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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.



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