function OptanonWrapper() { window.dataLayer.push( { event: 'OneTrustGroupsUpdated'} )}Golden Chain Highway
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Golden Chain Highway

Golden Chain Highway

Travel back to the Gold Rush era on Highway 49, where charming mining towns are surrounded by panoramic vistas of the Sierra Nevada foothills

Start:Nevada City
End:Columbia State Historic Park
2 - 3Days,7Stops,130Miles
Nevada City
Rachid Dahnoun
Empire Mine State Historic Park
Alacatr/Getty Images
Bbourdages/Getty Images
Marshall Gold Discovery State Park
Stephen Saks/Alamy
South Fork American River
Neil Lockhart/Getty Images
Michael Marfell/Getty Images
Columbia State Historic Park
Myles McGuinness
Stop 1

Nevada City

317 W Broad St, Nevada City

This forest-wrapped hamlet of handsome Victorian-era homes and tree-lined streets 60 miles northeast of Sacramento is one of the Gold Country’s prettiest towns. Originally settled in 1849 as a mining camp, Nevada City features a well-preserved core of historic buildings, including California’s oldest operating structure originally built for performances, the 1865 Nevada Theatre, with past performers ranging from Mark Twain to Mötley Crüe. Just around the corner, on Main Street, a bell-towered firehouse with a Victorian gingerbread front is the site of a compact history museum where the intricate cooking baskets made by native Nisenan Indians are exhibited alongside the artifacts of early residents and Chinese pioneers. Impeccable 19th-century buildings with wooden balconies are now the home of restaurants, gift shops (look for nature-lover treasures at The Earth Store), wine-tasting rooms, and antiques shops.

Download a self-guided walking tour from the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.