Hiking retreat with historical charm
Travel Time
One way
2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours 30 minutes
Estimated Cost
190 $ - 410 $
20 $ - 35 $
125 $ - 270 $
Restaurants / Bars
30 $ - 55 $
15 $ - 50 $
190 $ - 410 $

Natural splendour abounds in Sierra City, situated within the picturesque depths of the North Yuba River canyon. Discerning hiking enthusiasts and international travellers looking for a tranquil retreat away from the big city sprawl will find solace in this quaint former mining town.

Having been established in 1850, Sierra City was a well populated hotspot during the Californian Gold Rush, and once harboured an enviable network of local goldmines. Remnants of the area's golden era can still be observed today, with a trip to Kentucky Gold Mine and Museum high on many travellers' must see itinerary when visiting the area.

Quintessential traditional American countryside retreats await, with sumptuous cuisine and relaxed living spaces at one with the surrounding natural wonders places Sierra City high on the list of travelling hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail and city escapists for well deserved recuperation.

20 $ - 35 $
Travel time
2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours 30 minutes
Estimated Fuel Cost
20 $ - 35 $

Resting northwest of Lake Tohoe within the Tahoe National Forest and a 20-minute drive from Sierra county seat, Downieville, Sierra City can be reached from the San Francisco Bay Area by car in just over three and a half hours. If stop offs are included along the way or you plan to visit Sierra City as part of a weekend road trip, then driving to the area from Sacramento or Yuba City will take two and a half hours and just under two hours respectively.

Travelling by car is by far the smoothest passage to Sierra City from San Francisco, with the most straightforward route being via I-80 East. Merge onto the US-101 South for 0.6 miles, before following the I-80 East, CA-99 North and CA-70 North to State Highway 70 East for 124 miles, following signs for Marysville. From there, you can follow CA-20 East and Marysville Road to CA-49 South towards Sierra City.

Further options if travelling from Sacramento include arguably the quickest route via Marysville Road then taking the CA-49 South into Sierra City, while drivers coming in from Yuba City can also take the Marysville Road before following the CA-49 North before moving towards CA-49 South into Sierra City.

Highly recommended pit stops on the route to Sierra City from San Francisco include Rio City Cafe for brunch or lunch, alongside the California Automobile Museum for a unique glimpse into the sunshine state's glittering automotive past.