Traveling California State Route 49 part one

Joseph l.Cox By Joseph l.Cox, 6th Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>California

We start at the south end of the highway are working our way north through the various towns ,rivers and canyons. This will give you an overview of the beauty you will see as you travel California Route 49. The distance is less than 300 miles but if you so slow and enjoy the country side and history, it may take you five or six days to complete the trip.

Driving through History

This is one of the more unique Highways in California; it winds through some very scenic and interesting country. The highway starts at Oakhurst in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California, and then continues northward passing through some beautiful canyons and crossing several rivers on its journey north to its intersection with Highway 89 near Loyalton, California.
California 49 is a 295 mile stretch of highway and it came into being in 1934. In its travels to the north it crosses and joins, for a time, many other State highways and for a time even Interstate 80 at Auburn, and U.S. 50 in Placerville. It is known as The Golden Chain Highway for its entire route, but short sections of it have other designations.

From Grass Valley to Nevada City it is known as Golden Center Freeway, and the John C. Begovich Memorial Highway from Jackson to SR88. Then the Mother Lode Highway from Sonora to Auburn. The designations are given as it goes through a special part of the country.

The highway crosses many rivers on its way north; some of these rivers were major gold producing rivers during the gold rush. All of the free gold is gone now, but it must have been sight to see when you walk to the bank of a stream or river, look out and see the river sparkling in the sun light, gold just lying there waiting for you.
Image is from Wikipedia,creaqtiuve commons.

THE Scenic Highway

The highway goes through Chinese Camp, then on to Sonora before crossing the Stanislaus River, and goes by Robinsons Ferry that was built in1888, before going on north to Carson Hill where the largest nugget ever found was located, the nugget weighed 195#. Then on out to Sign Route 12 where the famous outlaw Black Bart used to rob stage coaches loaded with gold. There are many stories and books written about his adventures.

This subject is much too long to cover it in just one chapter so we will have a chapter two there is so much interesting data to cover , I would hate to slight any one section of the highway. So at the end of this page we will take a break and go to chapter two.

The highway is as crooked as a snakes back, if you try to drive it fast you are going to wear out your front tires from going around the curves so fast. You will use a lot of extra gasoline because of always speeding up to get up the next hill. So you see it just doesn’t pay to be in a hurry especially driving on Highway 49.

Then it continues on to the city of Jackson, then on to Sutter Creek,then on to Coloma where gold was discovered by John Marshal in the raceway of Sutter’s Mill. As you know that’s what set off the gold rush in California. Then it enters Placerville and drops down into the American River canyon, as it crosses the river it takes a hard left and climbs up the canyon heading for Auburn, then it snakes through Auburn and heads North toward Grass Valley and Nevada City.

South of Grass Valley about 5 miles Hwy 49 becomes The Gold Center Freeway that goes between Grass Valley and Nevada City. The mines in those two cities produced more gold than the rest of the Mother Lode combined. By taking the freeway you miss going through the old LeBarr Meadows dance hall that was popular during the 1940,s and 1950’s,but its been torn down now.

After leaving Nevada City the Highway heads toward the Yuba River and its beautiful scenery. Part two will be coming soon.

image, from Wikipedia Creative commons


Canyons, Crooked Road, Gold, Rivers, Wear Out Tires

Meet the author

author avatar Joseph l.Cox
started writing 2 yr ago, to help afriend with some research. i enjoyed it and decided i would do thi on my own, i still enjoy. i write alot of personal stories and health articles.

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author avatar Denise O
11th Oct 2012 (#)

I have lived in California back in the late 70's and yet I rarely did anything but work. I sure wish I had taken the time to see more of this gorgeous state. A nice ride, thank you for sharing it with me.:)

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
11th Oct 2012 (#)

Glad you ejoyed the ride.

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