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Once the South Yuba River watershed was the focal point of the California Gold Rush. Today, it is recognized by the California State legislature as a Wild and Scenic River with scenery of “Outstanding Remarkable Value.” This park which follows the river the twenty miles provides a very scenic geologic cross-section of a part of the State that played such prominent roles both geologically and economically in California’s history.
This 20-mile portion of the South Yuba River canyon stretches from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park to Bridgeport covered bridge. The area includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world (currently closed for restoration), the steep rugged canyon of the South Yuba River, and the Independence Trail – the first identified wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country. South Yuba River State Park offers many scenic vistas. Visitors can view swift moving water carving the granitic canyon that is peppered with seasonal native blooms in springtime, and experience refreshing swimming holes that dot the 20 mile length of the Yuba River in late summer. Along the length of the park, visitors can see several architectually different bridges spanning from the Gold Rush era to the mid-20th century. – California State Parks Website
Bumping up against the west side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Sierra foothills are where California’s past, present, and future merge into one unforgettable destination. The Gold Rush sparked the largest mass migration in America’s history, when more than 300,000 pioneers headed west to California hoping to strike it rich. You’ll find treasures of a different kind along the historic Golden Chain Highway, which oozes Old West charm. Or leave the small towns in your rearview and head to cosmopolitan Sacramento to sample the gastronomic wonders of America’s Farm to Fork Capital. – Visit California