Our 140-mile endurance road ride departs Auburn and passes through Meadow Vista and historic Colfax, following the same route described in our 40-mile ride. You'll depart Colfax heading East on Main Street. A left turn on Colfax Highway brings you to Rollins Lake Road where you'll turn right. You'll pick up Norton Grade Road for a short descent through a pine-filled forest and a beautiful three mile climb back to Rollins Lake and Magra Road. Turning right leads you to the old mining stops of Magra, Gold Run and eventually Dutch Flat, where you'll be able to rest your legs, quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger at the Dutch Flat Hotel rest stop.
Upon leaving Dutch Flat, you'll then retrace your way back through Gold Run and Magra. Staying on Rollins Lake Road, you'll enjoy a fast three mile descent (please exercise caution) before passing Rollins Lake. After making a short climb, you'll be minutes away from the Colfax rest stop.
Shortly after departing Colfax rest stop for the second time, you'll make an immediate right onto Grass Valley Street, crossing over the railroad tracks and navigating through town. Ride over I-80 and turn right on Placer Hills. Watch your speed so you don't miss the left turn at Iowa Hill Road. Here you'll begin a breathtaking, three mile descent into the Wild and Scenic North Fork American River canyon. Please exercise caution on this steep and hair-pin filled road.
The river marks the beginning of the legendary Iowa Hill climb. This is an arduous and relentless 1.75 - mile ascent, where the grade averages 13.5% and reaches 20% near the finish. At the top of this climb you'll be greeted by cheers and a water only rest stop. Although the gradient lessens, the climbing continues for the next fifteen miles. Along the way, you'll pass by many historical gold mining sites including Iowa Hill, where thousands lived during the second half of the 19th century. In 1861 you would have found three large grocery stores, four hotels, five dry goods and clothing stores, one brewery and a number of bowling alleys, billiard and lager beer saloons. Today, as you pass through the lone remaining general store, you'll feel that civilization is just a distant memory.
We'll have our first lunch stop at Sugar Pine Reservoir. In the "Old Days" this area provided water to generate power for extracting gold and cutting lumber. In addition, a system of ditches was constructed to make hydraulic mining possible and to take water to Iowa Hill and Foresthill. From our rest stop the lake will invite you in and our delicious meal will replenish your energy.
When you get back on the saddle, you'll ride the next seven miles to the Foresthill Road intersection. A left turn and another three miles lead you to China Wall and a slice of our homemade pies.The views from this lofty perch offer an unparalleled look into the Humbug Creek drainage. Down below in the headwaters of this drainage gold was discovered in 1852 and the village of Sunny South was established. On a clear day, from the north end of the parking lot, views of the Sutter Buttes and the Coast Range can be seen.
After leaving China Wall, you'll turn left and continue climbing the only paved road available. Your next destination is Robinson Flat, nearly fifteen miles away. The route twists and winds over numerous short limbs and sharp corners. Upon reaching the Robinson Flat rest stop you will be nearly 6,800 feet above sea level. Take some time to soak up the incredible views from here. When you are ready, let gravity pull you back to China Wall. As you descend, please exercise extreme caution, especially around the sharp corners that are numerous on this stretch, and keep in mind that other riders will still be climbing.
Enjoy another stop at China Wall before continuing downhill to Foresthill. As you coast into Foresthill you'll be greeted by many friendly locals. Here you'll find our last rest stop near the Community Park. For history buffs, the Foresthill Divide Museum on Harrison and Gold Street offers many displays that give visitors a good idea of life on the Divide in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The remaining twenty miles are filled with fast descents and several short, steep climbs. Before completing your ride, you'll pass over the highest bridge in California. Enjoy the ride and all the wonderful views.
We encourage all 140-mile course riders to start between 6:00 and 7:00am. Earlier starts are permitted and encouraged. Drop bags will be available at Meadow Vista and Colfax. Our rest stops will be open and ready when you arrive.