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Sierra Nevada Adventures Sierra Nevada Adventures Sierra Nevada Adventures
Adv Mother Lode Ride
Next Ride: March 16th 2019
Open Spots: 8
Cost: $100.00 (Member cost: $75.00) Login or Sign Up
Book This Ride


Here’s your opportunity to explore some of the best curvy back roads and fun dirt mining roads in the Mother Lode. There’s no better time of year then spring to explore the Mother Lode region, when the foothills are alive with beautiful wildflower blooms, cascading creeks and rolling hills of green grass.


Your adventure begins on the western edge of the foothills then ventures southeast through Amador and Calaveras Counties on some of the most exciting curvy back roads and twisty dirt roads that exist. You will also explore historic gold rush towns and some of the richest hard-rock mines in the gold country such as, the Bunker Hill mine, Freemont mine and Treasure mine. After exploring Amador County your adventure will take you through forgotten mining towns in Calaveras County such as Mountain Ranch, Sheep Ranch and Calaveritas. You will also have the opportunity to view Ironstone’s 44-pound gold nugget which is the largest crystalline gold nugget in the world. Yes, that's correct, this unique crystalline gold specimen weighs a remarkable 44 pounds with an appraised value of over $3.5 million.


The California Mother Lode, is a world famous hard-rock gold vein stretching northwest to southeast in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The California Mother Lode is a zone from 1.5 to 3.7 miles wide and 120miles long, extending from Georgetown in El Dorado County to the north, through Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, and south to Mormon Bar in Mariposa County. Shortly after the discovery of gold on the American river in 1848 the rich Mother Lode was discovered in the early 1850s, during the California gold rush. The Mother Lode zone contains hundreds of mines and historical sites, including some of the richest hard-rock mines of the gold rush era. Individual gold deposits within the Mother Lode are gold-bearing quartz veins up to 49 ft. thick and a few thousand feet long. The Mother Lode was the most productive gold producing districts in the world during the California Gold Rush. You will have the opportunity to explore some of these rich hard-rock mines while traveling some of the best dirt mining routes imaginable.


The first hard-rock mines were discovered in Amador City in 1851, the original Minister's Claim and Spring Hill mine were the first few mines founded and soon after many other mines followed. By the 1870s & 1880s, Amador County had over 300 hard-rock mines in operation with some mine shafts over a mile deep into the earth. You will have the opportunity to explore the ruins of many of these hard-rock mines such as the Bunker Hill Mine, Fremont-Gover Mine,

Argonaut Mine including the famous Kennedy Mine. You will also explore historic dirt mining roads through Amador City, Volcano, and Drytown, which is the oldest town in Amador County. Mining for gold began in Drytown in the spring of 1848 when miners discovered gold in the rich gravels along Dry Creek. Although the creek may have run dry during the summer months, legend has it the town never did, as an old story claims some twenty-six saloons wet the miners thirst during the 1850’s and today the only wet spot in Drytown is the road-side Drytown Club.


Bunker Hill Mine: The mine was first worked as the Rancheria Mine in 1853. Was renamed the South Mayflower in 1893. It was organized in 1899 as the Bunker Hill Consolidated Mine and operated till 1922, producing $5,154,382 in gold. The shaft reached 3440’ on an incline with a winze. It had a 40-stamp mill.


Fremont-Gover Mine: Founded prior to 1867 as the Loyal Lode Mine. The Fremont-Gover Company formed in 1872 and worked the Gover in the 1880’s and ‘90’s. The Fremont shaft was sunk in 1903 including a 40-stamp mill continuing in operation until 1918. Reopened in 1937 and worked until 1940. Fremont shaft was 2950’ deep. The Gover was 1500’ on an incline. Total production was $5,000,000 in gold.


Argonaut Mine: The Argonaut mine had been discovered in the 1850s by two freed slaves, William Tudor and James Hager. It was destined to become one of California's richest, producing more than $25 million before the federal government closed the nation's gold mines at the beginning of World War II. This mine is the site of the worst mining disaster in the Mother Lode. Forty-eight miners were trapped at 3,500 feet below ground in August of 1922. All of them died from deadly gas that was released during a mine fire. The fire burned two and one-half days before it was extinguished.


Kennedy Mine: The Kennedy Mine, famous for being one of the deepest gold mines in the world (at 5912 feet), demonstrates how gold changed an entire way of life in California. Although gold was known to be present and was mined by the Spanish and Mexicans, the California Gold Rush did not begin until after James Marshall's discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848. Between 1848 and 1858, California exploded from being a largely unpopulated agrarian state into a vital, fast growing and exciting part of the United States. Prospected in 1860, reorganized in 1886 and continuously run until 1942, the Kennedy Gold Mine produced approximately $34,280,000 in gold according to the CA Department. of Conservation. One of the tallest head frames in existence today can be seen at the Kennedy Mine. The mine also had one of the largest stamp mills in the Mother Lode, moving tailings by means of huge wooden wheels, some of which are still standing.


Beyond Amador County your journey travels to the forgotten mining towns of Calaveras County such as, Mountain Ranch that was established in 1858. Mountain Ranch (formerly, El Dorado and El Dorado Town) was renamed to Mountain Ranch when the little post office was moved 1.5 miles south to a town called El Dorado Camp. As there was already an El Dorado post office in California, El Dorado Camp became known as Mountain Ranch. The historic little post office located on the old main street is no longer in use but at one time it was billed as the world's smallest post office.


After visiting Mountain Ranch your adventure explores a combination of remote dirt roads and back roads to the forgotten mining town of Sheep Ranch where you will visit the historic Pioneer Hotel and the fabulous Sheep Ranch Mine. Sheep Ranch has a surprisingly colorful history, the town was once surrounded by sheep corrals, and in 1860 gold ore was discovered in the corrals where the sheep were kept at night. Soon after, Sheep Ranch became a bustling gold mining town. Before the turn of the century there were five flourishing gold mines and one had a ten-stamp mill. The town also supported 15 saloons.” The main mine in town was known as the Hearst mine, owned by George Hearst who was the father of William Randolph Hearst. It was operated continuously by the Hearst firm until 1893 and had produced an estimated 4 million dollars in gold and reached a depth of 1,400 feet. By 1942, when finally closed, the fabulous Sheep Ranch Mine produced more than 8 million dollars in gold and had reached 3,100 feet in depth. It can be described as the most productive in the Sierran East Gold Belt. Exploring further off the beaten path your adventure travels past the historic California Caverns once known as Cave City Cave and was once visited by Mark Twain, Bret Harte, and John Muir and was used as the hide out for the legendary Gold Rush bandit Joaquin Murrieta.



Single-Day Ride (20 rider max)

This dual sport adventure ride is perfect for medium to large dual sport adventure bikes.
Off-road terrain is rated 'mild to moderate' with lots adventure.
Ride distance: 200 +/- miles round trip (75+/- miles dirt roads)
One gas stop (125-mile range required)
Bring water & picnic Lunch


Date: March 16, 2019

Meeting time: 9:00 a.m.

Meeting location: Starbucks Folsom

195 Placerville Road Folsom CA 95630

Ride returns to Folsom CA (approx. 5pm)


More details listed under "Book this Ride"

Questions email:

Adv Mother Lode Ride
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Available Dates


Date Selected: March 16th 2019

Cost: $100.00Open Spots: 8Ride Days: 1
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: Starbucks 195 Placerville Road , Folsom , CA 95630
Additional Info: Please have a full tank of gas and be ready to ride! Hotel if needed: Hampton Inn and Suites Folsom, CA (NOT included) Questions:
There are no more open spots for this event, please select another date if available.
You must agree to the terms and conditions before you can register for this event.
Please print the waiver and bring it with you to this event.
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Registrant Information
Motorcycle Tours, Terms and Conditions:

Riders will be required to carry a valid U.S. or similar International drivers license with valid motorcycle license endorsement.
Riders must demonstrate solid riding ability.
Riders must be at least 21 years of age.
Helmets are required by law and must be worn by all riders.

Booking Requirements:
Tours: You will be responsible for your own motorcycle, food, gas, & lodging costs and any incidentals along the way.

Payments for the tour can be made in U.S. funds by VISA / MasterCard / AMEX / Discover. If completing the registration on-line, please remember to print and complete the waiver and bring it with you to the event. Tours require payment in full with registration.

Cancellation Policy:
Payment for the Tours is due at time of registration. There are no refunds 0-14 days before departure. If you do need to cancel, we would be happy to apply your payment to a future tour. There will be no refunds for unused services or accommodations once the tour has started. If you cancel a Tour 14 days or less prior to the tour date, there will be a $25 cancellation fee. There are no refunds if you cancel 72 hours or less prior to the tour, however tour fees can be applied to future tours. We rarely cancel or postpone a trip, but we reserve the right to do so when necessary: due to dangerous weather conditions or other reasons beyond our control. In the event of such an occurrence, we will refund your fees or apply them to another trip, but we are not responsible for any travel expenses incurred.

Travel Insurance:
Participants are responsible for their own medical insurance.

Storing unneeded luggage or gear:
If you are coming in the region with more gear than you can carry on your bike, or possibly are on an extended vacation, it's commonplace to locate a place to store this extra gear. If you are renting a motorcycle, typically the rental facility will be more than happy to store your luggage or spare gear. This is also commonplace with area hotels. Arrive a day early at your local lodging facility and request they store your extra gear. They'll be happy to comply.

Meals are NOT included in the tour cost so please bring some extra money to be able to partake in the restaurant’s the group will frequent. What is commonplace on the rides is the participants all split the ticket, or simply get separate tickets.

Overnight Tours: Lodging is always pre-booked for you. However, you will be responsible for your lodging costs. Sierra Nevada Adventures Motorcycle Tours will reserve a block of rooms for our tour participants months in advance. Our lodging typically is in Best Western or Holiday Inn type motels that have a pool and jacuzzi, and typically are within walking distance to our dinner destination. Costs range $70-$150 per night depending on the region of California we are in.

Arriving early:
If you are arriving the day prior to the tour, refer to the tour description for a link to a local recommended lodging facility near the launch point for the tour. If you are traveling some distance to reach the launch point, arriving the night prior will ensure you're fresh and ready to ride Friday morning!

When riding in California, we highly recommend that you dress in layers, to adjust to change of weather. In addition, Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours strongly recommends you wear motorcycle specific protective gear while riding a motorcycle. Temperatures during California summers are warm, although the variety of terrain covered in your tours will experience a wide range of temperature and weather conditions.

Tour Safety:
Helmets are required by law in California and Nevada. Tour participants are responsible for any traffic violations they might incur during the tour. Alcohol or drug use during the course of the tour is not permitted under any circumstance or while riding the motorcycle. Over-consumption of alcohol during our evening stop-overs is discouraged also, though we want everyone to have a good time!

California Weather:
The weather in California is often rather predictable during the summer months, namely six months straight of sunshine. Our tour dates are chosen to take advantage of our beautiful summer days, but despite our best efforts, we cannot control the weather, so please come prepared for the possibility of spring/ fall rain showers or summer heat as we will be covering a wide range of climates from high mountain elevations, to coastal areas. Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours reserves the right to make modifications to the tour at any time for any reason.

Bringing your own bike:
The majority of riders on Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours ride their own motorcycles. Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours is by no means a brand specific company. We welcome all makes of motorcycles and tour participants from all walks of life. We only ask if you bring your own motorcycle to ensure you have a new, or nearly new, set of tires and have your motorcycle in excellent running condition. Please ensure your motorcycle is ready to make a week long tour or more. Also consider obtaining some type of road side service for your motorcycle prior to arriving for your tour. You also might find it convenient to trailer your motorcycle to our starting point. If you need a place to store your vehicle and trailer, we can accommodate you provided you're arriving the day before the tour date.

Shipping your own bike:
Often, shipping your bike to your tour destination will about equal the price of a rental bike- however, you'll need to be in California at least 7-9 days to break even. If you plan on riding for a month, it will be cheaper to ship your bike across the domestic United States. Shippers may also require extended shipping times. For example, here for a month? Your shipper may require 2 weeks on the front side, and 2 weeks on the backside of your trip. Motorcycles normally ship uncrated with minimal fuel and are transported business to business. Our rental facilities will be more than happy to receive your motorcycle and have it ready when you arrive. If you would feel more comfortable aboard your own motorcycle, our helpful staff is happy to aid you with this option. We have also seen shippers deliver to dealers also to add to helping you providing a commercial setting to receive your bike.

Renting a motorcycle:
Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours does not rent motorcycles. However, we are more than happy to aid you in your rental process. BMW's and KTM’s dual sport adventure motorcycles are readily available in the San Francisco Bay Area. To ensure you get the bike you want, reserve at least 3 months in advance. Call the rental facility of your choice direct to have them familiarize you with the rental process and costs. Riders will typically pick up the bike the day before the tour date, and arrange to drop it off the following morning at open of business to return the motorcycle. Contact us for questions about rental options.

Non-U.S. Residents:
You must have your passport with you at all times when renting or touring with us if you are not a permanent resident of the United States or Canada.

Flight Arrangements:
Sierra Nevada Adventures Motorcycle Tours does not, and cannot, make flight arrangements, nor is the cost of your flight or travel cost to the starting point included in the tour price.
I agree to the terms and conditions

If you choose to pay at the event please make sure not to forget a valid form of payment. You will not be able to participate in the event if you do not bring cash or a valid credit or debit card.



Adv Mother Lode Ride Ride
Total: $100.00
Please on hit the register for event button once. You will be charged the amount shown and a copy of this invoice will be emailed to the address you registered with.
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