South Yuba River State Park in the heart of California's Gold Country is made up of a patchwork of fragmented park lands running throughout the South Yuba River Canyon. A handful of public access points provide visitors access to riverside hiking trails, swimming holes, picnic areas, kayaking/rafting put-ins, scenic overlooks, historic covered bridges, and information on the rich history of the gold rush that took place here. The four main access points running west to east are Bridgeport Crossing, Highway 49 Crossing, Purdon Crossing and Edwards Crossing.
Hot and dry in summers, South Yuba River State Park beckons those looking to escape the summer heat to its many emerald-colored pools. Sections of the river canyon are lined with large granite boulders that form picture-perfect swimming holes surrounded by rock perches perfect for wasting a few summer hours away. Highway 49 Crossing has a fantastic swimming hole. Take note that swimming here can be risky in late spring and early summer months when river flow can be powerful and cold; park officials recommend waiting until midsummer to swim throughout the park.
When the season turns to fall, the area becomes cools down, and is a great time for hiking in the park. The weather makes the trails pleasant, and visitors have hiking options ranging from easy to strenuous. Scenic hiking trails include the Point Defiance Loop Trail, the Independence Trail and the South Yuba Trail. Fall foliage puts on a scenic autumn display throughout the river canyon. Wildflowers are magnificent in the spring and offer another good reason to visit.