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Ever stared at a map & declared, I want to go there!

Or I wonder where that goes. Or I wonder what that road is like. Might feel like. You can trace it out on your map, highlight it, and even get a photo image of a specific corner from Google Maps. Better yet, you can ‘fly’ to & over the road via Google Earth.

But none of that, not a one, will satiate your desire, your implicit need to actually go ride it. To truly feel it, the bend in the road, the camber, the lean, the scenery, the smells, the wind pressed against your face. All those fancy tools. And yet none of it is worth anything.

You have to experience... and if you like trains, keep reading...

(The Train Tour)

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Foothill Gold....

Just east of Sacramento is a region just like that. You have to experience it. No book or description, no pic set nor program will supply you the true sensation of the California Foothills. And this tour sets off to provide you that immersion. Remember that reason you bought the motorcycle in the first place. That’s our destination. I want to go there!

But first... let’s cover some basics.

If you know anything about California and its role as thee premier motorcycle destination- the reason is found in the terrain.

See, we have this handy 400 mile-long mountain range in our backyard. There are so many roads to ride; we here at Pashnit Motorcycle Tours have split up the mountain range into five separate guided tours. North. Central. South. And, two tours for the mountain passes & Eastern Sierra. You've got some ground to cover. After all, the goal has always been to ride them all!

Now where were we? Ah yes, the ride!

The tour group gathers on the very edge of Sacramento and within a few miles, the elevation begins to climb as we head into the Sierra Nevada Foothills. The Foothills are an elevation band that climbs up to about 3000 feet and the roads the region produces are ripe for the ride!

This is also Gold Rush country; after local streams & rivers were panned out, spider holes were dug into the hillsides by the hundreds. All in search of that colorful metal which was later discovered embedded in quartz rock.

There are several large mines worth visiting- Empire Mine and Malakoff Diggins. At the end of a dead end road at 3200 feet is North Bloomfield. This small gold rush town was the source of the nation's first environmental protection measures.

To reach the gold, miners blasted hillsides away- literally, with high pressure water lines. The result created a canyon 7000 feet wide and 600 feet deep.

They got the gold- millions of dollars' worth, but all that sediment & debris washed into the Yuba River System settling out in the valley below.

By the late 1860s, sediment became so deep, that ships could no longer navigate the rivers in the Sacramento Valley. Downstream orchards, grain fields and entire towns were buried under 25 feet of mud & easily flooded during spring rains. Wooden towns simply floated away- along with livestock, the picket fence & even the wood pile out back. Yet water monitors worked 24 hrs a day washing away the mountainside.

Tired of the flooding, farmers organized to fight against the hydraulic mining companies. By 1880, even San Francisco Bay began to fill up with silt. Hydraulic mining ended up being the first ecological lawsuit ever filed against mining companies responsible for creating the disaster. Hydraulic mining was finally outlawed in 1884, yet the scar is still etched into the surrounding hillsides around North Bloomfield.

Yuba Pass climbs a mountain finger and then drops back down the other side into the canyon below. Then again. Next finger. Thank you Sir, may I have another? You may! The elevation climbs into the Tahoe National Forest on our way to Downieville. But behave yourself, the gallows are still there.

The group will ride past the towns of Alleghany, Pike City and Forest City. It has been estimated that the county as a whole produced some two hundred million dollars' worth of gold. Of that, ninety million dollars came from the nearby Alleghany area.

It's also worth mentioning that a vast majority of the millions of dollars of hard rock gold is still there- it's simply too expensive to extract from the ground.

Downieville comes into view as we continue higher up Hwy 49. The town is tiny now, but at one time was the 5th largest city in all of California. It almost became the Capitol of California, losing only by one vote.

A few miles away is Sierra City at 4100 feet, just 325 people claiming this as home. A gold nugget weighing over 1,500 troy ounces was found in the Monumental Mine in 1960, and in 1869, a nugget at over 1,800 troy ounces was found here. That's a gold nugget weighing 123 lbs.
And at the top of the hill lies Sierra Buttes with jagged peaks dominating the range. This high Sierra area is known as the "Lakes Basin," a collection of some fifty lakes cradled on the northeast of the towering Sierra Buttes. The largest of them, Gold Lake, was named in 1850 when a miner claimed he had found a lake whose shores were studded with gold nuggets. The usual rush ensued, although no gold was found on its shores.
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Universal Truth...

There’s a universal truth to every rider we've ever met. Show us a mountainous ridgeline, slap down a paved ribbon of black across its spine and we'll deliver you a crateful of smiles. Not too complicated. The road climbs up into the High Sierra. No towns, few people, and not much of anything up here. Everyone has since gone home and left us some fantastic riding.

And through the years, we've enjoyed Oroville-Quincy Hwy more than any other. Its curves traverse the last vestiges of the Sierra Nevada Range. Many veteran Pashnit riders call it one of the Best Motorcycle Roads in the state. That’s quite an accolade, but we implore you to come ride it and make your own judgment.

The ride drops down Lumpkin Ridge to Lake Oroville. Completed in 1968, Oroville Dam is the tallest earthen dam located in the United States, measuring over 770 feet high and 6,920 feet across. The dam was the largest earth-fill dam in the world until succeeded by Aswan High Dam in Egypt.

But wait! There's more...

Yes campers, there’s more! It's now Day 2.

What better way to start the day than by assailing a stretch of road that only recently was a gravel mountain path on up to Butte Meadows.

Today, paved for your riding enjoyment. Fresh, sweet, smooth pavement. Road crews showed up one day as if sent from Motorcycle Heaven and graded out the most amazing stretch of road.

The goal is to ride north through Shasta County and leave the Sierra Nevada range behind. Sharp peaks give way to a winding foothill route of connecting the dots.

The region is volcanic in origin and Mount Lassen dominates the region with a sort-of dormant volcanic peak of 8000 ft. The sides of the mountain are still steaming with mud pots and hot springs. The peak officially starts the Cascade Range which extends to Mt Shasta to the north and on into Oregon.

On May 22, 1915, a powerful explosive eruption at Lassen Peak devastated nearby areas, and it rained volcanic ash as far away as 200 miles to the east. This explosion was the most powerful one in a series of eruptions during 1914 through 1917.

You can even hike to the summit if you're feeling adventurous. And fit. It's volcanic ash on the path. Two steps forward, one step back. Another time...

However our ride stays below the 5000 ft mark keeps us in the California Foothills, a band of elevation that holds an endless series of twisty roads. All you have to do is connect the dots.

We'll do just that as we make our way north to the tiny hamlet of Fall River Mills. Home to some rather creative steel (pigs really can fly) sculptures and the fascinating Fort Crook and the Round Barn Museum.

Northern California Motorcycle Tour

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Mount Shasta...

So here's the bad news. The problem with Mount Shasta is there are no paved roads that ply & claw at its sides. At best, we can offer up the ride to the local ski area. While the 400 mile length of Sierra Nevada to the south is crisscrossed with an endless list of dreamy motorcycle roads, here there are simply... none. Mount Shasta, at 14,162 feet, (4248 m) is the tallest volcano in California and the second highest in America.

Mount Shasta is just... there. And what makes it most unique of all the peaks in California is it sets on a flat plain. Rising some 2 miles into the sky, it dominates the view from any direction.

On a clear day, it can be seen from 140 miles away in the Central Valley. A mound of earth that contains 85 cubic miles of dirt. And it's beautiful. Spectacular. Even mesmerizing.

Snow covers the peak year round and a glacier or two round out the summit. So we'll ride the base, ever in the shadow of this massive rock.

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Railroad Park Resort

So if you scrolled down this far, you may be wondering the reference to trains! Over the decade plus of Pashnit Motorcycle Tours, we've visited countless historic sites, museums, mountain tops and national parks across California & Oregon.

But... we've never offered a train tour. On top of all the amazing roads, countless curves and numerous mountain passes covered on this ride, we'll also swing by the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, which contains over 100 rolling pieces of rolling train history.

And if that wasn't enough immersion, we'll head for Dunsmuir & spend the night sleeping in a caboose at the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir. And your hearty dinner in a train car accompanied by a cool adult beverage. Sign me up!

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Ride the Alps

Hold on! We're not done. Not quite.

Just over yonder is the Trinity Alps Wilderness. And any mountain range with 'Alps' in the title shouldn't be missed. If you have the time, come ride with us for a few more miles. Across an unknown mountain pass and then the endless drudgery of non-stop corners along Trinity Lake which spans nearly 150 miles of shoreline.

Where's it all lead? Hayfork Mountain Summit and the legendary aura of Highway 36.Does the picture below really exist? Indeed it does. But... You have to ride it to believe it.

Have a few extra days? Head due west out to the Pacific Ocean. It's been a great weekend of riding!! An intense dose of concentrated sensory overload- of mountains, lean angles and especially- the company. Pashnit Riders from all walks of life on all types of motorcycles. All Pashnit.

You'll spend much of this tour in complete and utter awe.

Sign up here!

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July 2017

Single Rider
Motorcycle Rental
Click Here
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McDonalds / Chevron
4211 Sierra College Blvd
Rocklin, California

July 21, 2017:
Meet 7:00, Safety Brief 7:30,
Depart 8:00 AM

Contact Info:
Tim Mayhew : 530-391-1356


Riders are expected to have 5+ years of enthusiastic experience on their motorcycle along with at least 5000+ miles of concurrent recent experience.

This tour starts from Rocklin, CA and finishes up near Red Bluff, CA.

Book early - this ride will sell out.

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Northern California Pashnit Motorcycle Tour to Trains

Northern California Pashnit Tours

Northern California Pashnit Tours

Mount Shasta


This tour includes a visit to the
Western Pacific Railroad Museum

...and spend the night in a Caboose.


Sign up here...


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