Birds, Wildflowers, Geology, Trails and Vistas…All happening at South Yuba River State Park


Spring at SYRSP is the time of the year when a large number of birds arrive to nest and raise their young or, in some cases to just rest and then continue their migration.  Some of the more notable arrivals include: Bullock’s Oriole, Yellow-breasted Chat, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler and several varieties of Swallows.  Resident Western

Bluebirds, Spotted Towhee, California Quail, and several species of Woodpeckers are also often seen this time of year.  It may also be possible to see our annual pair of nesting Bald Eagles and their young as well as the elusive American Dipper, John Muir’s favorite bird.

Male Bullock’s Oriole. Getty Images

Bird walks with park docents are offered at SYRSP’s  Bridgeport location the second Saturday of each month through November, and the first Saturday in December.  There are also walks at the same location on Fridays March 22, April 26, May 3, and June 21.  Typically, walkers should see 20 to 30 species.  All of the walks will begin at 8 AM except for June, July, and September which will begin at 7:30 AM.  The walks last about two hours over mostly flat terrain.  Meet at the Bridgeport north parking lot (where the Buttermilk Bend trail starts).  Bring binoculars and good walking shoes.  For more information contact South Yuba River State Park at (530) 432-2546.

Visit website for more information and brochures.


Docents will provide guided wildflower walks beginning on March 9, and will continue every Saturday and Sunday through May 12 at 11:00 a.m. The walks and blooms are at the whim of Mother Nature. Rain may cancel.

Photo submitted by SYRSP

Flowers seen on the walk include Poppies, Hill Lotus, Lupin, Larkspur, Pipevine, Lace Pods, Pretty Faces, Bird’s Eye Gilia, Bulb Iris, Silver Puff, Redbud, Miner’s Lettuce, Fiddle-Neck, Buttercups, Popcorn Flower, and Caterpillar Facilia.

Stop by the Bridgeport Visitor Center (open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) to pick up a free copy of the plant list or to buy the booklet with photos of the most common flowers. There is also an expanded book with wildflower photos and more details about the flowers. The wildflower season starts at Bridgeport, but consider walking the trails upstream to follow the bloom at higher elevations.


South Yuba River State Park will be hosting three exciting opportunity to learn about the area’s geology at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. on Friday, June 7, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Photo by John Field

On the walking tour, you will learn about the rock types along this portion of the South Yuba River as well as observe first hand some of the geologic features associate with the area’s complex geology.  The guided walking tour and short presentation are expected to last from two to two and a half hours.

Walkers will meet at 10 a.m. in the north parking lot at Bridgeport.  Wear weather appropriate clothing and bring an interest in learning about the rock types along the Buttermilk Bend Trail and a little bit about the complex geologic history of the area.

Visit website for more information and brochures.

 State Parks Parking fee applies.

For more information contact SYRSP at (530) 432-2546