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Sierra Nevada Route: Soda Springs Road?

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Sierra Nevada Route: Soda Springs Road?

Old 02-21-06, 03:57 PM
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Sierra Nevada Route: Soda Springs Road?

I've got a hare-brained idea that I'd like to ride from Tahoe City to Sacramento (or to compound the hare-brainedness, to make a two-day trip and complete the cross-California trip to the ocean). Obviously, I'd like to stay off I-80 but I don't know if there's a secondary road route that would get me over the summit.

Google maps indicates that Soda Springs Road climbs over the summit and winds its way down until it meets Foresthill Road above Auburn. My Krebs Cycle map indicates that it's not paved all the way but the map is several years out of date. Has anyone ever ridden this route? Is it even possible on a road bike?

Any other route suggestions? Let me hear them!
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Old 02-21-06, 07:12 PM
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It is probably possible, but you would probably want to run at least 28c tires. It is approx 24 miles from Soda Springs to Robinson's Flat (the end of the paved portion of the Foresthill Road). I do not know how far the pavement extends out of SS, but I know it's gravel for several miles out of Robinson's Flat. It's also possible with tires and patience to ride the gravel portion (6 miles) from Robinson's Flat to French Meadows Reservoir.
To stay on quality roads you have two choices that I know of, ride to Truckee, take 89 north to Sierraville, continue 89 to Sattley, left on 49 to follow the big loop back to Auburn. I've heard this is a great ride, but have never done it my self.
The other option is to ride from Tahoe City to South Lake Tahoe, take 89 south over Luther Pass, right on 88 to begin climb of Carson Pass, continue on 88 to a right turn onto Morman Emmigrant, descend to Jenkinson Lake (Sly Park Reservoir), left on CR 16 (Sly Park Road, becomes Pleasant Valley Road, little to no shoulder for around 8 miles IIRC), proceed to Diamond Springs or take one of several alternates working towards Placerville, at Diamond Springs take hwy 49 to Placerville, continue on 49, pass through Coloma and turn left either at Lotus (big climb) or continue on to Pilot Hill, left on Salmon Falls road (less traffic, spends time along Folsom Lake). If Lotus, right on Green Valley road to Rescue, continue on Green Valley to the City of Folsom, right on Natoma, proceed to old Folsom and pick up American River Trail to continue to Sacramento. If Salmon Falls road, continue Salmon Falls to Eldorado Hills, right on Green Valley, proceed to Folsom same.

I've never ridden the whole south route at once, but I've ridden every leg and it's all classic Northern California riding. If you can prepare for the gravel, the route you mention is fantastic as well, great drop from Robinsons Flat all the way to Auburn. Man I can't wait for the snow melt and longer days!!
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Old 02-21-06, 07:52 PM
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I've done parts of the 49 route described above. There are a couple of decent climbs, but once you hit Bassett's it is pretty much downhill all the way to the Marysville Rd turnoff.

Spectacular scenery, but traffic can be high on summer weekends.
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Old 02-21-06, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealthman_1
To stay on quality roads you have two choices that I know of, ride to Truckee, take 89 north to Sierraville, continue 89 to Sattley, left on 49 to follow the big loop back to Auburn. I've heard this is a great ride...
It is. Amazing scenery.

If you do it in June and make it Sattley on the 11th, you can check out the NorCal/Nev District TT Championship.
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Old 02-21-06, 08:41 PM
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The route in any case is close to a century from Truckee to Nevada City on the north side or Auburn on the south side of 80.

The gravel starts almost from the freeway so you'd be on gravel all the way to Robinson's flat.

Heness Pass Rd. isn't as far out as Sattley but I've not been able to find out much about it. I drove up there in the winter and the road disappeared into a snow bank and it looked to me like it was a power line road and probably gravel as well.

The further north trip out of Sattley IS paved the whole way but quite a bit longer.

This is why most people take the road through Donner and make that gawd awful climb up to Soda Springs road and then grab the freeway down to Golden??? turnoff where you're required to get off of the freeway.

Freeway riding isn't as bad as you might think. At the right time of day it's quiet enough with cars coming by only every 15 seconds or so and they're so far away from you it isn't much of a problem. And the shoulder is 14 or so feet wide, the road is pretty darn clean and it's mostly downhill.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom

Heness Pass Rd. isn't as far out as Sattley but I've not been able to find out much about it. I drove up there in the winter and the road disappeared into a snow bank and it looked to me like it was a power line road and probably gravel as well.
Henness Pass Road is graded dirt and not suited to road bikes, at least the part I drove from Allegheney to Camptonville.

Informative links:

https://www.ncgold.com/Museums_Parks/syrp/henness.html
https://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/henness.htm
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Old 02-22-06, 03:47 PM
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Excellent posts all. Thanks. I think that this is going to require a cyclocross or touring frame, as I can't fit much wider than 25mm tires on either of my bikes. (Oh no! Not another bike! )
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Old 02-22-06, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Henness Pass Road is graded dirt and not suited to road bikes, at least the part I drove from Allegheney to Camptonville.
Thanks a million for those links. Your's is the FIRST first-hand information I've found other than my own driving up there to look.

So it looks like Heness Pass and Soda Springs roads are gravel with possible fording necessary. Well, that makes it a summer ride and not a spring ride.

I'm planning on doing that next year with some friends. Ireland this year.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:24 PM
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I was thinking I'd wait until September: cool enough but most of the snow will be gone.
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Old 02-22-06, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
Thanks a million for those links. Your's is the FIRST first-hand information I've found other than my own driving up there to look.
Not a problem - I'm up in that area just about every August. Last time, I came down from Downieville on Hwy 49 to Goodyear's Bar. I turned off onto Mountain House Road, and climbed sharply up (south) to the top of the ridge and the junction with Henness Pass Road. I turned down (west) Henness Pass and took it all the way down to Camptonville before hitting pavement. From the Mountain House junction, Henness Pass is either flat or downhill, and follows the ridgeline down. The whole section I was on was graded dirt - a good graded road, but dirt nontheless. And dusty.

See this online map for a snapshot of which roads are dirt and which are paved in that immediate area:
https://www.yubaexpeditions.com/downi...orestcity.html
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