East Sierra Valley
Chamber of Commerce

Sierra Valley, Sierra County California Community & Towns

The HUB Zone Empowerment Contracting Program stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing Federal contracting preferences to small businesses. Preferences can go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. The Chamber serves local hub zone by providing information, resources, networking and education.

Distances in Miles:  Reno 45, Truckee 45, Sacramento 160, Redding 180, San Francisco 250, Los Angeles 538

Sierra Valley is a unique place in the world. Expansive fields of green alfalfa, and harvested hay, surround the seasonal water channels, stretching in the warmth of the sun to meet dense, pine forests. Numerous, and often owl inhabited, old, rustic barns, dating back to original settlers, are scattered throughout the valley. Excellent photographic and painting opportunities occur from public roads. It is a collision of various habitats and micro-climates. It has grasses, streams and rivers, high dessert lakes, tumbleweed, and sage, wetlands, and conifer forests. Where else would you find an Eagle feeding near a den of barn swallows, or nesting near a pair of Sand Cranes? At the right time of year, it is possible to see over 100 species in a day by starting at Yuba Pass in early morning, continuing through the valley, and ending at Frenchman Lake to the east. Birding in Sierra Valley (maps and routes) is very popular.

The rural highways and several county roads offer paved mountain bike routes around and through the valley. Many biking fundraiser are held in Sierra Valley. Sierra Valley is a must for true road bike enthusiasts, and mountain bikers are discovering the fun, primitive valley roads and pine-covered ridges to the north. The Sardine Peak Lookout area cresting the small range southeast of Sierraville provides numerous mountain biking opportunities on logging roads, but the crowds have yet to discover the great selection. The Lookout is the perfect, tranquil site to view the valley and hills.

Jackson Meadows Reservoir lies east on the Henness Pass Road and is one of the top fishing and camping lakes in the Northern Sierra Nevada. Little Truckee River Falls (also referred to as Webber Falls) lies only 3 minutes off the road and is one of the best waterfalls of the Eastern Sierra. It lies on Sierra Pacific Industry lands and access is provided courtesy of them. French Man’s Lake on the northeast side of Sierra Valley is also a productive and popular fishing, swimming and camping area.

Sierra County (view maps) is 980 square miles in size and has a population of about 3,300. The population is spread over a larger area and is California’s second least populated county. Sierra is a Spanish term for the saw tooth mountains, as the county is known for its rugged terrain that ranges in elevation from 2,200′ to 8,900′. (Sierra – see-air’-uh; Spanish: Craggy Mountain Range, taken from Latin sierra, a saw: a mountain range with a saw tooth appearance.) Sierra County Physical, Cultural & Historical Features

Sierra County is comprised of two very different geographical areas. On the east side is the 5,000-foot-high Sierra Valley, home to our Eastern Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Valley is said to have been an ancient lake bed, once part of Lake Lahontan, an inland ocean. Lahontan was a large endorheic lake that existed during the ice age, covering much of northwestern Nevada, extending into northeastern California and southern Oregon. Lake Lahontan, during this most recent glacial period, would have been one of the largest lakes in North America. Sierra Valley is the largest alpine valley in the Sierra Nevada range. The western side of the county is known for its deep canyons and lush forests, (therefore bringing in miners and loggers) Midway between lies the area known as the “Lakes Basin,” which must be mentioned. The Basin has a collection of some fifty lakes enclosed by the breathtaking, towering Sierra Buttes. The largest of them, Gold Lake, was named in 1850 when a miner claimed he had found a lake whose shores were studded with gold nuggets. Grassy Lake, Sardine Lake, and Sand Pond are family favorites. Today, the area is instead studded with resorts, indian trails, bike trails and campgrounds amidst glaciated granite and alpine flora. AND… its just a short drive from East Sierra Valley.

Surrounding counties include, Yuba County, Nevada County, Plumas County, Lassen County, as well as Washoe County, Nevada. More than 70% of the county contains national forest lands managed by the Plumas, Tahoe, and Toiyabe National Forests. Sierra Valley and the surrounding Sierra County is a splendid vacation playground. Activities include camping,birding,horseback riding, photography, swimming, boating, fishing, shopping, hiking, visiting indian remains, hunting, mountain biking, off-roading, mud bogging, during the agreeable summer season. During the winter, the area lends to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing, and just sitting by a toasty fire.

Read About Sierra County and The Valley History… click here

Fishing Works – A comprehensive listing of all California Lakes

Trails Galore – Listing of Sierra County Hiking Trails

Northern Sierra Ski Areas

Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative ~ Community Links

Love to Garden? Calflora ~ What Grows Here.. interactive map

Sierra County Schools
It has been said, the most important factors for education are a great location, great teachers and nice schools. Welcome to Sierra County!

The Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District serves all of Sierra County and the eastern quarter of Plumas County. Sierra Plumas School District creates schools where all children succeed, where all children feel safe, and where their curiosity is cultivated. The schools are awarded, offer many AP classes, and test as some of the best in the state. They provide an educational environment that encourages productive, responsible citizens. The District Superintendent’s Office is located in Sierraville at the Sierraville School. To learn more about the schools, visit http://www.sierra-coe.k12.ca.us

Weather
Sierra Valley has four seasons, snowy winters, warm summers, and inspiring springs. Summer temperatures tend to stay below 95 degrees. It is not uncommon to have a few feet of snow during the winters months, but some years provide only light dustings in low elevations.

Calpine

At an elevation of 4,977 feet, and the community is charming and woodsy. Once a thriving mill and railroad town, Calpine now enjoys a quiet location close to many recreational areas and attractions, including golf, horseback riding, camping, biking, birding and more.

Population: 355, Households: 172 Median Age: 41.5

Attractions & Points of Interest Near Calpine:

The Sierra Valley Lodge in Calpine, was built as a recreation hall for the once-thriving mill town. Today it is a restaurant and cocktail lounge with lodging accommodations. Nice, rustic atmosphere.

Down the Road you will find:

Portola Railroad Museum
700 Western Pacific Way
Portola, CA 96122
(530) 832-4131

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola is a heritage railway located at Portola, California, that preserves and operates historic American railroad equipment. They offer excursions and a “Run A Locomotive” program during the summer. The museum is often considered to have one of the most complete and historic collections.

Kentucky Mine Park And Museum
100 Kentucky Mine Rd.
Sierra City, CA 96125
530-862-1310
Email: kentuckymine@telis.org
Mining artifacts, display on Chinese settlers, stamp mill, photographs, Summer Concert Series

Underground Gold Miners Museum
356 Main St
Alleghany, CA 95910
(530) 287-3330‎
Located in a livery stable (ca. 1900) that later served as the town’s General Store for over 50 years. Mine Tours & Gift Store.

SierraVille

Sierraville lies on the southern limits of Sierra Valley. Resting comfortably beneath the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, the basin is gentle and serene. Numerous water channels flow through Sierraville and out into the middle of the Valley, making Sierraville green and grassy, and a true bird watchers haven. Sierraville, by most locals, is thought to be the most beautiful area in the valley. Read Sierraville Article, San Francisco Chronicle

Population: 781, Households: 335 Median Age: 40.67

Attractions:
Sierra Hot Springs
521 Campbell Hot Springs Rd., Sierraville, CA 96126.
Information and Reservations: (530) 994-3773
camping, lodging & RV

Formally known as historic Campbell Hot Springs. First enjoyed by Native Americans, then by gold miners and cowboys, and then ranchers in the 1850s. “The “old timers” used to go here for dinning and dancing. Now it is a peaceful resort and retreat. It is impossible to resist the overwhelming sense of tranquility. The natural spring water is as smooth as silk, and the pools are a true experience. For centuries, Native Americans have regarded this land as a sacred healing place. Why don’t you to discover its incredible powers for yourself?

*Turn right on Lemon Canyon Road, off hwy 49. Turn the next road right again onto Campbell Hot Springs Road. Follow this road to the Main Lodge. Please register at the Lodge before using any of the facilities. View map to print

5 Star Mexican Cuisine
Los Dos Hermanos
(530) 994-1058
Main Street, Sierraville, CA  96126
Near the intersection of S Battelle St and CA-49

Fork and Horn Cafe
101 E Main
Sierraville, CA  96126
530-994-1070
If you prefer country and “Valley Style” cooking and open friendliness, check out this place to eat.

Vinton & Chilcoot

Nestled in the beautiful Sierra Valley, the little town of Vinton plays host to a couple of Cowboy Poetry & Western Music festivals each year. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 13.2 square miles (34.2 km²), all of it land. Chilcoot and Vinton are actually two separate small communities that are two miles apart on State Route 70, but were grouped together by the USCB for statistical purposes.Many local ranchers that settled sierra valley are buried in the Vintion’s and Chilcoot’s historic cemeteries. Chilcoot used to be a bustling stage stop. If you look off hwy 70 you will see a few stone remains of old west building. The only road through to Reno was once dirt and parallels the main hwy.

Population: 577, Households: 261 Median Age: 40.72

Frenchman Lake is right up the road and known for its fishing, camping and water sports. It is the largest contributor to the economies of Vinton and Chilcoot. Frenchman’s Lake is just a short drive up the road from Hwy 70. The drive is spectacular. Frenchman rests at an elevation of 5,558 feet in the Plumas National Forest and has 21 miles of sage and pine covered shoreline. All boating is permitted as well as water-skiing, jet-skis, and overnight boating. Frenchman has two boat ramps that are easily accessible except during severe winter weather. There is one improved and three unimproved campgrounds situated around the lake suitable for tent, RV’s and trailers. Frenchman is well known for excellent rainbow and Kamloop trout fishing and also holds a population of catfish. For more information contact the Beckwourth Ranger Station at (530) 836-2575. Wiggin’s Trading Post (530) 993-4683. Camping Reservations (800) 280-CAMP. Plumas County Visitors Bureau (800) 326-2247.

Wiggins Trading Post carries fishing supplies, and gifts, and grocery items you might need for a lake or camping trip.

Beckworth

James P. Beckwourth, a self-described mountain man, trapper, and explorer, became the first white man to settle in the region (Beckwourth was actually part African American and part American Indian). Beckwourth built a house and trading post where the town of Beckwourth is today. His trading post became a stopping place for many travelers heading east to west, especially those lured by the California gold rush of 1849.

The Beckwourth Trail was used heavily until about 1855, when the railroad supplanted the wagon train as the preferred method of travelling to California.

Attractions:
Jim Beckworth Museum
2367 Rocky Point Rd. , CA 96122
530-832-4888

Towns & Cities

Loyalton

Loyalton lives proudly in the southeastern rim of Sierra Valley, the largest alpine valley in the U.S. From Loyalton, the valley sweeps to the north and west with miles of hayfields, cattle, and dozens of historic barns, Many date back to the 1800s. Behind Loyalton is a cluster of hills that top off at Sardine Peak. The Verdi Range lies to the east and forms the last bastion of the Sierra Nevada before it tumbles into Nevada’s Great Basin. It is the only city in Sierra County.

Dozens of channels forming the headwaters of the Feather River combined with fertile fields attracts thousands of waterfowl in season.
Above and south of Loyalton, fishing is good in Smithneck Creek. The California Department of Fish & Game (CDF&G) manages the very small Smithneck Wildlife Area to maintain the fishery. They also manage the Antelope Valley Wildlife Area to enhance the deer winter range. Bear Valley Camping and off-road vehicle (ORV) areas lie a few miles south of Loyalton. Mountain biking on the numerous old logging roads is a ball and the area has yet to be discovered by crowds. Sardine Peak offers a great uphill challenge and destination with great views of the valley and surrounding pine-covered hills. The Cottonwood fire burned over 50,000 acres in a swath across much of the hills behind Loyalton, but the area is recovering nicely, with thousands of young pines and even more wildflowers than before. Mushroom picking is popular in the old burn. Deer hunting is extensive.

More Information can be found by viewing “My Area Guide”.

Loyalton elevation is 4,951 feet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city currently has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²), all of it land. Loyalton is not only the largest community in Sierra Valley, it is the largest town in Sierra County. Small, perhaps, but a full-service community.

Population: 1,245, Households: 533 Median Age: 40.01

Historic Sites and Museums

Indian Caves:
Outside town, as you would head toward Vinton, look off to the right. In the cliffs you will see a large white L and many caves, once inhabitited by Native Americans.

Elephant Rock is also in view.  It is said, Bandits, at least a couple, had hide outs within its rock areas.

Steel Bridge Birding:
Follow A24 out through the Valley, about midway the road splits, to the left you will see the Steel Bridge. The road is dirt, but worth the visit during May and early June. The breezes whisper, while streams ripple, playing background music to the sweet and definable songs of nesting swallows, redwing and yellow headed blackbirds. See sand cranes, wood ducks, and and numerous fowl, beaver games too. Here the Eagle, both Bald and Golden, touch wings with Heron. A touch of heaven,

The National Finch and Softbill Society Promotes Bird and Finch Conservation and Aviculture. Check it out.

The Loyalton Museum:
Located 605 School Street right off highway 49 downtown. Generation to generation of local family and county history, the museum features displays on logging, railroading, agriculture, the Washoe Indians, and fraternal organizations. You can also see an old school house, logging wagons, a donkey engine, and farm equipment 530-993-6754.

The Brick Store in Loyalton was built around the turn of the 20th century and was used recently as a gift and antique shop. This building, along with the old grocery building in Sierraville, are two of the few remaining buildings constructed of Sierra Valley brick.
Numerous historic barns and farm houses throughout Sierra Valley date back to the 19th century. Many are still in use.

Stampede Reservoir:
Stampede Reservoir is located north of Loyalton at an elevation of 5,949 feet in the Tahoe National Forest. The lake has a surface area of 3,450 acres and 25 miles of sage and coniferous shoreline. There are several campgrounds at the lake operated by the USFS that are suitable for tent, RV’s or group camping. All boating is permitted as well as water-skiing, jet-skis, and swimming. Trophy class rainbow and brown trout.For more information call Truckee Ranger District (530) 478-6257. Tight Lines Guide Service at (530) 273-1986. Camping Reservations (800) 280-CAMP.

Rhonda’s Lil’ Frosty:
Best Burgers in Town! Shakes, Ice Cream, Fish & Chips. Open May thru Outdoor October.  Seating. 319 Main St. Loyalton, CA 530-993-1192

White’s Sierra Station:
Fresh Deli Lunches 508 Main St. Loyalton, CA 530-993-1212

Golden West Hotel, Dining and Saloon:
Meals, Lodging and full bar.  Main Street, Loyalton, CA 530-993-4467

Sattley

The community was named for Harriet Sattley Church, resident. Today Sattley is noted as a landmark at the junction of Sierra County Road A23 to Cal Pine and Beckwourth on Highway 70. It is tiny, but beautiful, as the view transitions from pastoral to forest. There is the Cash Store and Post Office in the one building, but no other services. The businesses have retained a museum-like, down-home rustic character linking to an earlier era.

Sattley (view photos) is a community or populated place (Class Code U6) located in Sierra County at latitude 39.616 and longitude -120.427. View Maps & Info.

Population: 355, Households: 172 Median Age: 41.5