots. Dogs are requested to be leashed and are not allowed in the water near the park's main attraction, a 251-foot-long, historic covered bridge.

Directions:
• From Grass Valley, go west on Highway 20 to Penn Valley and right (north) on Pleasant Valley Road, 8 miles to Bridgeport.

• Trailhead: Across the bridge from park headquarters, on the north side of the South Yuba River.
• Parking: Designated lot (fee).
• Distance: 1.25 miles each way
• Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Fairly flat except for one 50-yard upslope.
• Seasons: All year.
• Special Features: Abundant wildflowers in spring, nice views of the river canyon. Summer access to many swimming holes. 
• Dogs: Allowed on leash except near the bridge. Watch for signage.

Help us keep this trail beautiful and dog-friendly:
• Always follow the posted rules as they may have changed
• If in off-leash area, keep your dog under voice command
• Respect and protect wildlife and habitats
• Pack in and pack out, leaving only paw prints

covered bridge, dog-friendy hike, wildflowers, yuba river

South Yuba River State Park <br/> Photo Credit: @ryno_in_california
South Yuba River State Park
Photo Credit: @ryno_in_california
The Sierra foothills cover hundreds of square miles, so your best bet for a wildflower-and-waterfalls weekend is to narrow down an itinerary. Our suggestion: take Highway 20 east out of Marysville (Sutter County) and spend a day or a weekend exploring several sites between there and Grass Valley/Nevada City, a distance of about 40 miles. more »
Bridgeport covered bridge
When it comes to Northern California hikes that combine scenery, history and wildflowers, not much can trump South Yuba River State Park  near the town of Penn Valley in Nevada Countymore »
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