Sierra Nevada Adventures Single Day Rides

Yuba River Canyon

YUBA RIVER CANYON ADVENTURE RIDE:                                                                      

Here's your opportunity to EXPLORE the wild and scenic Yuba River Canyon on an exciting combination of curvy back roads, single-lane goat roads, and historic OFF-ROAD wagon routes to a remote ghost town from the 1800s on your ADVENTURE.  

This adventure ride is perfect for middleweight to heavyweight-size dual sport adventure bikes with a great combination of back roads, remote dirt canyon roads, and historic gold rush sites. You will have the opportunity to visit the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge which was an important link in a freight-hauling route that stretched from the San Francisco Bay to the Northern Mines and beyond to Virginia City, after the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859 sparked a mining boom in Nevada. Steamboats carried freight from the San Francisco Bay up the Sacramento River to Marysville, where it was loaded onto wagons for the trip across the Sierra Nevada via the Virginia Turnpike and Henness Pass Road. The route across the bridge was ultimately eclipsed by the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad as far as Reno in 1868 via Donner Pass, but it continued to serve the Northern Mines during the California Gold Rush. You will also have the opportunity to explore a dirt wagon route to the historic Purdon Crossing to Edwards Crossing and the largest hydraulic mining site in California known as Malakoff Diggins.

In 1850 miners began to discover gold in ancient riverbeds located on mountainsides and ridgetops high above the streams and deep river canyons. In 1851 three miners headed northeast of what is now Nevada City for a less crowded area to prospect. One miner went back to town with a pocket full of gold nuggets for supplies and was followed back by many prospectors. These followers, however, did not find any gold and declared the area "Humbug", thus the stream was so named "Humbug Creek". Around 1852, settlers began to arrive in the area and the town of "Humbug" sprang up. These miners could not decide how to move the dirt to a place where there was water. By 1853 miners invented a new method of mining called hydraulic mining. Dams were built high in the mountains. The water traveled from the reservoirs through a wooden canal called a flume that was up to 45 miles long. The water ran swiftly to the canvas hoses and nozzles called monitors waiting in the ancient riverbeds. The miners would aim the monitors at the hillsides to wash the gravel into huge sluices. Over time the monitors became bigger and more powerful. Their force was so great they could toss a fifty-pound rock like a cannonball or even kill a person. By 1857 the town had grown to 500 residents and locals felt the name "Humbug" was too undignified and renamed the town "Bloomfield", but California already had a town by this name so they renamed the town "North Bloomfield" which is located near the massive Malakoff Diggins hydraulic mining site.

Malakoff Diggins the largest hydraulic mining site in California while beautiful in its own way is also a testimony of the nation's first environmental protection measure. The "Malakoff Diggins" is 7,000 feet long, as much as 3,000 feet wide, and nearly 600 feet deep in places. The huge cliffs carved by hydraulic mining washed away entire mountains of gravel to wash out the gold from the ancient riverbeds. In the late 1860s, the towns of Marysville and Yuba City were buried under 25 feet of mud and rock, and Sacramento flooded repeatedly. The farmers in the valleys complained about the tailings that flooded their land and ruined their crops. Thousands of acres of rich farmland and property were destroyed as a result of hydraulic mining. By 1876 the mine was in full operation with 7 giant water cannons working around the clock. The town had grown to a population of around 2,000 with various business and daily stage services. In 1880 electric lights were installed in the mine and the world’s first long-distance telephone line was developed to service the mine, passing through North Bloomfield as it made its way from French Corral to Bowman Lake. By 1883 San Francisco Bay was estimated to be filling with silt at a rate of one foot per year. Debris, silt, and millions of gallons of water used daily by the mine caused extensive flooding, prompting Sacramento valley farmers to file the lawsuit Woodruff vs. North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company. On January 7, 1884, Judge Lorenzo Sawyer declared hydraulic mining illegal. This new law ended hydraulic mining in the state of California overnight with the stroke of a pen. Hydraulic mining towns such as North Bloomfield and many other hydraulic mining towns throughout the Gold Country soon became ghost towns as hydraulic mining suddenly came to an end.

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 easy, mild to moderate with some moderately challenging and lots of adventure!
Ride distance approx. 175 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.)
Raley's 13384 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA. 95603
Arrive in the morning with a full tank of gas.
Ride returns to Auburn 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 for booking their hotel reservations.
-Best Western Golden Key Auburn, CA 13450, CA 95603 (530) 885-8611
Additional hotels are available in Auburn CA.
Truck/trailering your bike? Parking is available at the meeting location.


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