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Yankee Jim's Rd from Applegate to Foresthill

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Yankee Jim's Rd from Applegate to Foresthill

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Old 08-20-10, 12:43 PM
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Yankee Jim's Rd from Applegate to Foresthill

Yesterday, in preparation for the White Mountain Double, I rode from Fair Oaks to Alta and back (120 mi and 9k of climbing). Great ride

As I left Applegate, headed toward Weimar, I noticed a sign that said "Foresthill via Yankee Jim's Rd. - 13 mi". I looked it up on Google Earth and it looks like a route I would like do do in the future. However, the road looks a little dicey seeing it from the air and viewing a few pictures that have been posted.
Have any of you ridden this road? What is it like? Is it similar in quality to Iowa Hill?
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Old 08-20-10, 01:03 PM
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Don't know, but it has an interesting history to it:

http://webspace.ftcnet.net/~mikemoff/Yankee%20road.htm
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Old 08-20-10, 01:24 PM
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A little more, after Googling a bit:

"Yankee Jims road is the old stage coach road from Colfax to Foresthill. Its not a road many people travel and many people have died trying. Yankee Jims is named after an old mining town on the other side of the American River that a old horse theif started.

The road is cut into the side of the cliffs of the American River. On one side you have a rock face and on the other you have a thousand foot drop into the raging river. They found a lot of gold down near the Yankee Jims bridge (built in 1920 and has a 3 out of 100 safety rating ONLY for 3 ton vehicles or under, its a cable suspension bridge and it does sway when you drive over it)So on the way down you will see many drift mineshafts going into the side of the mountain. You can also see foundations from old buildings along the river. You will also see 7 waterfalls, 6 of them are only seasonal, 1 runs year round.

To take Yankee Jims road get off of Eastbound interstate 80 at Weimar road. Make a left once you get off the freeway, drive down the road until you see Yankee Jims road on the right. Yankee Jims is paved for the first 500feet or so and then becomes a pothole ridden dirt/rock road. The Colfax side of Yankee Jims is a good drive down to the bridge, not many bad spots in the road. The other side of the bridge to Foresthill is a more technical. I wouldn't suggest taking a car down this road unless you have a lift on it or you really don't care about the vehicle. Its a 13 mile drive from Colfax to Foresthill. My pics are only of about a mile after the bridge over the bridge and maybe a couple of hundred feet past the bridge.

Things to remember:
-Drive slowly on this road if you haven't driven it before. You may notice a **** load of crosses along side the road. Many people have died going off the cliffs.
-If someone is driving faster than you pull over and let them pass.
-Keep your eyes open around every turn you might see something (Mountain lions, Bears, etc)
-No vehicles over 3 tons can cross the bridge, DON'T try it, like i said it got a 3 out of 100 on the bridge safety rating."
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Old 08-20-10, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Don't know, but it has an interesting history to it:

http://webspace.ftcnet.net/~mikemoff/Yankee%20road.htm
That's a cool story. I really want to check out this bridge now!
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Old 08-20-10, 08:07 PM
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Sounds very cool. Do I hear a BF NorCal "East" ride?
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Old 08-20-10, 08:29 PM
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I'm in! I've seen both ends of that road and wondered what is like in the middle. So who's going?
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Old 08-20-10, 10:35 PM
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You can make a two dirt road loop out of Colfax/Wiemar. Take Yankee Jim's to Foresthill. Go down Foresthill Rd toward Auburn. Take a right on Ponderosa Way. It soon turns to gravel. It goes steeply down to the river and then back up over some gnarly road. After a few miles it turns into pavement and ends up taking ypu to Wiemar rd and I-80. Ponderosa makes Yankee Jim's seem like a really nice road. It is steeper, more rocky and has some good ruts on the north side of the river.

If you never ride your bike in the rain and fret about every little crumb of dirt on your bike, don't do this ride. If the idea thrills you, slap on your 25c tires and get ready for a really fun ride.
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Old 08-20-10, 10:56 PM
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bigbossman, that link is amazing. I loved reading it. You must be into history.
Short story. We rode through Iowa Hill earlier this year and the owner of the general store, Priscilla, was reconstructing the history of the town. My wife's family goes back several generations, and has roots in Iowa Hill. Her great, great grandparents gave birth to her great grandmother in Iowa Hill. The GGGP's owned the bar there. When you ride through there, ask to see the generational tree of the people that started Iowa Hill and what they did. Fascinating stories. if you have something to add to the history, please tell her.

As far as Yankee Jim's Rd, and riding it, I am out. I am only a roadie now. Get Rydaddy to lead you on it, but be aware that he is a very strong rider. Also, you need to be totally self-sufficient. Follow the road on Google Earth and watch the elevation change. That will be a fun loop for you off-roadies. Wish I could do it, but my back won't take that kind of abuse anymore.
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Old 08-21-10, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rydaddy View Post
Sounds very cool. Do I hear a BF NorCal "East" ride?
Yeah that seems like it would be an awesome ride.
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Old 08-21-10, 03:13 PM
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I am in and will not flake unless its a school day.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:03 AM
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Hmmm, Ponderosa/Yankee Jim's sounds fun. I'm too flaky right now to lead a ride though. I'm open this Sat. but I think it will be on the mountain bike. If I make plans for this ride I'll let it be known...
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