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49 Miles Along Highway 49 - A Historic Driving Tour: Yuba Pass to Oregon Creek

Scenic Byways or Routes
Look for this sign to find historic sites along the route. – Amy Gerbic

The 49 Miles Along Highway 49 Historic Driving Tour guides you along one of the most scenic and historically rich sections of beautiful Highway 49 from Yuba Pass to Oregon Creek. You'll drive through quaint, small towns, historic mining areas, along one of the most beautiful rivers of Northern California and shows you some of the rich history contained within the hills and mountains of rural Sierra Nevada. The driving tour starts or stops, depending on which direction you travel, at either Yuba Pass at the north/east end or Oregon Creek Day Use Area at the south/west end.

This 49 mile tour is just one small section of the 160-mile Yuba River Scenic Byway, which was dedicated by the U.S. Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest, on May 15, 1993.

As a joint partnership between the Tahoe National Forest, Downieville Chamber of Commerce, Sierra County Historical Society, California Department of Transportation and the Downieville Lions Club, the driving tour was established as a self-guided, self-paced exploration of local heritage. If there was not already interpretative signage in the area, informative signage dedicated to the route was installed and provides visitors helpful information about the miners and ranchers of the area, what they did and how they did it, and about the Native Americans who lived here prior to the influx of miners in 1849. Keep an eye out for the small circular 49 Miles Along Highway 49 signs (see photo above) that mark each stop as you drive along the route. The driving tour map is available for free at most businesses in Sierra County, the Kentucky Mine Museum or any Tahoe National Forest office.

Many of these stops are located at or near archaeological sites within the National Forest, and are protected by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and other federal laws. Removal of artifacts or damaging, defacing, or destroying any parts of these sites and their features is a felony. Please help preserve our heritage.

Driving Directions

From Sacramento, take eastbound I-80 and State Route 49 north to Oregon Creek Day Use Area, the driving tours gateway from the western side. On I-80 from Reno via Truckee, take northbound 89 to State Route 49 south(west) to get up to the eastern gateway of the driving tour at Yuba Pass.

Highlights and Key Points Along the Route

The key historic sites you'll find along the route include Oregon Creek Day Use Area, Camptonville, Jouberts Diggings, Indian Valley, Indian Rock Picnic Area, Goodyears Bar, Downieville, Loganville, Sierra City, Kentucky Mine Museum, Bassetts Station and Yuba Pass.

Downieville and Sierra City are towns along the route with food, gas and lodging options. The remaining sites are in remote areas. Please be sure to plan your trip before embarking.

Length of Byway or Route


Nearby Places