This map is not to scale, and is certainly not to time scale. From
Sacramento, it takes about 2 3/4 hours via Truckee, longer through Nevada
City (how long that takes depends on how comfortable driver and
passengers are with curvy roads; even an expert driver with no traffic
and no carsick kids can't reduce the time below about 3 hours).
Most people coming through Sacramento (including the Bay Area) prefer
to go through Truckee, via Interstate 80. Go North on SR89 to
Sierraville, then turn left. Until Sattley, this is North 89 and
South 49. At Sattley, bear left, to stay on South 49, which goes to
Sierra City, Downieville, and Nevada City. The highway crosses Yuba
Pass before descending to Bassetts, where you turn right on the Gold
Lake Road. If you get to Sierra City, you have gone too far. The
Truckee route is moderately curvy from Truckee to Sierraville (about
25 miles), then quite curvy from Sattley to Bassetts.
Travellers returning "down below" on Sundays may wish to avoid the
traffic on Interstate 80 west of Truckee and between Sacramento and
Davis. One route that is pretty and avoids most traffic problems is
the Bullards Bar route. Going south on Highway 49 below Downieville,
turn right at the Camptonville Ranger Station (about 10 miles after
crossing the North Yuba River. The Marysville Road crosses the
Bullards Bar dam, then descends the western slope of the Sierra past
the hamlet of Dobbins, before ending at a Tee junction, about 20 miles
from the turnoff at the Camptonville ranger station. Turn left, still
following the signs to Marysville, another 11 miles to Highway 20.
Turn right and follow 20 through Marysville and Yuba City to Highway
99. Go south (left) on 99 to Highway 113. Take 113 south through Knights
Landing. Leaving Knights
Landing , bear left at the cemetary onto E-8/County Road 102, going
south to Woodland. Go west on
Main Street (before I-5) to the Highway 113 freeway.
The Marysville route is straighter and probably shorter than the
Nevada City route. It is curvy from Sierra City to Camptonville;
below Camptonville the curves are mostly gentle. Driving times from Salmon Lake to Davis of between
3 and 3 1/4 hours are possible.
Read our Road Stories page for more information
about these routes.