Mary West: Exploring the Humbug Trail
Room for a half dozen vehicles on both sides of the road near the sign for Humbug Trail and Humbug Falls is your trailhead. The trail continues to the South Yuba National Trail if you want to extend your hike.
Just off the road, the trail takes you to a map and a handsome bridge sending you on your way. In winter you can hear Humbug Creek much of this way.
Wear sturdy shoes and maybe bring your hiking sticks. A couple of washouts on the trail make for some fancy footwork. The trail is narrow, providing views of the river and small pools far below.
Thick moss covers the rocks and trees. Some steep climbs and ascensions make this short but sweet trail a nice challenge. The payoff is a series of waterfalls through smooth boulders just off the trail. This can be your halfway point, or you can continue on the trail. For the longer hike I would suggest having two vehicles and park one at another trailhead. If you decide to make the trek back to the Humbug Trailhead, enjoy the birdsongs and running water in the creek as you go.
To get there take Highway 49 toward Grass Valley. Stay on 49 above Nevada City where it splits toward Downieville. Just after the turn, take a right onto Coyote Street. At the top of the hill turn right onto North Bloomfield Road, over Edwards Crossing into the Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. The trailhead is on your right.
Mary West is author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide I, II and III (2nd Edition Available on Amazon). The books are a collection of the Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram.
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