Independence Flat Trail Loop
ElevationAscent: 754' 230 m
Descent: -753' -230 m
High: 1,193' 364 m
Low: 593' 181 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
“Segment of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail features river access and historic remains built during the gold rush.”— Cheyenne Dolin
Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Continuing on, away from the highway, is a spectacular view of the surrounding foothills. Proceed down a steep decline and reconnect to the beginning of the trail loop.
Need to Know
The trailhead is at the Middle Bar Take Out. From Jackson, drive south on Hwy 49 for a half mile beyond Broadway, turn west (right) on Middle Bar Road, and continue 2.7 miles to the parking lot. From Hwy 26, drive to Paloma, turn north onto Gwinn Mine Road (this is a narrow rough road), drive down the canyon to the Mokelumne River and cross the Middle Bar Bridge, a distance of 3.3 miles.
This beautiful and lightly-trafficked trail is best done clockwise, following the first two forks left up Jackass Gulch. The first 1.7 miles parallel the river and are mostly shaded. Then the trail gradually climbs the foothills, until reaching Independence Flat, and then descending a steep hill back towards the river. Follow the Coast to Crest Trail signs and you'll be fine.
Flora & Fauna
History & Background
Land Manager: East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)