Sierra County Travel Guide

Discover the natural beauty and rich history of Sierra County through our comprehensive tour guide, featuring must-visit places, hiking routes, food and drink recommendations, transportation options and logistics, and more.

Introduction to Sierra County

Welcome to Sierra County, located in the heart of Gold Country in Northern California. Known for its historic towns, stunning natural beauty, and outdoor adventures, Sierra County draws travelers from all over the world. Follow our comprehensive guide to explore the best of Sierra County, from its fascinating history to its incredible natural landscapes.

List of Places to Visit in Sierra County

Whether you’re interested in learning about the area’s rich history or immersing yourself in its natural beauty, Sierra County has a lot to offer. Here are the top must-visit places in Sierra County:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Sardine Lake Resort
  • The Kentucky Mine and Museum
  • Sierra Valley Farms
  • Downieville Museum
  • Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl

Natural Attractions of Sierra County: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Yuba River
  • Sierra Hot Springs
  • Lakes Basin Recreation Area
  • Plumas-Eureka State Park
  • Pacific Crest Trail

Hiking/Biking Routes of Sierra County

Sierra County is a paradise for hikers and bikers alike. With over 800 miles of trails, there are options for all skill levels. Here are our top picks:

  • PCT from Sierra City to Belden
  • Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail
  • Lindsey Lakes Trail
  • The Big Boulder Loop

Best Things to Do in Sierra County: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, Sierra County offers a variety of activities and tours to enjoy, including:

  • Fishing in the North Fork of the Yuba River
  • Horseback riding at the Sierra Valley Stables
  • Wine tasting at Sierra Vintners
  • Kayak tours on Donner Lake
  • Skiing and snowboarding at the Boreal Mountain Resort

Week-Long Itinerary for Sierra County

Day 1: Arrive in Sierra City, hike Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail Day 2: Spend a relaxing day enjoying the hot springs at Sierra Hot Springs Day 3: Take a scenic drive through Lakes Basin Recreation Area and hike to the Lindsey Lakes Day 4: Visit the historic mining town of Downieville and learn about the area’s gold rush history Day 5: Enjoy a day exploring the natural beauty of the Yuba River Day 6: Take a guided kayak tour on Donner Lake Day 7: Explore the local wine scene with a tour of Sierra Vintners

Food and Drink Scene of Sierra County

Sierra County is home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and breweries, offering delicious food and drinks for all tastes. Here are a few must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Sourdough pancakes with real maple syrup at Sardine Lake Resort
  • Grass-fed beef burgers with garlic aioli at HardRock 71
  • Locally sourced pizza and beer at the Brewing Lair

Local Beverages

  • Mule Kick Stout by The Brewing Lair
  • The Eddy by Lost Sierra Brewing Company
  • Lincoln Peak Vinyards’ estate-grown pinot noir

Where to Stay in Sierra County: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are plenty of options for accommodation in Sierra County, whether you’re looking for a cozy inn or a rustic cabin. Here are our top picks:

  • Chalet View Lodge
  • Clair Tappaan Lodge
  • Sierraville Inn
  • The Lure Resort

What to Buy in Sierra County: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Make sure to bring home a piece of Sierra County with you! Here are some of the best souvenirs and local products to look out for:

  • Locally sourced maple syrup
  • Handcrafted pottery from Downieville
  • Organic lavender products from Lavender Ranch

Local Culture and Customs of Sierra County

Sierra County has a rich history and culture, shaped by its gold rush days and strong community spirit. Visitors should be respectful of the area’s beauty and culture.

Best Time to Visit Sierra County

The best time to visit Sierra County is in the late spring or early fall, when the weather is mild and the scenery is at its most beautiful.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sierra County

Here are some tips to make sure that you get the most out of your Sierra County trip:


  • Be respectful of the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area.
  • Take advantage of the many outdoor activities and scenic views.
  • Try the local cuisine and beverages.


  • Leave trash or litter behind.
  • Disrespect local customs or traditions.
  • Take shortcuts off established hiking/biking trails.

Safety and Health

Safety in Sierra County

Sierra County is a relatively safe destination, but visitors should still exercise caution and common sense during their travels.

Health in Sierra County

Visitors to Sierra County should stay hydrated during outdoor activities and be aware of their physical limitations given the area’s high elevation.

Getting to Sierra County: Transportation Options and Logistics

Sierra County is easily accessible by car or bus. Here are some transportation options to consider:

Airports Near Sierra County

  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport
  • Sacramento International Airport

Bus Stations Near Sierra County

  • Greyhound Bus Lines in Truckee, CA

Other Options

  • Amtrak trains arrive in Truckee, CA

How to Get Around in Sierra County

The best way to get around Sierra County is by car, though cyclists will find plenty of routes. Several rental car options are available at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Where to Go Next from Sierra County: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Lake Tahoe
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Sacramento, California


Sierra County is a breathtaking destination that offers something for everyone. With its rich history, abundance of outdoor activities, and delicious local cuisine, it is sure to be a trip to remember. Plan ahead using this comprehensive guide, and come experience all that Sierra County has to offer.