Mines are reopening and there is gold in these here hills, rivers too!
Capture the beauty of Downieville and the Gold Country
W inter in Downieville is quiet. Folks that visit are ready for a break from work and routine. Chances are that no matter where you are from, it's not like Downieville. Usually the snow is not far away and we're a great destination for winter sports. The Sierra Buttes have been used in the filming of Vin Diesel in xXx. Watch Powder Monkeys, Inc and their ski trip down the face of the Sierra Buttes! For our less extreme guests, the Riverside Inn provides snowshoes at no charge. Miles of groomed trails are available that are also used by cross country skiers or snowmobilers. Sierra County 2011/2012 budget provides $118,500 for this purpose. Users are separated by distance or regulation. If you wish to avoid the sounds of snowmobiles, there's a place for you. Everyone that comes will be treated to vistas and views of mountains and lakes. While travelers should always carry snow chains, Highway 49 is a four season highway. It is normally open during winter months. The Yuba Pass SNO-Park is situated between areas for snowmobiles and cross-country ski trails. You'll need to purchase a pass to park in the SNO-Park but there are alternatives.
Springtime is when all that snow melts. Kayakers and rafters may be the users of the rivers however we all enjoy the sight of a river in bloom. As the river channel is washed, new gold is deposited. High water and cracking boulders can be very exciting indeed! Creeks appear on the mountain sides and waterfalls are as common as in Hawaii. Motorcyclists, eager for the season to begin, may remember that the Sierra Mountains warm slower than the Valley. Highway 49 normally presents few obstacles to automobiles, still, motorcycles are more enjoyable on clean, dry roads. However you travel, trees and flowers begin to awake and enjoy the longer daylight hours. You'll see the grasses and oaks turning green. Lupine and redbud with wild orchids and iris encourage wandering eyes. Occasionally you'll see the remains of Gold Rush settlements with fruit trees and roses. Nancy and I enjoy the peach colored monkey flower that clings to rock faces where little else can survive. Perhaps you'd like your wedding to be here. Perhaps a family reunion or a church retreat would be perfect.
Summer requires little description. Downieville with all its attractions is an ideal summer resort. Fishing for German Brown Trout and gold prospecting were the top tourist attractions. Today, riding a motorcycle across the Yuba/Donner Scenic Byway and the endless miles of trails for mountain bike and dirt bike enthusiast have been added to the list. Obviously, a town at the fork of the Downie and Yuba Rivers is ideal for a summer vacation. Our Gold Rush vintage town has been the passion of photographers since the Days of 49. Some call it the crown jewel of the Mother Lode. We all agree that our position at the North end of the Golden Chain has preserved Downieville as a view into the past.
National Geographic called it the Lost Sierra in 1973 and not much has changed.
Fall is the favorite time for some folks to visit. School has begun, vacation for most has been taken, and Downieville takes a rest. You begin to feel what makes this old town the home town that guests never had. Years ago they quit being visitors and became old friends. Baby boomers come on motorcycles or one of Ford's new Mustangs. As Fall Colors progress the pleasures of touring are at their peak. Some return at night to enjoy a glass of wine on their balcony, listen to the river, and watch the swallows dance in the sky. Life is good when you're in Downieville."Let's return for the Holidays".