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Considered the Lost Sierra, Downieville (and the rest of Sierra County) doesn't see many tourists. Nestled at the confluence of the North Fork of the Yuba River and the Downie River, this county seat once was a hopping gold hunting destination. These days the high school calls it a big year if it graduates more than seven college-bound seniors—and you thought your high school was small. However, those intrepid wanderers who arrive here are pleased to find an expanse of rolling hills, alpine lakes, hiking trails to gushing waterfalls, and national forests filled with wildlife. In the know cyclists consider Downieville the world class ...

Considered the Lost Sierra, Downieville (and the rest of Sierra County) doesn't see many tourists. Nestled at the confluence of the North Fork of the Yuba River and the Downie River, this county seat once was a hopping gold hunting destination. These days the high school calls it a big year if it graduates more than seven college-bound seniors—and you thought your high school was small. However, those intrepid wanderers who arrive here are pleased to find an expanse of rolling hills, alpine lakes, hiking trails to gushing waterfalls, and national forests filled with wildlife. In the know cyclists consider Downieville the world class mountain biking destination and during the annual Downieville Classic it is nearly impossible to score a hotel room. Downieville itself may not be more than a couple eateries and bike shops, but the access to fields of wildflowers, river rapids, trout fishing, boating spots, hot springs, scenic roads and alpine trails make this the perfect getaway from, well, everything.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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