River Recreation

Rushing rivers run through Nevada County and there are many ways to visit and enjoy rivers any time of year.


Keep your dream vacation spot beautiful by participating in the South Yuba River clean up. You can volunteer or donate to keep our rivers clean. You can even win prizes in the “Trash or Treasure” competition!

The South Yuba River State Park offers various swimming holes, white water rafting, family-friendly picnic areas, and the historic Bridgeport covered bridge.

Take it easy and float the Truckee River. This is a perfect way to spend a hot day; just be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks.

Remember: the rivers often have strong currents and can be cold! Never swim alone, and evaluate the river conditions before entering the water.

Check out the State’s oldest covered bridge west of the Mississippi at the Bridgeport Bridge State Park, California Historical Landmark #390.


Love the Yuba Like a Local by checking the conditions and recommendations at the South Yuba River Citizens League

Rafting the Truckee River; find guides and information and book your adventure!

Visit Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce for more info.  

Find local services and more about the South Yuba River at Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Check current wildfire conditions before heading out at local news outlet  

Gear up and headout for some fly fishing by checking out Off the Hook Fly Fishing

Did you know that Nevada County is hedged in by stunning rivers? To the east, the Truckee River rushes all the way from the Lake Tahoe basin; to the west, the South Yuba River stretches about 37 miles into the Feather River (and eventually into Sacramento). You’ll have lots of river activities to choose from! Warm summer days mean picnics and swimming on the river, floating lazily on inner tubes in calmer areas, sunbathing, shoreline fishing, paddleboarding, and more! 

Try kayaking or white-water rafting on the Truckee River! You can embark on an epic adventure on the water with guided rafting; professional guides are dedicated to keeping you safe while offering the best day ever! Whitewater rafting is a great way to take in the scenery, experience our rivers and our environment, while running through exciting rapids. You can enjoy the sport for a day, an overnighter, or even multiple days! 

The South Yuba River State Park offers various swimming holes, white water rafting, family-friendly picnic areas, and the historic Bridgeport covered bridge. You can even pan for gold to get some exercise, sunshine, and priceless memories. Join a Salmon Expedition with the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) to see the salmon spawning! You can go on a guided float trip down the Yuba River to learn the life cycle, ecology, and human impact on these incredible fish. Or stay on the banks and join a hiking expedition on land! 

Know B4 You Go – Safety is No Joke 

  • Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick. 
  • Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
  • Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at
  • Be COVID-19 Safe – Check the state’s guidance recommendation to stay safe. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at
  • Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.

Don’t Park Illegally – Illegal Parking slows or blocks emergency vehicles services to and from the river.