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North Gold Country Highway

Locust, Downieville (10/18/21) Jason Branz

California State Route 49 is one of the less-traveled byways for fall color. Why remains a mystery.

There’s plenty of autumn’s gold to be discovered along the North Gold Country Highway. Roseville color spotter Jason Branz was out prospecting for it this past Monday; he found these nuggets:

Below Downieville, it was Patchy, but Jason noted “nice pockets around the Indian Valley campground.  The town of Downieville is probably near peak and has lots of nice color.

“Between Downieville and Sierra City, there are several nice roadside pullout spots with colorful trees right along the river.

Near Waterfall, Sierra City (10/18/21) Jason Branz

“Just above Sierra City, there is a large roadside are with a small waterfall.  There is a nice stand of yellow trees on the far side of the road with lots of nice close-up possibilities in the parking area.

CA-49, Sierra City (10/18/21) Jason Branz

“The Gold Lake Highway, above Bassetts, has some nice aspen color in Salmon Creek campground and is probably peak or close to it.” he reported.

No one knows for sure how the torrential storm predicted to arrive Sunday will affect the color Jason found. The storm is expected to be what’s being termed “a cyclone bomb.” Considering its intensity, CaliforniaFallColor recommends staying at home on Sunday and feed your passion for fall color spotting on screen. Just go to CaliforniaFallColor.com … Oh, wait. You’re there already.

  • Downieville (2,966′) – Near Peak (50 – 75%), Go Now.
  • CA-49N – Near Peak to Peak (50 – 100%), GO NOW!
  • Sierra City (4,147′) – Peak (75 – 100%), GO NOW!
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