From the margins, Grass Valley is the ugly utilitarian sister to Nevada City, a place to stock up on supplies and get an oil change, not necessarily vacation, but there are treasures if you dig. Historic Mill and W Main Sts mark the town center. E Main St leads north to modern shopping centers and mini-malls and into Nevada City.
North Yuba River
The northernmost segment of Hwy 49 follows the North Yuba River through some stunning, remote parts of the Sierra Nevada, known for a tough, short season of white water and great fly-fishing. An entire lifetime outdoors could hardly cover the trail network that hikers, mountain-bikers and skiers blaze every season.
Downieville, the biggest town in remote Sierra County, is located at the junction of the North Yuba and Downie Rivers. With a reputation that quietly rivals Moab, Utah (before it got big), the town is one of the premiere places for mountain-bike riding in the US, and a staging area for true wilderness adventures.
Sierra City & The Lakes Basin
Sierra City is the primary supply station for people headed to the Sierra Buttes, a rugged, rocky shock of mountains that are probably the closest thing to the Alps you’ll find in California without foisting a backpack. It’s also the last supply point for people headed into the fishing paradise of the Lakes Basin. There’s information about lodging and area activities at www.