Exploring California's North Yuba Trail Hidden Beaches


Buried deep in a canyon, in a forgotten region of the West, lies a hiking trail that quite possibly is California's "hidden gem" trail.

Of all the trails explored in the state, the North Yuba trail combines the best features of intermediate hiking and location.

  • Constant swimming holes and beach spots along the river. Many untouched, waiting for you to explore
  • Forested and shady much of the way
  • Nearly constant river views along the side
  • Cliff drop-offs, which make for spectacular feelings
  • Varying terrain
  • Gradual progressive incline
  • Year-round beauty and differences

I have hiked this trail at various times throughout the year, and it did not cease to impress. If you can catch this path in the spring, moss will be in full bloom, and the thick tree cover dripping with moisture will create a rainforest feel. Ponderosa's and Oaks create multiple canopies, making it a childhood dream.

All along the trail, the river draws your attention as you go further up the canyon.

During the heat of the summer, the filtered shade makes for a restful, yet interesting hike, with several offshoots to the Yuba River for a cool-off.

To top it all off, the trailhead has its own river beach, making for a popular swimming hole for locals. River tubing, rafting, or simply chilling are the stresses on people's minds here.

To get there, take Highway 49 north of Nevada City, about 1 hour, and park in the Rocky Rest picnic area. This trail goes on virtually forever, so plan a turnaround time, and enjoy the lunch views.




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