The Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway meanders 100 miles through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and offers sweeping panoramic vistas of the Sierra Nevada’s granite peaks, lush meadows, a large array of plant and animal life, unique rock formations, historical attractions and more. The byway is a seasonal road and is maintained by the National Forest Service. It opens once all the snow has melted from the upper elevations and any necessary cleanup has been completed. Typically the best time to explore the byway is July-October (weather permitting). Much of the byway is at snow level and will not be accessible in winter months.
State Route 49 is a north-south state highway in the U.S. state of California that passes through many historic mining communities of the 1849 California gold rush. Highway 49 is numbered after the “49ers”, the waves of immigrants who swept into the area looking for gold, and a portion of it is known as the Gold Country Highway. This roadway begins at Oakhurst in the Sierra-Nevada mountains, where it diverges from State Route 41. It continues in a generally northwest direction, weaving through the communities of Goldside and Ahwahnee, before crossing into Mariposa County. State Route 49 then continues northward through the counties of Mariposa, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Sierra, and Plumas, where it reaches its northern terminus at State Route 70, in Vinton.
This drive stretches up out of the flat San Joaquin Valley and heads into the Sierra National Forest and the high Sierra Nevada mountains passing a series of picturesque lakes that came into being due to the need for electricity. In the early 1900s, the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project of the Southern California Edison Company built dams and tunnels, creating what are now known as the Edison Lakes. Today, vacationers flock here to relax amid beautiful high country scenery, enjoy water recreation, and hike trails for every level including the world-famous Pacific Crest or John Muir trails. High clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
California Road 400 has its northern origin intersecting CA-415 and winds south through woods and range land along Coarsegold Creek past Hensley Lake until meeting CA-145 just outside Medera.