Yuba Pass to Little Truckee Tour

We just skied this one on 1/19/97. It is a nice long scenic day tour on groomed snowmobile routes. Though this entire general area is quite popular with snowmobilers, if you start out early (as you should due to the length of the tour), you will probably not be bothered by many snowmobiles until late in the day along the last 8 miles.

Alternately, consider skiing a shorter portion of this tour. The most scenic part of the tour is the first 10 miles, starting at Yuba Pass. Additionally, there are one or two miles of trails specifically designated for XC skiing, on the north side of the road at Yuba Pass.

This tour is at somewhat low elevation, averaging just over 7000', so it should be done mid-winter for adequate snow coverage (perhaps a good day to do this tour would be Super Bowl Sunday, when all the snowmo-bubbas are at home watching the game). The tour could be done in either direction, though north-to-south includes slightly less uphill. If you are planning to do the entire tour in one day, you will need fair weather and settled snow conditions.

The tour starts at the north end at the Yuba Pass Sno-Park parking area (a Sno-Park permit is required; 916-653-8569), right at Yuba Pass on Highway 49 west of Sattley. I recommend the USGS 7.5' Sattley quad instead of the much older 15' Sierraville quad, since older map does not show the current routes. The 15' Donner Pass quad is adequate for the last 8 miles of the tour. Additionally, there are route maps posted at each end of the tour, and at major intersections (this posted map slightly understates some mileages).

Start southward from Yuba Pass, gaining about 1000' gradually over the first 7 miles, enjoying fine views of the Sierra Valley to the east. At mile 7, just after cresting a ridge at about 7600', you will pass a junction for the Williams Creek road (stay left, following sign for Webber Lake). About 1/4 mile later on down the hill, there is another junction, the left-hand turn taking you east onto the Ridge Loop road. You should take this left-hand turn onto Ridge Loop, which is a little shorter than the main road.

Follow the Ridge Loop road generally southeast for 6 miles to where it rejoins the main route at Bonta Saddle. From the intersection at Bonta, go south, following the road over another ridge towards Webber Lake. From the top of this ridge, you will enjoy a gentle 1000' descent.

At the bottom of that descent, turn left (east), following all signs to Little Truckee Summit for the remaining 8 miles of the tour. Stay on the north side of the Little Truckee River, as some of the bridges that the map shows farther downstream no longer exist.

The southern end of the tour is the large parking area at Little Truckee Summit, 9 miles south of Sierraville on highway 89.

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