|Length||3.0 miles round trip|
|+400, -400 round trip|
|Navigation||Road and marked trail|
|Season||Late December through early April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Varies from moderate to high between mileage points 1 and 2 depending on day of week and time of day, and not permitted between mileage points 2 and 3. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Sattley, Calpine|
|Start||Yuba Pass Sno-Park on Highway 49, 11 miles east of Sierra City.|
This is an easy tour to an overlook point where you can enjoy a snack or lunch as you look down on Big Canyon and in the distance Sierra Valley is prominent. The route follows roads that are marked and beginners will find navigation easy.
You will likely find yourself sharing the first mile of the tour with snowmobiles since it is a designated snowmobile route and normally groomed. The last half-mile of the tour is on a road closed to snowmobile use. The snowmobile noise and fumes will be the worst at the trailhead where they idle while getting ready.
The Yuba Pass Vista tour is the beginning of the longer Lunch Creek tour that is rated intermediate. Both tours were originally marked by now defunct Skiers and Hikers for Outdoor Enjoyment (SHOE) and they were remarked by the Nordic Voice, the predecessor of Snowlands Network.
Lodging is available in Downieville with its historic main street and in Sierra City which is nearer to Yuba Pass. But Yuba Pass is only 35 miles away from Truckee. The drive passes through the little town of Sierraville and not much else as it winds through the undeveloped mountains north of Tahoe.
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 1.0
Elevation change: +100, -150 feet
From the trailhead (1) ski north on the snow-covered road for 1.0 mile until you reach a fork in the road (2). It would be difficult to exactly follow the road, which is very flat for the first 0.4 mile, if it were not groomed for snowmobile use. Beyond the first 0.4 mile the road is very obvious as it cuts across a hillside.
At the fork the snowmobile route goes left and the ski route goes right.
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 1.0 - 1.5
Elevation change: -150 feet
Ski on the east (right) fork for 0.5 mile until you reach a location where the road turns north and a minor ridge heads southeast (3). The vista point is 200 feet out on the minor ridge.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 1.5 - 3.0
Elevation change: +300, -100 feet
Retrace the route for 1.5 miles back to the trailhead (1).