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Hotel Bret Harte Ride
Next Ride: None Scheduled

If you've been looking for adventure with an opportunity to explore, then look no further this dual sport adventure ride puts the ADV in adventure. Hotel Bret Harte Trail Dual Sport Adventure explores remote dirt roads, twisty single-lane paved roads in the heart of the Gold Country where it all began. This adventure ride includes a remote route through a deeply wooded forest in search of the ruins and lost dreams of A.P.T. Elder's once grand Hotel Bret Harte. This dual sport adventure ride begins on the edge of the Sierra Nevada Foothills and ventures east on back roads and dirt roads to the historic Coloma Valley which is located on the South Fork of the American River. January 24, 1848, an event occurred in Coloma that would radically impact the history of California and the Nation. James W. Marshall was building a sawmill for Captain John Sutter, using water from the South Fork of the American River, James Marshall suddenly noticed several flakes of metal in the tailrace and recognized the flakes to be gold. Though he tried to keep it a secret, the word spread quickly, and triggered the California Gold Rush of 1849. After visiting the historic gold discovery site in Coloma Valley this adventure ride explores off-road on a historic mining route to the nearby mining camp know as Georgetown. Georgetown was founded August 7, 1849, by George Phipps and party. Georgetown was nicknamed Growlersburg because of the heavy nuggets that growled in the miners' pans.


Arriving with a party of prospectors from Oregon, a young man named Hudson is credited with discovering the rich diggings in Georgetown in the summer of 1849. It is said that Hudson dug out more than $20,000 in gold within a six-week period. Soon after, a company of sailors lead by George Phipps began working the stream at a spot below the present townsite where they uncovered rich placers and took out a fortune in gold. During the first few years the small mining camp was made up of tents, shacks and canvas structures lining the camp creek until a fire occurred in 1852 which totally destroyed the tent city. The fire didn't close down the camp but instead the local folk set out immediately to rebuild their camp. They decided to make sure that they would never again lose their town to fire, so they moved the townsite from the Empire Canyon to its present location today. The streets were much wider than before to keep any future fires from jumping. Many of the new buildings were made of brick and stone and also fitted with fireproof iron doors. When they were finished, Georgetown was a thriving and beautiful mountain town.


It quickly rose to prominence as one of the richer camps in the region and came to be known as the "Pride of the Mountains." From Georgetown, this adventure ride quickly leaves all civilization behind as it explores a deeply wooded forest in search of the ruins and lost dreams of A.P.T. Elder's once grand Hotel Bret Harte. Due to its isolated location and short time of existence there is very little information available about the location and history of this once grand Hotel Bret Harte, but the ruins and lost dreams are there waiting to be found and experienced to the ones who dare venture into the deeply wooded forest on the Georgetown Divide.


History of Hotel Bret Harte: Back in the early 1900's a millionaire named A.P.T. Elder decided to build a 250 room 4 story hotel for the wealthy. Elder purchased 350 acres in the middle of the most remote wooded area he could find in El Dorado County. After purchasing the land Elder explored the remote land until he found a small meadow surrounded by the forest which he named Deer View, at this location Elder hired the best craftsmen of the time to build his dream resort which he named after the famous 1800s author Bret Harte. The mountain resort required over 500,000 board feet of lumber and thousands of tons of material and equipment. The chimney alone needed over 250 tons of stone and rare stain-glass windows were hauled in from San Francisco to the isolated location on the Georgetown Divide.


The Tragedy of Hotel Bret Harte: A.P.T. Elder died just before the grand opening of the Hotel Bret Harte and the hotel never opened and never checked in a single paying guest. Elder's wealthy family and his wife were living on the east coast at this time and they were not interested in his dream project so the hotel never opened and eventually became abandoned, vandalized and exposed to the elements. During the winter of 1936 a storm covered the abandon hotel in 9.5 feet of snow which caused the neglected, weakened hotel to collapse, then a few years later in the 1940s the hotel burned to the ground. All that remains of this once grand Hotel are the rock walls, foundations, stone fire places and the abandon walk ways that lead into the isolated forest.


Single-Day Ride

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

*more details listed under "Book this Ride"

Hotel Bret Harte Ride
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Available Dates

Date Selected: December 31st 1969

Cost: $Open Spots: Ride Days:
Additional Info:
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.



Hotel Bret Harte Ride Ride
Total: $
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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