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Seek New Heights

Free printable maps and scenic routes through four beautiful areas of the Sierra Nevada. Shasta Cascade/North Sierra Gold Country/High Sierra Eastern Sierra Southern High Sierra
Seek New Heights

Seek New Heights

Shasta Cascade/North Sierra
Geology dominates this land of contrasts where the volcanic Cascade Range shares the Sierra's northern domain. From boiling, mud-spitting fumaroles to vast verdant forests and sparkling lakes, nature is king up here where a few quaint towns mark the only human intrusion.
Gold Country to High Sierra
Highway 49 meanders through much of California's Sierra foothill gold country. Here, dozens of small towns, survivors of the Gold Rush's booms and crashes, preserve pieces of the excitement of the 1850s and ‘60s when gold was king. Numerous state parks, museums and visitor centers showcase, not only the Native Americans who first lived here, but also the 49ers, the pioneer families and the towns and businesses they built. And in today's Gold Rush towns you will find a plethora of antique shops, restaurants, museums and more than a few wine tasting rooms.
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, with great camping, hiking, fishing, and even boating and water skiing on Lake Britton.
Eastern Sierra
Much of US 395 is a narrow asphalt ribbon that separates the steep, eastern Sierra escarpment from the desert lands to the east. In only a few scattered places are there passes through the high mountains that allow roads to climb westward over the summit. Highway 120's Tioga Pass into Yosemite National Park, is one of those passes, and it's the highest Sierra pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.
Southern High Sierra
Within California's Southern Sierra, several national parks dominate the landscape. Yosemite National Park is the most widely known, especially for its spectacular waterfalls, yet to its south, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, hold their own magic. Within these two contiguous national parks you will find the largest trees in the world, miles of marble caves, and hundreds of lakes and streams.
Watch mud pots bubble and boil while nearby vents spew their sulfurous steam upward in this stunning national park. (42 miles/1hour from Burney Falls)
Lake Almanor
If you are a golfer, biker, hiker, water skier, bird watcher, fishing enthusiast or just like to enjoy nature, this is a recreation destination you don't want to miss. (58 miles/1.5 hours from Lassen)
Step back into Gold Rush times at the Plumas County Museum, where outdoor exhibits capture an earlier way of life. (46 miles/1hour from Lake Almanor)
Plumas Eureka
If you want to combine a little gold mining history with your camping, hiking, and fishing experience, this is the place to be!(30 miles/50 minutes from Quincy)
Visit the town's railroad museum and even drive a real locomotive! (15 miles/25 minutes from Plumas Eureka)
The lake is surrounded by both forest and desert-loving sage. (50 miles/1 hour from Portola)
Take a break from the highway and grab your bicycle for an easy ride along an abandoned railroad line. (75 miles/1.5 hours from Frenchman Lake)
Eagle Lake
A fishing paradise as lunkers abound in this sprawling lake. (28 miles/1 hour)
Grass Valley/Nevada City/Empire Mine
(Tour Starting Point) Neighboring Sierra foothill towns Grass Valley and Nevada City were two of the richest gold producers during the Gold Rush, and much of that early history remains at Empire Mine.
Auburn /Auburn State Recreation Area
(24 miles/35 minutes from Grass Valley) From white water to calm water, there are nearly unlimited recreation opportunities along these two forks of the American River.
Coloma/Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
(19 miles/30 minutes from Auburn) This is where James Marshall discovered the gold that would forever change the history of California.
Placerville/El Dorado County Museum
(10 miles/20 minutes) Placerville was originally known as Hangtown, likely not an inviting name for many of the early gold miners.
Camino/Apple Hill
(10 miles/15 minutes from Placerville to Camino) Apple Hill is a premier apple-growing region with plenty of opportunities to pick, buy and eat the tasty fruit and its by-products such as apple pie, applesauce and apple donuts.
Jackson/Kennedy Mine
(42 miles/1 hour from Camino to Jackson) Jackson is home to one of the deepest mines in the world, and it is the junction for Highway 88 to beautiful Carson Pass.
Angels Camp
(28 miles/40 minutes from Jackson to Angels Camp) Mark Twain made Angels Camp famous with his short story, the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Jamestown/Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
(15 miles/25 minutes from Angels Camp to Jamestown) Climb aboard a real steam train from the maintenance facility that's been here since 1897.
Columbia State Historic Park
(8 miles/20 minutes from Jamestown to Columbia) Pan for gold, ride a stage and then head to the candy shop.
(14 miles/25 minutes from Columbia to Murphys) This is definitely a town for wine lovers.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
(18 miles/30 minutes from Murphys to Calaveras) This is home to two large groves of giant sequoias, the world's oldest and certainly biggest trees.
Grover Hot Springs State Park
(65 miles/1.75 hours from Calaveras to Grover) This is a spectacular drive with a hot mineral pool awaiting your arrival at Grover Hot Springs.
Hope Valley
(8 miles/15 minutes from Grover to Hope Valley) Highway 89 follows the winding West Fork of the Carson River much of the way.
Emerald Bay State Park/Vikingsholm
(36 miles/1 hour from Hope Valley to Emerald Bay) From Highway 89 people see Fannette Island in Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay, but most miss the Norse fortress home.
Sugar Pine Point State Park/Erhman Mansion
(9 miles/15 minutes from Emerald Bay to Sugar Pine Point State Park) One of the oldest remaining historic mansions overlooking Lake Tahoe.
Truckee/Donner Memorial State Park
(24 miles/40 minutes from Sugar Pine Point State Park to Truckee/Donner) A monument and museum dedicated to the 19 th century emigrants�and the ill-fated Donner Party.
Bridgeport Valley
(Tour Starting Point) The scenery in Bridgeport Valley has changed little since the 1800s when thousands of miners passed through on their way to the gold mines
Bodie State Historic Park
(20 miles/45 minutes from Bridgeport) The gold rush to Bodie began in 1877, and the town quickly grew to more than 8,500 people, with gunfights, robberies and murders common
Mono Lake
(32 miles/ 45 minutes from Bodie) This 1,000,000-year-old lake is home to millions of nesting birds and to "tufa towers," strange calcium carbonate spires and knobs found along the shoreline
June Lake Loop
(5 miles/5 minutes from Mono Lake) This is a popular scenic drive that comes very near the Ansel Adams Wilderness
Devil's Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls
(30 miles/1 hour from June Lake) Fire and ice-volcanic eruptions and glaciers-have created this impressive wall of basalt
Mammoth Lakes
(30 miles/1 hour from June Lake) A recreation paradise both summer and winter, Mammoth Lakes is a major resort in one of the Sierra's most spectacular settings
Convict Lake
(7 miles/20 minutes from Mammoth) Popular fishing that sits at the base of Mount Morrison that is much more peaceful today than back in 1871 when it got its name.
Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site
(38 miles/45 minutes from Convict Lake) Site of the last narrow-gauge passenger railroad to operate west of the Rockies.
Ancient Bristlecone Forest
(37 miles/1 hour from Bishop) These twisted and stunted trees (Pinus longaeva) are the oldest living organisms on earth.
Big Pine Palisades Glacier
(26 miles/40 minutes from Bishop to Glacier Lodge, 10 miles west of Big Pine) You need not travel to Alaska to see glaciers; the largest in the Sierra can be seen west of Big Pine.
Eastern California Museum (Independence)
(27 miles/30 minutes from Big Pine) Founded in 1928, the Eastern California Museum features exhibits that reflect the diverse natural and cultural heritage of Inyo County and the Owens Valley.
Manzanar National Historic site
(6 miles/10 minutes from Independence) Manzanar is the best preserved of ten camps where Japanese-American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.
Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History
(9 miles/10 minutes from Manzanar) Hollywood came to Lone Pine in 1920-and stayed, filming more than 400 movies and 100 TV shows over the years.
Alabama Hills
(2 miles/5 minutes east of Lone Pine on Whitney Portal Road) Love those old Westerns? How the West was Won was filmed here along with hundreds of other movies.
Whitney Portal/Mt. Whitney
(10 miles/20 minutes west on Whitney Portal Road from Lone Pine) At an elevation of 14,494 feet, Mount Whitney is the highest point in the the lower 48 states, and this will get you as close as you can drive
(Tour starting point) This San Joaquin Valley city is a great place to begin your tour of the Southern High Sierra.
(37 miles/1 hour from Merced) This Sierra foothill town is a holdover from the California Gold Rush and a gateway to Yosemite.
Yosemite National Park (44 miles/1.25 hours from Mariposa) The majority of people who visit this 1200-square-mile park seldom get beyond Yosemite Valley and its magnificent waterfalls-but there's much more here, if you have the time and energy to do some hiking.
Fish Camp
(35 mi/1 hour from Yosemite Valley) Enjoy the dramatic mountain scenery while riding on the Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad, then get up close and personal with giant Sequoias in Yosemite's Mariposa Grove.
Millerton Lake State Recreation Area
(47 miles/1 hour from Fish Camp) Follow Highway 41 south from Fish Camp and you will cross numerous creeks and the Fresno River before coming to Millers Corere; turn east toward Millerton Lake where a historic courthouse museum sits above the reservoir's waterline.
Sierra Heritage National Scenic Byway/Mono Hot Springs
(72 miles/ 2.15 hours from Millerton Lake) From Millerton Lake, jump over to nearby Highway 168, designated the Sierra Heritage National Scenic Byway, and head back into the high country for a short hike and a long soak in Mono Hot Springs.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
(125 miles/3.5 hours from Mono Hot Springs): There are a couple of mountain road alternatives, but no quick shortcuts from Mono Hot Springs to these national parks, so enjoy the scenery-it's well worth your time!
Kaweah Lake
(60 miles/2 hours through Sequoia-Kings Canyon national parks) The Kaweah River tumbles from the high mountains of Sequoia National Park and is temporarily slowed by a dam at Kaweah Lake Recreation Area.