Planning A Picnic at the Yuba on the Fourth of July? Four Guidelines to Remember

Nothing like a Fourth of July Picnic at the Yuba river, right? And packing that perfect meal is as much of an art as it is a chore. With the current burn ban in place by the South Yuba River State Park, though, some foods work better than others. This Fourth of July holiday, we ask you to leave your grills at home and pack a ready-to-go meal instead. The last thing you want is to start a fire.  

Fire in the river canyon is a very real and serious threat due to influx of visitors to the canyon, its remote nature, and the fast rate of growth of fire in canyons.  It was only two years ago that the Jones Fire hit the canyon. Ignited by a dry lightning strike, the fire burned 705 acres, destroyed 21 structures, and threatened the cities of Nevada City and Grass Valley.   

A burn ban doesn’t mean you can’t still have a wonderful Fourth of July picnic. SYRCL, in collaboration with Parks Interpretive Specialist, Allyssa Borich, offers you these suggestions on how to best pack your picnic basket for your trip to the Yuba. 


1) Bring ready-to-eat meals: Again, the Yuba River canyon is currently under a burn ban. This ban encompasses campfires as well as grills and barbecues (it even includes cigarettes). This means you are not allowed to cook food at the river. Any fire has the potential to grow out of control; with the drought and high heat conditions providing plenty of dry fodder for fire, the river canyon is at particularly high risk. Although grilling up hot dogs or burgers may sound nice, lighting up the grill can come with a hefty fine and put our whole community at risk. Keep it cool and opt for a pre-cooked picnic instead. 

2) Pack lots of water and electrolytes: Remember to stay hydrated under the summer sun with a cool drink. Water is a great option. Alcohol, on the other hand, can contribute to dehydration. Additionally, it impairs motor skills, putting drinkers at a higher risk for drowning. Please remember to leave your glass containers and alcohol at home as they are prohibited within the State Park. 

3) Go the reusable route: The Yuba River hosts over 800,000 visitors every year. With this large number of visitors, any trash left behind from picnics builds up quickly. This is why we recommend bringing your snacks in reusable containers. 

4) Pack out what you pack in: Help us leave no trace in this Wild & Scenic river canyon and keep it a pristine place for recreation and ecosystem biodiversity by taking your trash with you when you leave. 

While these guidelines may rule out certain foods, there are plenty of tasty options to bring for a Fourth of July picnic on the river.  

Choose Environmentally Friendly Packaging 

Stay Cool and Hydrated 

Don’t Forget Salts 

Keep it Crumb Free 

Go Local! 

On behalf of all of us at the South Yuba River Citizens League and the South Yuba River State Park, we hope that you enjoy your visit at the Yuba River. Please remember to pack out what you pack in and leave our river crumb clean. Stay safe and enjoy your picnic! 


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