Gold Country California has it all
except the coastal beaches. Plenty of rivers & waterfalls
will satisfy your need for water. Dense forest, recreational
activities, gold mining history. Small towns with bed & breakfast,
antique shops, restaurants, wineries, give everyone something
interesting to visit. Great backroad camping & tons of lodging
make this region of the golden state a popular destination point.
Great mellow hikes along American River near Auburn. Mountain bike & hiking trails are everywhere. Stop in to the local ranger station along Hwy. 49 just south of Auburn & ask for maps (or buy them here).
Rafting on the many Rivers in the western Sierra is a popular
sport. Guided tours offer mellow floating to extreme adreninaline
Gold Country Road Trip - Itinerary Ideas:
Scenic and historic highway 49 is Gold Rush Country in the western Sierra Nevada foothills of California. Starting in Sacramento area & then head northeast on Interstate 80 to Auburn. Highway 49 will intersect the interstate in Auburn & this is a great town to start your northbound or southbound journey. On the interstate you will see suburban sprawl and heavy traffic all the way up the hill.
Hwy 49 North eventually leads to more rugged and rural areas like Downieville & Gold Lake (a must see). Hwy 49 South from Auburn, CA will wind you thru American River & Stanislaus River Canyons. Small Gold Rush towns crowd the busy 2 lane thoroughfare. Lots of residential and ranch areas. Yosemite National Park is loacted at the far southern end of this historic region.
The Golden Chain Highway
expect to see:
horses & ranches
Plenty of dirt backroads to explore as well. Stock SUVs will have no problems discovering a perfect spot to picnic, camp or just killing a day trying to find the best swimming hole. Spend a whole day getting lost on purpose! Rivers, streams, waterfalls, pine forest, wildflower meadows, granite mountains, scenic views... it all awaits you in Gold Country California.