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Discover the roots of
Sierra County. 

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Sierra County History
Getting Here

About Sierra County

It is a place of legend, nestled into lush canyons and surrounded by some of California’s most rugged peaks. Nowhere else in the country, or perhaps the world, does such a place exist.  To some, we are known for world-class mountain biking – drawing in participants from around the world to take part in events such as the Downieville Downhill. Others enjoy special events such as the Music at the Kentucky Mines, or the Yuba Theater’s Banff Film Festival. Some know us for our cultural events, historic mine tours, and endless outdoor activities.  By everyone, we are embraced for our authentic mountain character, unpretentious attitude, and celebration of four seasons of adventure in the most beautiful spot of all the Sierra Nevada range.

History & Heritage

For centuries, Sierra County area has been a special destination. From the days when some of the first Americans, the Washoe people, spent summers on the Sierra Valley Floor and the Miwoks danced in the hills of the western slope; To the mining era that established the towns. They quickly filled with miners who ventured here in the 1850s set out to enrich themselves with gold. They installed wooden boardwalks, quaint narrow streets, and buildings and bridges that follow the river’s edge, all still accessible to visitors today. 


With the rushing clear waters of the Yuba and Downie Rivers, the expanse of the Eastern Sierra Valley, the alpine lakes filled with trout, and all crowned by the Sierra Buttes, our county is considered one of the most iconic, yet hidden, mountain destinations in the United States. Throughout the rich history, the county and the people that call it home have embraced a frontier spirit, a warm, friendly demeanor and an insatiable thirst for all the adventure these mountains provide.

The Sierra County Historical Society is an 501(c)(3) non-profit organization interested in preserving and promoting an appreciation of Sierra County's rich history. Check out their website and support them here. 

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