South Yuba River State Park
Along Highway 49: the complete length of Independence Trail East & West is closed in addition to the parking at the trailheads.
At Bridgeport: the South Parking lot (near Family Beach) will remain closed until the bridge restoration project is completed.
Fire Ban Update 8/17/21 - Campfires and charcoal briquettes are banned in the day use and campground areas of all California State Parks in the Sierra District due to high fire danger. Gas or propane grills are permitted.
What is open now?
- South Yuba River State Park is open from sunrise to sunset with COVID-19 guidelines in place.
- Very limited parking is now available to the public. Parking is $10. Credit card payment through automatic payment machines is encouraged to avoid cash handling.
- All trail systems are available and active recreation will be permitted.
- Outdoor restrooms will be available.
- Visitor Center during business hours for fee collection, information, restrooms, and gift shop. Limited visitor access to exhibits inside building. Masks are required in public buildings and spaces where physical distancing is not easily maintained.
What is currently closed?
- The South Parking Lot at Bridgeport will remain closed during the historic bridge restoration project.
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
Be COVID-19 Safe– State Parks continues to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required in public outdoor settings.For indoor public settings, such as museums and visitor centers, all vaccinated individuals are to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required in indoor public settings such as museums and visitor centers.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
April 16, 2020: Independence Trail Closed Due to Landslides and Tree FailuresIndependence Trail is closed to the public due to safety concerns caused by recent landslides and tree failures. A District Superintendent Order enacting the closure is currently in effect.
State Park crews are actively surveying the damage and have a plan to replace and repair the damaged portion. The work is extensive and may involve closing that section of the trail for the next several months.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in staying off the trails for your own safety. If you have any further questions, please call the Sierra District Office at (530) 273-3884.
Purdon crossing bridge closed to all vehicular access through June during bridge repair.
Latest Updates on Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration ProjectAfter being closed in the fall of 2011 for structural deficiencies, the reconstruction project on the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge is moving forward. Starting June 12, 2019, the south parking lot will be closed to day-use parking. For the latest on the rehabilitation project and park operations, please click here.
South Yuba River State Park headquarters located at Bridgeport, 17660 Pleasant Valley Rd can be accessed from Highway 20 west of Grass Valley or from Higway 49 north of Nevada City. Remote portions of the park are accessible from Edwards Crossing, Purdon Crossing, and Highway 49.
This 20-mile portion of the South Yuba River canyon stretches from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park to Bridgeport covered bridge. The area includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world (currently closed for restoration), the steep rugged canyon of the South Yuba River, and the Independence Trail - the first identified wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country.
South Yuba River State Park offers many scenic vistas. Visitors can view swift moving water carving the granitic canyon that is peppered with seasonal native blooms in springtime, and experience refreshing swimming holes that dot the 20 mile length of the Yuba River in late summer. Along the length of the park, visitors can see several architectually different bridges spanning from the Gold Rush era to the mid-20th century.
Visitors can enjoy:
- bird watching
- panning for gold
- wildflowers in the spring
- hiking in the historic gold country
- docent-led history, wildflower, birding, geology, and gold-panning tours are also offered at selected times throughout the year
Adventuresome hikers have a choice of trails ranging in difficulty, from the easiest (Independence Trail), to other more strenuous trails throughout the park. Click on the "Hiking" link above right to explore all the hiking trail options.
Winter and Spring weather conditions can cause the trail to become muddy and impassable for wheelchairs. Call the park for trail condition information before you go.
Filming Videos and Still Photography in State Parks
California State Parks requires an approved film permit for:
- All commercial still photography and videography
- Professional photographers offering services
- Student photo/film
- Professional development projects
Drones are not permitted unless a special permit is granted. Use film and photography permits link below for further contact information.
To learn more, please visit our blog here.
For specific film permit information at Empire Mine State Historic Park, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park or South Yuba River State Park, please review Sierra Gold Sector Film Permit information.