Feather River Ride Butler Maps NorCal Box 34, we attempted in early March. Our goal was to do the red and yellow highlighted roads as they are the Best according to the map. Butler Motorcycle Maps are the greatest! Jon got the entire set with the DVDs for Christmas last year and we use them all the time. Butler offers many features and options. For details see what they have on the web site by CLICKING HERE.
This Feather River Ride was great but because of recent storms damaging the roads and late snowfall we encountered many road closures. We did complete nearly 400 miles for the day’s adventure, 99% paved riding.
Beginning at our usual start, and after a shared breakfast at Denny’s, 2474 Sunrise Blvd in Rancho Cordova we gassed up at Chevron. Chevron is at 2358 Sunrise and easy access from Denny’s and then on to the 50 freeway and you are on your way. Take 50 west to the 99 North. Near Pleasant Grove hang right to take the 70 split off the 99 and continue due north towards Marysville.
From Marysville we continued on 70 to Oroville. We stopped for a hot drink at Good Earth Coffee and Tea House in Oroville. It was a very delightful stop much needed because the weather was colder than we had expected.
We continued on along Oroville Dam Blvd where we tried without success to get a close up view of the Oroville Dam. After meandering around attempting to find a way around blockades, we gave up and headed out to try Butler’s red and gold highlighted Route 162.
It was a lovely ride that we were enjoying so much, a winding twisty mountain road, so we ignored the “Closed Road” signs right up to the last minute. At Mountain House Road the road was collapsed and indeed closed.
According to the locals, repairs will begin in July and go on for many months. Back tracking forced upon us we carried on and twice got to enjoy the shortened trip on 162. Back to Oroville we went and then took the 70 North along the Feather River. It is a beautiful ride, a “motorcyclist’s quintessential experience: fantastic views, awesome turns, extreme elevation gain…” (Butler Motorcycle Maps Northern California, Box 34).
It soon became time for lunch. We shared a burger and took in some motorcycle culture when we stopped at Scooters Cafe, 11975 Hwy 70 Oroville for lunch and drinks. It was a pleasant lunch in the company of many other motorcyclists and travelers. After Scooters we continued on to Jarbo Gap, an up and down segment of the ride that is full of fun. We stopped at a roadside rest along the river for photos. While I was clicking away with my Canon, Jon scouted out some off-road trail under the railroad bridge that looked inviting but found it was too brief and thus disappointing to him. Back on the road again we headed toward Quincy.
We stopped for gas in Quincy. Somewhere along the route around Quincy, the 70 becomes the 89. After Quincy we hoped to try the Quincy La Porte Road but again we encountered the “Road Closed” warning. We thought about it just long enough to take a photo but then decided to head on down the road to Greagle. The Butler map shows a nice squiggly gold-highlighted road called Gold Lake Hwy that we thought we might take to the 49. So, we headed off in that direction.
However, again the road was closed.
By this time it was becoming late afternoon and the temperature was dropping. We had to make a choice of whether or not to try the road to Downieville or head to Truckee. I must admit by this time I was getting cold and tired, perhaps losing a bit of my usual sense of adventure. If the Downieville road was closed anywhere along the way, we would have to double back. In my opinion that would be very bad news as it would put us in the dark, colder, and heading through the Truckee Pass. I chose the sure shot for open highway even though it would be less fun and we headed Southeast on the 89 straight to Truckee. Within a few miles I was glad I made this choice. The road became enclosed by an 8 foot wall of ice on each side. It was like motorcycling through a deep freeze that needed a good cleaning. I was happy to be doing it before dark.
We pulled into the driveway just at dusk with nearly 400 miles more on the tires since our breakfast at Denny’s. It was a great day of riding. I learned a few things for the future. Spring riding in Northern California is unpredictable. Always, always take your heated gear. And, look up the road closures. California road conditions Toll Free # 800-427-7623. Or, if you are really cautious and want to plan ahead check out the Cal Trans Web site for road conditions. CLICK HERE to go to their web site.
CLICK HERE to access a Google map of this ride.
CLICK HERE to download a GPX file of this ride using Chrome, Fire Fox or IE browsers. If you are using a Safari browser, you can still use the link to access the download. But, you must remember to remove the .txt file extension added by Safari to your download. Go to Finder < Downloads. Locate the file and rename it so that your saved download ends in .gpx instead of .txt.
CLICK HERE. using any browser to download a GDB file of this ride. This download was exported from Base Camp in a Garmin Device Specific Format so may not function properly in non-Garmin devices.