Sierra Nevada Adventures Single Day Rides

You Bet Diggins Ride


You Bet Diggin's dual-sport ADVENTURE ride EXPLORES a mix of remote OFF-ROAD routes, unique history, and abandoned Gold Rush sites. You will EXPLORE some of the best remote and historic mining sites in Nevada County, from the historic You Bet Diggin's to the abandoned Red Dog cemetery.

This adventure begins in the Gold Rush town of Folsom and soon leaves civilization behind as it explores dirt mining roads and hydraulic diggings in the ancient river beds filled with gold deposits high above the Bear River Canyon. During the 1800s Gold-seekers with the hopes to strike it rich traveled from all corners of the world to prospect in this remote area known as the Northern Mines of the California Gold Country. During the early years of the gold rush, many of the mining improvements originated in the remote mining camps in Northern Mines. The sluice, long tom, and mining ditch were first used in the Northern Mines of Nevada County including the stamp mill for crushing gold-bearing quartz. The process of cement mining was also pioneered in this region due to the gold-bearing gravel and dirt being so tightly packed that instead of a slow pudding box a faster method to separate the gold was needed, and in much like the quartz-stamp mill, a cement-stamp came into use.

Many cement deposits were sunk deep into the earth and mined through extensive shafts and tunnels. Much of this type of mining happened in the remote mining areas known as You Bet, Little York, and Red Dog. The modern form of hydraulic mining, using jets of water directed under high pressure through hoses and nozzles at gold-bearing was first used by Edward Matteson in Nevada County in 1853 during the California Gold Rush. Matteson used canvas hose which was later replaced with crinoline hose by the 1860s. In California, hydraulic mining often brought water from higher locations from long distances to holding pods several hundred feet above the area to be mined. California hydraulic mining exploited gravel deposits, making it a form of placer mining. Although hydraulic mining generated millions of dollars of gold it also had a devastating effect on the natural environment and agricultural systems in California. Millions of tons of earth and water were blasted from the mountains and delivered to streams that fed rivers flowing into the Sacramento Valley. Once the rivers reached the flat valley, the water slowed, the rivers widened and the sediment was deposited in the floodplains and river beds causing major flooding, especially during spring melt.

North Bloomfield hydraulic mining carved a 7,800 ft. long drainage tunnel through solid bedrock at Malakoff diggings. After the tunnel's completion, the company reached its peak processing over 50,000 tons of gravel each day by operating seven giant water cannons known as monitors which operated twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. During this period vast areas of farmland in the Sacramento Valley were deeply buried by the mining sediment creating devastating floods which brought forth the demands by farmers to put an end to hydraulic mining. In the most renowned legal fight of farmers against miners, the farmers sued the hydraulic mining operations and the landmark case of Edwards Woodruff vs. North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company made its way to the United States District Court. On January 7th, 1884, judge Lorenzo Sawyer handed down what became known as the Sawyer Decision, among the first environmental decisions in the United States.

While North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company were notable for operating the world’s largest hydraulic gold mine in 1884, the Sawyer Decision abruptly ended hydraulic mining in the California Gold County. Today the thundering sounds from the hydraulic monitors are long gone but the scars in the mountainsides still remain as an estimate of time. The Red Dog, You Bet Diggin's is a sight to be seen with colorful layers of the earth within massive cliff-sides that were exposed by hydraulic mining which uncovered ancient riverbeds filled with gold-bearing ore. You will also visit the historic town site of You-Bet, Red Dog, and Omega including an opportunity to explore some of the best remote dirt mining roads in Nevada County.

Event Details:

Single-Day Tour: (15 to 20 riders with 20 riders max)
This adventure ride is designed for (650cc+) to (1250cc+) dual-sport adventure bikes.
Off-road terrain is rated mild to moderate and lots of adventure.
Ride distance approx. 200 miles round trip (75 miles dirt roads)
Gas stops (125-mile range required)

MEETING TIME: 8:30 a.m. (ride starts at 9:00 a.m.)
MEETING LOCATION: Starbucks Folsom CA.
195 Placerville Road, Folsom CA. 95630
Arrive in the morning with a full tank of gas.
Ride returns to Folsom CA. (approx. 5:00 p.m.)

MEALS (Meals not included)
Bring water, snacks, and lunch.

OPTIONAL HOTEL Prior to Event: (Hotel not included)
Riders are responsible to book their hotel reservations.
-Hampton Inn and Suites, 155 Placerville Rd, Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 235-7744
Additional hotels are available in Folsom CA.
Truck/trailering your bike? Parking is available at the meeting location.

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