Pick two of California’s High Sierra passes, plan a loop and get ready for a great adventure. Each route lists a few suggestions of things to see and do along the way.
Some of these highways may not be conducive to larger RVs. Click here to verify safe passage>
Highway 70 From Oroville following the Feather River, over Beckworth Pass (5,221), through Quincy, then Portola ending at US 395.
- Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream
- Feather Falls - check out this 410 ft waterfall with a 8 mile round trip loop day hike
- Delve deep into the history of commercial gold mining at Plumas Eureka State Park
- Western pacific Railroad Museum – discover history in a truly “hands-on” way
Highway 49 - Though really a N/S highway it crosses over the Sierra after leaving Nevada City, following the Yuba River.
- Spend a day wandering historic Nevada City full of antiques, gifts & restaurants.
- Cool off with a dip in the Yuba River - A Perfect spot for a picnic.
- In the mid-1850s, Downieville was the 5th largest city in California.
- Sierra City sits at the base of the Sierra Buttes….breathtaking and certainly picture taking worthy!
Interstate 80 - Sacramento, through Auburn, over Donner Summit (7,057) into Truckee, ending in Reno at US 395
- Historic Old Town Auburn with its own brewery and wine bar, not to mention really good food.
- Colfax Railroad Depot – “Above the Fog, Below the Snow” is its tagline!
- Stop for Tahoe’s Finest Road & Mountain Biking at Sugarbowl Village
- Pause for a moment at the Donner Party Pioneer Monument & Emigrant Trail Museum and consider the sacrifice required to cross the mighty Sierra
- Truckee is a place rich in history with a quaint downtown that hosts charming shops and superb restaurants set in authentic historic buildings
Interstate 50 – Sacramento, through Placerville, Polluck Pines, over Echo Summit (7,382),wrapping around the south eastern edge of lake Tahoe, up and over Spooner Summit before ending at US 395 just south of Carson City
- Carson Road wineries just east of Placerville. And if it’s fall, Apple Hill
- Echo Summit – a perfect spot for day hiking!
- South Lake Tahoe – This world-class destination has it all.
Hwy 88 – Stockton, past Camanche Reservoir, through Jackson and Pine Grove, past Kirkwood Mountain Resort, up over Carson Pass (8,652’), merging with Hwy 89 and finally shooting down the mountain to US 395.
- Spend a night or two camping & fishing at Camanche Lake.
- Check out the Kennedy Mine in Jackson
- Indian Grinding Rock SHP - The park nestles in a little valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows and large valley oaks
- Picnic at Silver Lake
- Kirkwood Mountain Resort – a great summer activity center
- Take a watercolor class or learn about medicinal plants or just swing in a hammock at Hope Valley/Sorensen’s Resort
Hwy 4 – Stockton, through Angels Camp, Murphys and Arnold, up over Ebbetts Pass (8,730’), before winding down the mountain to Hwy 89. This 61 mile stretch has been designated a National Scenic Byways.
- Angles Camp where the frogs are a jumpin’
- Calaveras County’s Wine Capitol, Murphys
- Calaveras Big Trees
- Check out the view at Hell’s Kitchen Vista
- Lake Alpine, where the air is fresh and the stars are magnificent
RV parks and campgrounds close to Angels Camp>
Hwy 108 – Modesto through Oakdale, merging with Hwy 120 for a while, then heading up into Sonora, Twain Harte, over Sonora Pass (9,628’), ending at US 395.
- Set back in time at Railtown 1897 Historic Park
- Ride in a stagecoach at Columbia State Park
- Dip your toes at Pinecrest Lake’s sandy beach
- Be awed by the Column of Giants
Hwy 120 – Heading straight past orchards and farms through Oakdale, crossing Don Pedro Reservoir before climbing Priest Grade into Groveland and then onto Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows, then over Tioga Pass (9,943) before heading down the back of the Sierra to US 395 at Lee Vining.
- Don’t miss a Chinese Ghost Town
- Stop for some great eats in Groveland
- Discover the rebirth of a forest after the Rim Fire
- You could spend a week visiting Yosemite
Hwy 178 – Skirts the southern edge of the Sierra’s out of Bakersfield, following the Kern River up to Isabella Lake, over Walker Pass (5,250), and connecting to US 395 at Inyokern.
- Lake Isabella/Kernville – The heart of the Kern River Valley, with many activities, including fishing, hiking, camping, windsurfing, skiing, or just relaxing. Home of the “wild & scenic” Kern River.
- China Lake Museum of Armament and Technology - A large variety of present and past, US Navy aircraft, weapons and technology are available at the Museum for close up viewing.
- Little Petroglyph Canyon - This is the largest known concentration of petroglyphs in the western hemisphere and is located on the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. Guided tours are available through Maturano Museum in Ridgecrest.