Archive for the ‘Loyalton’ Tag

First big ride of the spring: Sierra Valley   1 comment


By Tim Hauserman

Springtime. Time to get back in the bike saddle and go for a ride. The perfect ride around these parts for that first long ride of the year is the Sierra Valley. The start is just 25 miles north of Truckee, and the riding is spectacular with lush pasture lands, wildflowers and a ton of wildlife.

Start from Sierraville, and if you are up for it, loop your way around the entire valley. It’s 50 miles with just a few hundred feet of climbing. A short cut via Herriot Road can shave some miles, but then you would miss the cute little town of Loyalton. The key is to time it right. Not too early in the morning or you will freeze, not too late, or you will face riding into the wind.

From Sierraville, head east on Highway 49 for 13 miles to Loyalton. Look for red winged blackbirds while passing wet pasture lands. About half way there you run into the only real hill of the trip, and it ain’t much. Loyalton, once home to a now defunct lumber mill, is a charming but struggling little town. Help it out by stopping in to the market or restaurant for some grub. From Loyalton head on A-24 out of town. Pass the City Park at the edge of town, the one and only restroom and water spot on the route.

Now, enjoy a flat, across valley jaunt to Beckwourth. But not all flats are the same, wind can quickly change the dynamics. My last ride I caught a lot of sidewind heading north and struggled along in lower gears, then the road changed direction and with the wind at my back I was roaring along with little effort. In between battling the wind, I saw antelope, bald eagles, snow geese high in the air flashing back and forth in the sunlight like a school of fish, and hawks up close and personal.



A-24 ends at Highway 70. Hang a left, go about a mile, and then turn left again onto A23 for the long trip back across the valley to Sattley. Just a mile in, look for Sierra Valley Farms on your left which holds Farmer’s Markets every Friday in the summer.

From Sattley, it’s four miles on the more busy Highway 89/49 back to Sierraville, where several fun, local restaurant options await. My last trip, it was a meatball sandwich and big chocolate shake at Smithneck Farms. Delicious – and I deserved it.



Try out Sierra Valley and Graeagle   Leave a comment

One of the great things about life in Truckee/Tahoe is that just a short distance away there are beautiful places that feel like they are in a whole different world. One of these places is Sierraville and the rest of the Sierra Valley. It’s a land of tiny towns, cattle ranches, not too many people and lots of open space. In the spring and summer it is a place of wildflowers and the cutest little farmers market you ever did see. In the fall it is a place of fall colors and wide variety of birds including hawks and herons.


Long Lake in Lakes Basin

What’s the best way to see the Sierra Valley? Grab your road bike and head down for a ride. Start your ride in Sierraville and head towards Loyalton on Highway 49. Once in Loyalton, stay on 49 to Dyson Lane north of town, or save a few miles by turning left on Heriot Lane a few miles before Loyalton, and then riding up to Dyson Lane, where you turn left. Either way, Dyson becomes A24, as it winds through the middle of the Sierra Valley, which is loaded with marshes and streams-a birders paradise. Eventually you reach Highway 70 where a left turn takes you past the Beckworth Airport to Highway A23 where you turn left and head back towards Sierraville. Your total riding distance is between 40-50 miles depending upon which route you take, with the vast bulk of it nice and flat.



Another great spot for a ride is to head a bit further north on Highway 89 to the charming town of Graeagle and the Lakes Basin. Perhaps begin your day with a yoga class in Graeagle’s new studio, Trails Within. It is located in one of those charming red buildings that make up Graeagle’s teensy downtown. Then get your heart pumping with the seven mile uphill on Gold Lakes Road to Lakes Basin, a land of beautiful lakes tucked in between granite outcroppings. Of course if you really wanted to complete your day and get a good nights sleep, you can continue past spectacular views of the Sierra Buttes to Bassets, head up over Yuba Pass back to Highway 89, and head north back to your car in Graeagle. Whew. Yes, that is a long way, but an incredible ride.






Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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