Tahoe Tramping  – South Yuba River SP

“Another day in the most favored province of bird and flower …”  John Muir

After recently receiving almost a foot of snow at lake level, Cathy and I decided to take a day trip down to the Sierra foothills and visit South Yuba River State Park.  The park is a series of separated parcels along a 22 mile stretch of the South Yuba River.  We go down to hike and enjoy the spring wildflowers.

We usually stop in at Bridgeport where there is a visitor center, historical displays, and some nice, short hiking trails.  The Buttermilk Bend Trail is a level 2.4 mile out-and-back walk with scenic views of the upstream portion of the river, and the Point Defiance Loop Trail is 2,8 miles heading downstream to Englebright Lake before continuing uphill through a beautiful oak woodland.

At this time of year, the grass is green, the spring wildflowers are in abundance, and the river is roaring.  As flowers come into bloom along the Buttermilk trail, park volunteers place small identification labels with a photo of the plant,and the plant’s common and scientific names.  The variety of flowers can be overwhelming:  twining snake lily, ithuriel’s spear, pretty face, caterpillar phacelia, canyon dudleya, bush monkeyflower, and one of our favorites, tomcat clover.

Although this area is about 80 miles from Tahoe City, it is a great place to enjoy a warm, sunny, spring day.  More information is available at southyubariverstatepark.org.  Hope you get a chance to visit this park.  Tom

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