Mary West: The Day Hiker visits South Yuba Trail
The bridges of the South Yuba River are historic, beautiful, and, of course, cross the Yuba River in various locations, making anyone of them a great day hike. One of my favorites is Edwards Crossing. The drive down the last mile or so might make you think you are driving down the rabbit hole into to Wonderland, and maybe you are as the trailhead is at the bottom where the green pedestrian arch-truss bridge marks the start of this adventure. Installed in 1904 the bridge is a 114-foot stretch across the river.
Starting from Edwards Crossing there is a gradual downhill for a 5-mile hike to Purdon Crossing, another bridge on the Yuba. As this is an out and back trail, you can stop anywhere along the way as your halfway point.
The boulders here are orange and pink, making it unique compared to the brilliant white granite in other areas on the Yuba. Sediment in the soil and mining have left their marks.
There are scenic trails beginning on both sides of the bridge and reasonable but limited parking at the bridge for hikers.
The South Yuba River Trail downstream from the bridge is on the south side of the river. Nice views will keep you company as far as you want to hike. Purdon Crossing will find you at the 5 mile mark, making for a 10-mile round trip.
Take Interstate 80 east to Hwy 49 toward Grass Valley. Take the left turn toward Downieville to stay on Highway 49. Take a right on Coyote Street. Turn right on North Bloomfield Road/Bloomfield-Graniteville Rd. You will see the Bureau of Land Management sign welcoming you to the area. Continue to Edwards Crossing on North Bloomfield at the river.
Mary West is author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide. The books are a collection of the Day Hiker newspaper columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, and favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond (Available on Amazon). West was the recipient of the 2017 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Column by the Outdoor Writers of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram.
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