Hoyt Trail

South Yuba River State Park

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

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Hoyt Trail


  • Overlooking the old Highway 49 bridge.- Hoyt Trail
  • The trailhead parking area is at the edge of the old Highway 49 bridge, now a pedestrian crossing over the South Yuba River.- Hoyt Trail
  • A couple of picnic benches sit along the path before the Hoyt Trail leaves the bridge area.- Hoyt Trail
  • The Hoyt Trail begins at the northeast end of the pedestrian bridge.- Hoyt Trail
  • Views of the Highway 49 Crossing area from the start of the Hoyt Trail.- Hoyt Trail
  • The Hoyt Trail usually sticks to a singletrack path perched on the hillside a short distance above the river.- Hoyt Trail
  • A few steep side trails leave the main trail and cut down to the river. - Hoyt Trail
  • A sign warning that there may be a little bit of nudity at Hoyt Beach.- Hoyt Trail
  • From the signed fork, the trail begins a shady climb up the hillside.- Hoyt Trail
  • The trail gains over 100 feet in just over 1.6 miles, passing dry and shady brush.- Hoyt Trail
  • Views down to the South Yuba River.- Hoyt Trail
  • A flat grassy area at the top of the Hoyt Trail is somewhat anticlimactic following the scenic trail and picturesque river beaches that can be reached by it.- Hoyt Trail
Overview + Weather
Accesses less-crowded river beaches.
Still gets very crowded. Anti-climactic trail end.
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
2,357.00 ft (718.41 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,100.00 ft (335.28 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Total elevation gain: 
1,200.00 ft (365.76 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,260.00 ft (384.05 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Hoyt Trail is a very popular trail beginning at the Highway 49 Crossing inside South Yuba River State Park. While the crossing itself is a very popular spot for sunbathing and swimming, heading out on the Hoyt Trail can lead hikers to some less crowded areas and swimming holes along the river's picturesque granite banks.

The trail parallels the river for slightly less than a mile before coming to a fork where a signed path descends out of the brush and onto the boulder-lined shores of Hoyt Beach. Even on - or possibly especially on - the sunniest of days, you can expect to see plentiful full moons at Hoyt because Hoyt is a nude beach. Signs gives hikers plenty of warning so as not to end up there accidentally, and many visitors opt not to take up the clothing optional locale. Visitors should be aware of what they're getting into.

From the fork, the main trail sharply bends 90 degrees and begins climbing. From this point the trail climbs just over 1,000 feet in the next 1.6 miles over winding switchback terrain, opening at a couple of points to views over the Yuba. At the end of the climb the trail comes to an anticlimactic end at a dirt road in a saddle: there aren't any exceptional views, nor is there a great place to sit and hang out for awhile. 

While the trail tends to be pretty crowded between the bridge and Hoyt Beach, you'll likely not see a single person if you continue onto the climb. Hikers can head down any of a number of steep dusty paths to reach the water from the first portion of the trail, and if you're able to handle the steep slopes, this is a great way to escape the large summer crowds that can build around the bridge and parking area.

Parking is free, but it tends to fill up early on warmer weekends, which may force latecomers to look for a spot on the Highway 49 shoulder.

Outhouses are the only amenity at the parking area. Everything else is located in Nevada City, about 10 miles south on Highway 49.

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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