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Yuba-Donner Scenic Byway

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Northeastern California through Tahoe National Forest
175 miles (281 km)
5-6 hours
Drivable year round, roads can be closed temporarily due to snow


Yuba-Donner Scenic Byway is a route that commemorates the ill-fated Donner party and the many ‘49ers who came to California in search of gold, land, and the American Dream.

Yuba-Donner Scenic Byway loops around starting from Nevada City. Travel in order on State Highways 20, 49, 89 and on Interstate 80 in northeastern California, cutting through Tahoe National Forest, one of the most difficult legs of a settler's journey West.

Tahoe National Forest has an abundant amount of recreational possibilities on offer when a break from the road is in order. Hikers and backpackers can chose from moderate to challenging terrain, and the famous Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail travels right by the drive. Find also ample opportunity to fish in local rivers or ski at one of the area resorts come winter snows.

Points of Interest Along The Way

Tahoe National Forest (CA)

The Tahoe National Forest straddles the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California, and encompasses a vast territory, from the golden foothills on the western slope to the high peaks of the Sierra crest.

Northeastern California through Tahoe National Forest
175 miles (281 km)
5-6 hours
Main Roads:
CA-49 N
Drivable year round, roads can be closed temporarily due to snow
Additional Details:
Also known as Route 49
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El Dorado County El Dorado County El Dorado County
This is gold country — where the Gold Rush was born! Whether planning a vacation or just a day trip, El Dorado County welcomes you to enjoy the very best of California's gold country. Visit the many historic mining towns, pioneer cemeteries, historic country inns, and museums.
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