Great Northern California Getaway Spots: Nevada City

Posted by John Anthony Law for Copper River Bag Company on 31st Jul 2015

Nevada City

When I moved to Nevada City, California almost 2 years ago, I had no idea the amount of activities, events and recreational opportunities at my feet. In a very small city of 3,000 people, one wouldn't think there would be so much going on. I thought it was a typical Sierra Nevada Mountain community - sleepy and secluded. Oh how I was wrong. If you've never heard of Nevada City might I suggest you check out this wonderful little spot? Voted #1 on many lists of most beautiful places in America, a lot of people have yet to actually come to visit us. And while you're in the area stop by  Copper River Bag Company's headquarters in Nevada City to get a hands-on experience of how authentic American made products are created and designed, like the iconic Buckhorn full-grain leather laptop bag. We would love to see you!

Historical District

Established in 1848 as a gold mining camp, Nevada City rose to 10,000 people who came here with the dream of striking it rich. The town quickly built up around the gold fields and became the 3rd largest city in California. About 80% of the downtown still exists today, preserved in its original condition. Beautiful shops line the streets, anything from ice cream and candy to vintage clothes and art. Yummy restaurants and trinkets from around the world as well as the oldest theater west of the Mississippi are all within walking distance. You're sure to get a certain feeling here that is unexplainable until you experience it for yourself. For more information on exactly where to go, check out Nevada City's Chamber of Commerce.

Downtown Festivals and Fairs

During July and December, the streets are blocked off and downtown becomes one big street fair. Kiosks line the middle of the streets as far as the eye can see with wares from local artists and world travelers.

The Summer Nights festival brings locals and people from far away together to sip lemonade and enjoy art, shopping, concerts, dancing and great conversation. Victorian Christmas has all the bells and whistles of a traditional Christmas celebration with carolers roaming the streets in Victorian fashion, live music and huge groups of people roasting chestnuts on an open fire.

The Yuba River

Many locals treasure this river and consider it a healing place. Others travel for its perfect fly fishing opportunities. Which ever is your forte, this is the place to be in the summer months. Crystal clear waters, granite boulders the size of houses, endless miles of trails and swimming holes – some of the most pristine in all the world. Careful of the poison oak which grows wild here - remember: leaves of 3, let it be. There are four major crossings which offer access to parking and trails. Bridgeport, Hoyt, Purdon and Edwards. Each of these bridges offers a unique river experience. For the best swimming, travel up Highway 49 from Nevada City to Hoyt's Crossing where you'll find deep emerald pools and awesome diving rocks. There are a few trails here which will lead you along the canyon to help you find the best spot to jump right in. If you have little ones, or those who are sensitive to a hike, it's best to stay at the bridge.

Fishing opportunities in the Sierra Nevada Mountains are endless. Our favorite is fly-fishing along the lower Yuba River at “Park's Bar” or Highway 20 bridge. The Lower Yuba is a 21 mile long tailwater fishery flowing out of Englebright Lake featuring long runs, crater-like pools, and wide riffles. This makes a great river to float in a raft or drift boat but fishing from the bank can be rewarding. Make sure to check out our “Fly Fishing on the Lower Yuba” blog to get more information for all you fishing enthusiasts. If you're looking to get the right fly-fishing equipment, here's a guide to help you get the right fishing gear while you're here: Backpacking Light: Grass Valley.

Hiking around Nevada City

If you're up for a casual walk, a challenging jog, or a day-long hike – Nevada City is a prime place for all things hiking. Cascade Canal trail (pictured above) is a relatively flat trail that winds along the ridge of Banner Mountain offering sensational views of the town below and mountain ranges in the area. The landscape is breath-taking and you'll often come across some wildlife who live here – perfect for photo op's with the kids. Hirschman Trail winds along the Northwest portion of town and is, get this, wheelchair accessible! The first half mile is navigable by wheelchair and the surroundings will leave you in pure wonderment. The trail becomes a little more challenging after Hirschman's Pond and for the next 3 miles becomes even more challenging with its quick ascents and descents. If you're a runner – this is the trail for you.

There is absolutely no way we could possibly cram everything there is to do in Nevada City into this blog and it makes me sad. Make sure to check out upcoming blogs for more. Truly. the Sierra Nevada Mountain range is second to none and you'll find it as one of the most beautiful places in the world – guaranteed.

Image by starline on Freepik