Humbug Creek Trail re-opened despite COVID challenges

The Humbug Creek trail, which leads three miles down to the South Yuba River from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, was particularly impacted by winter storms.

Humbug Creek Trail re-opened despite COVID challenges

Faced with almost overwhelming challenges related to staffing shortages, COVID restrictions and protocols, and the extreme remoteness and rugged terrain of the Humbug Creek canyon, the State Park trail crew nevertheless mobilized to clear the downed trees, uncover the trail bed, secure the wooden structures and re-open the trail.

Humbug Creek Trail re-opened despite COVID challenges

According to Julie Clark, the park’s maintenance supervisor, “This is by far the hardest trail in the Sierra Gold sector to work on, because it’s so long, so steep and so inaccessible.”

In mid-March 2020, just after the state’s general shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada County experienced a significant winter storm event. Heavy snow and intense precipitation were welcomed, but the combination broke innumerable branches and whole trees, caused power outages, closed roads, and created landslides large and small along roads and trails throughout the county.

The Humbug Creek trail, which leads three miles down to the South Yuba River from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, was particularly impacted. Whole trees were jack-strawed across the trail, footbridges and walkways were undermined, and the trail bed was buried with soil and rock debris.