Good as Gold in Downieville - National Geographic Traveler
National Geographic Traveler
In a High cleft of the Northern Sierra, straddling two rivers that once lured gold miners, Downieville, California is enjoying a 21st-century treasure boom in the form of extreme sports. Cashing in is easy. Rent a mountain bike for the epic “Downieville Downhill,” a 4,080-foot descent through gullies and meadows. Paddle Class III, IV, and V rapids. Climb through gnarly forests up the Chimney Rock Trail and glimpse the golden Sierra Buttes. Or linger at river’s edge on your Riverside Inn balcony before crossing a one-lane bridge to Main Street for some North Fork Coffee Company brew or $5.99 all-you-can-eat pancakes at the Gallows Café & Pizzaria.
In the rippling waters around Downieville, there’s still gold to be found. “Even when findings are meager, it’s exciting to see gold in the black sediment at the bottom of the pan,” says Don McIntosh, a Downieville Museum docent.
Chow down on deli fare at the Pick ‘N Shovel Eatery or have a 24-ounce rib eye at the Grubstake Saloon before catching a show at the 1940s-era Yuba Theatre.