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About Sierra County

Sierra County is located in the heart of the northern section of the Sierra Nevada. It remains today much as it was over 150 years ago when the gold-seeking argonauts worked the rivers and mountains in search of their fortune in gold.  The rivers run free and the forests and meadows wrap their beauty around mountains that defy contemporary development. It is beautiful in all seasons.

For all its wilderness and pristine beauty, Sierra County is easily accessible year round.  Here you find year-round recreation for every visitor, and scenery that sparkles with each new season. Shopping and dining can be enjoyed in historic settings. Amenities range from primitive campgrounds to lodging in comfortable historic buildings with modern conveniences, all surrounded by the rugged beauty of mountain forests, lakes, and river All major highways into the county are regularly maintained and plowed during periods of snowfall. These beautiful mountain highways wander through some of the finest winter recreation sites in California.

Fishing, hiking, and camping are available for all levels of interest and ability. Much of Sierra County is located within the Tahoe National Forest so that residents and visitors alike benefit from the campgrounds, picnic areas, and historic sites. Check out the Things to Do section for ideas and details.

To help you explore all that Sierra County has to offer, we have split information about the county on this site-- grouping areas of the county into five distinct regions.

The Pliocene Ridge runs west-east along the southern end of the county, straddling a ridge where the Henness Pass Road runs at an elevation around 5,000 feet.

The River Canyon is the western middle part of the county, the area from where Highway 49 crosses the North Yuba river and starts running parallel to the river past Goodyears Bar and through Downieville all at around 2,000–3,000 ft.

As the highway climbs in elevation up the North Yuba River Canyon, you come into the Sierra Buttes area, where Loganville and Sierra City sit at the foot of the Buttes at about 4,200 ft. The Buttes themselves are almost 8,600 ft.

At Bassetts, Highway 49 meets the Gold Lake Highway which meanders around the Buttes delivering visitors to the Lakes Basin recreation area, where over 45 alpine lakes provide year-round recreation and scenic beauty.

If you continue on Highway 49 over the Yuba Pass, at 6,702 ft., you drop into the majestic Sierra Valley, at approximately 5,000 ft. the largest sub-alpine Valley in the United States, famous for its history of ranching, and amazing wetlands; a stop over for thousands of migratory birds each season.


because memories aren't made playing video games

No 26:  TAKE A STROLL...

through one of Sierra County’s historic towns that you’ll find along Historic Route Hwy 49. The best way to experience California’s Gold Rush history is to explore our wonderful towns and rural areas. Also look on the map for old ghost towns, though beware, many are accessible only with a 4WD vehicle and reading a paper map. GPS doesn’t work well around here; neither do cellphones.


because memories aren't made playing video games

No 44:  GET HOOKED...

and enjoy one of the many great fishing spots in beautiful Sierra County.  Get a fishing license!

It's all here...

If scenery inspires you, bring your camera. Each season has its own character of beauty that can be captured in photographs. Spring melts the tapestry of a winter blanket, then gracefully captures the fields and rock crevices with a rainbow of color. Golds, reds, and yellows of fall adorn the alpine forests, river canyons, valleys, and mountain peaks.

Sierra County is rich with beauty, natural resources and friendly people, but it has even more to offer. The Washoe and Maidu Indians, early gold miners, loggers, and ranchers left us with a priceless possession undefined a window to the past. Historic buildings and landscapes provide a rare and unique look into American history as they span over time and into the present. When you visit, be prepared to take a step back, feel the adventure, sense the struggle, and experience the excitement of gold fever. Imagine the human spirit as it struggled through this rugged country by foot or on horseback. You can almost hear the sound of creaking wheels and braying mules. Stop, listen, look.

It’s all here.


because memories aren't made playing video games

No 14:  HIT THE ROAD...

The Yuba River Scenic Byway is located in Sierra County and follows Highway 49, the “Mother Lode Highway”—a route rich with remnants of mining history. Time travel becomes reality as you travel this scenic byway through the historic towns of Sierra City and Downieville along the Yuba River.

© 2014-2024 Sierra County Chamber of Commerce | 1-800-200-4949 | info@sierracountychamber.com

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