Summary: The PG & E Sierra Discovery Trail loop is an interesting, and easy interpretive trail, explaining the geology and ecology of the Bear Valley and the Sierra Nevada.
The trail starts out as pavement crossing a bridge over the Bear River. To get to 12 ft. Bear River Falls, go left here (now on a dirt trail) and you'll see
the falls shortly on your left. After seeing the waterfall, continue on the loop trail back around to the parking lot.
Although mostly dirt, the trail is suitable for wheelchairs with some help (but note, it is easier to go right on the loop trail after crossing the bridge).
For more info, see my website.
Trailhead: From Auburn, drive east on I-80 for 40 miles to the Hwy 20 exit to Nevada City. Drive west on Hwy 20 for 4.3 miles to Bowman Lake Rd. Turn right and drive 0.6 miles to the Sierra Discovery Trail parking lot. (Lat:39.3088 Lon:-120.66759)
Trail Guides for Sierra Discovery Trail:
by Ann Marie Brown (Foghorn Outdoors)
by Tom Stienstra and Ann Marie Brown (Foghorn Outdoors)
Best Seasons: Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: PG & E Recreation Area, (916) 386-5164
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Leon Turnbull, who has posted 17 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Viewer on 6/6/2015
Error: Reserved Word Found: update
Reviewed by glbro on 6/16/2013
Took this hike with wife and kids. We found it to be easy, peaceful, and plenty of nature to see. My son stepped over a rattlesnake, but he was off the trail taking a photo of the waterfall. I plan to go again!
Reviewed by Viewer on 10/15/2009
very nice hike for older or younger people well kept bath rms host in parking lot in the summernice to have people around wonderful little picnic area right next to bear river!
Reviewed by David on 8/25/2009
This is a nice getaway from the city. I usually walk it with my dog, eat some lunch in the picnic area and then walk it again. Lots of tall pines, shade and the waterfall is a bonus. There is easy creek access for the dog to splash in, too. A parking lot, water and pit toilets are provided.
Reviewed by A&G on 1/4/2009
Great little trail even for our 4 and 6 year olds. We go once a month and love it
Reviewed by rbknight on 7/12/2007
I came to this trail mainly for the waterfall, but the interpretative trail turned out to be just as nice. It is an easy trail - even for my 3 year old.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Placer County Hiking, Placer County Trails, Placer County Hikes