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California Rivers

North Yuba River


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The North Yuba River flows for forty-five miles through the northern Sierra Nevada, from its headwaters at Yuba Pass to New Bullards Bar Reservoir.

The river is paralleled by scenic and historic Highway 49, providing easy access to several campgrounds, recreational sites, and popular foot trails. The highway offers many scenic vistas, including breathtaking views of the river's numerous rapids and cascades, the canyon's heavily forested slopes, and the impressive granite spires of the nearby Sierra Buttes. For the history buff, Hwy 49 also provides access to many historic Gold Rush mining towns and sites.

The North Yuba is a formidable class IV-V whitewater river, offering a challenging experience for expert kayakers and rafters during the spring run-off. For the rest of the year, the river is probably known for its diverse fishery. Anglers come from all over California to fish for trophy trout and other game fish in the North Yuba.

Several trails offer a variety of foot-powered recreational opportunities. Two river-side trails - the North Yuba Trail and the Canyon Creek Trail -- provide easy access to the river for anglers, hikers, and swimmers. The canyon's old growth forests sustains excellent habitat for California spotted owl, bald eagle, northern goshawk, Pacific fisher, and pine marten.

If the river's many campgrounds are not your cup of tea, overnight accommodations and other recreational services are available in the historic towns of Downieville and Sierra City. There are also many private resorts and summer cabins available to rent.

How To Get There

North Yuba River Locator Map

From Interstate 80 in the City of Auburn, drive north on Hwy 49 approximately 60 miles to where Hwy 49 begins to parallel the North Yuba River.

Recreation And Visitor Information
For maps and additional recreational information, contact the Forest Service's Tahoe National Forest office at 631 Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959, phone: (530) 265-4531.

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