This 900 mile loop gets you on the road less travelled
W on I-80 to Hwy 89, NW thru Plumas National Forest,
continue thru Lassen Volcanic NP,
N on I-5 past Mt. Shasta, to n of Yreka,
follow the Klamath River west/south on Hwy 96 (Bigfoot Scenic Byway) to Hwy 299,
W on 299 to Eureka, Hwy 101 south past Fortuna,
E on Hwy 36 to Red Bluff,
S on Hwy 99 past Chico then north/east on Hwy 70, join Hwy 89,
E on 70 to Portola, continue to US395, S to Reno
You can easily add a 30 mile side trip to SR254, Avenue of the Giants, in Humbolt Redwoods State Park, and the 212 miles south on Hwy 1 from Leggett to Sausalito. See larger map with directions.
Emerald Bay State Park, on Hwy 89 at the SW corner of Lake Tahoe, 65 miles south of Reno, Nevada. "Emerald Bay State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay, a National Natural Landmark. Park features include Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. The architect was Leonard Palme, who was hired by his aunt Laura Knight to design and build Vikingsholm. The park contains the only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island. The park is accessible by California State Route 89 near the southwest shore of the lake. Emerald Bay is one of Lake Tahoe's most photographed and popular locations."
Photo by Michael (originally posted to Flickr as Emerald Bay) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons" https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEmerald_Bay.jpg
Other area info
100 mi east of Sacramento, Lake Tahoe's western shore is in California, while the eastern shore is in Nevada. US 50 follows Lake Tahoe's eastern shore and passes thru Cave Rock Tunnel.
Daggett pass is east of S Lake Tahoe on Hwy 207. Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway offers steep switchbacks on Hwy 4 to the south. Hwy 89 heads north & west, has sweeping curves and climbs over 3000' as it crosses Monitor Pass at over 8300'.
Downieville, CA is considered the best preserved gold rush town.
Virginia City, known for the Comstock Lode of gold and silver, is also well preserved. Placerville, CA is another well preserved gold rush town. It's original name was 'Blood and Guts', then changed to 'Hang Town', and finally Placerville.
View larger map with directions
Northern California has great motorcycle roads. This 414 mile loop includes southern Oregon, making for an easy 2-day trip. Our California pages have more rides and info. California Hwy 96 has the most "Bigfoot" sightings in the country. Click here for nice photos.
"Beginning in Willow Creek (known as the "Gateway to Bigfoot Country") and ending in Happy Camp, your trip provides an unforgettable experience in one of California's wildest portions. Bigfoot Scenic Byway's 89 miles travel through or pass near a variety of public lands, including several wilderness areas, two national recreation areas, and Redwood National Park. The small towns along the route are the perfect places to stretch your legs, learn more about local cultures, and stop in during one of the Sasquatch-related festivals held throughout the year." http://byways.org/stories/65750
Great Basin National Park
Nevada Hwy 50, aka "the loneliest road", heads 400 miles east across Nevada. Great Basin NP is near the Utah border. There are multiple camping areas in the park. "A Park Ranger will take you on a guided walk of the Lodge Room or Grand Palace section of Lehman Caves" or "Drive the 12 mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive for unparalled views of the mountains and surrounding valleys."
About 40 miles east of Fallon, try out Hwy 722. Then make a stop at the Northern Nevada Railroad Museum in Ely, about 60 miles west of Great Basin NP. It's rated excellent by Trip Advisor . There are hotels and food in Ely. Another lonely road, US Hwy 6 takes you west to US 395 and then north to Reno, completing a 900+ mile loop. See the map with directions and always be aware of your gas when riding these roads.
"Some come for the majesty of Wheeler Peak or the ancient Bristlecone Pines which clings to her flanks. Maybe it is the mystery of Lehman Caves or the immensity of the stars in the darkest night skies."
"Summer temperatures are comfortable with highs around 85 and lows 55 at 6,825 ft above sea level." "When autumn arrives, Great Basin National Park shows its colors, with groves of aspen trees dotting the mountains in hues of yellow and gold. The air is cool and crisp, uncrowded trails beg to be explored, and pine nuts are ready for picking.
Great Basin National Park takes some effort to get to, but those who make the journey reap the rewards: spacious campsites, friendly and available staff, and the company of the oldest trees on Earth, the bristlecone pines."
"Taking a drive along the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is a highlight of any visit to Great Basin National Park. A true mountain road, the scenic drive hugs the mountains of the South Snake Range, slowly winding you to a point above all others, where vistas reach the horizon, and one is met with a pristine view of the rugged, harsh, yet surprisingly beautiful Great Basin Desert."
"WheelerPeakNevadaMarch2010" by DrunkDriver - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -