Sierra Metric Century

Thursday, June 1, 2017

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The Sierra Century invites you to choose an adventure from among five different routes (41/65/69/102/122 miles) through the beautiful rolling oak woodland and pine forests of Amador and El Dorado Counties, including the wine country of Fair Play and the Shenandoah Valley and the historic Gold Rush towns of Ione, Sutter Creek, Volcano, Fiddletown, Mt. Aukum and Slug Gulch.

They refer to these routes as adventures because this largely undeveloped country is highly scenic and uniquely historic, the roads are in good condition with little and often no traffic, and the available routes have a wide variety of terrain. All of the routes have significant climbing as well as exhilarating descents.  If you are looking for routes that are flat or mostly flat, this event is not for you. There are no staged starts and no means are provided for timing individual riders.

The Metric Century, 65 miles with 4500 feet of climbing, follows rolling oak woodland to Ione, then continues on to Sutter Creek, Volcano, Ram’s Horn Grade, Daffodil Hill, then down to Fiddletown and back to the Fairgrounds.*1

This ride follows the exact route put on by Sacramento Wheelman for the Metric Century with a start/finish from the town of Ione and a slight detour to view the historic Preston Castle.

Begin this ride from Charles Howard Park in Ione.

Head north through town on Church and Main St to Preston Ave.

Turn onto Waterman Rd and Palm Dr for a short detour to Preston Castle. The castle is only open on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Return to Waterman Rd and head NE, the rough road climbs up along the SE side of the correctional facility to the junction of Hwy 124.

Continue on Hwy 124 N, it leads you out of Ione to the next turn at Sutter Ione Rd.

Turn right onto Sutter Ione Rd, the rolling climbs goes along Jackass Creek through the scattered woodland with 3-7% grades to the Y junction at Paine Rd.

The quiet country back road continues eastward for another 5.7 rolling miles with steep climbs of 9-13% grades!

The route turns south on Old Rte 49 towards the town of Sutter Creek.

Sutter Creek downtown area.

Exit town on Church St to Sutter Creek Rd.

Sutter Creek/Volcano Rd travels eastward for over 11 miles on gently rolling terrain through the lush riparian landscape along the gorgeous Sutter Creek.

Enjoy the beautiful views of Sutter Creek!

The road continues to roll through the beautiful creek area with homes nestled in the woodlands.

Enjoy the sound and spectacular sight of the fast flowing creek!

At the junction, turn left to stay on Sutter Creek/Volcano Rd. The road leads you through the tiny town of Volcano.

Stop at Volcano Country Store.

Turn right on Consolation St, the road continues eastward as it leads you out of town.

The road name changes to Rams Horn Grade Rd as it rolls along the valley.

Rams Horn Grade Rd kicks up for a sustained 2.4-mile climb to Shake Ridge aka Daffodill Hill with an average grade of 6.5% along with steep pitches of 10-12%.

The road winds its way northward under the beautiful pines and oak woodland.

The road name changes to Shake Ridge Rd as it rolls eastward along the beautiful ridge with steep 10-14% grades to the next junction at Fiddletown Rd.

Turn left onto Fiddletown, the road turns westward as it descends for 13.5 glorious miles through the gorgeous pine forests!

The road rolls through the rustic old buildings at Fiddletown.

It continues downhill through the beautiful woodlands along North Fork Dry Creek.

At mile 43.3, the road tilts up for a short steep 10-14% climb followed by a downhill towards the town of Plymouth.

Stop at Sharkey Park.

The road name changes to Shenandoah and Main St as it rolls through town.

The road name changes once again to Old Sacramento Rd as it continues west out of Plymouth.

The flat rolling terrain rolls along the valley ranches and pastoral meadows.

It cuts across the open grasslands before coming to an end at the junction of Hwy 16.

Turn left on Hwy 16 to Carbondale Rd.

Carbondale turns westward through the expansive valley to Irish Hill Rd.

The rolling climbs on Irish Hill Rd take you southward for the next 5.7 miles to the junction of Hwy 104.

The short distance on 104 leads to the turn on 5 Mile Dr.

5 Mile Dr takes you back towards Ione to the Dry Creek crossing.

Take W Marlette and Relihan Dr for the return to Charles Howard Park.

This is a fabulous ride through the quaint little towns in the Sierra foothills around California’s Gold Country! You’ll enjoy the quiet remote country back roads and the gorgeous stretch along Sutter Creek, it’s absolutely wonderful!


Garmin Stats:
67.11 Miles with 4521′ of elevation gain
Max Elevation: 3156′
Max grade: 14%
Terrain: Moderately hilly

Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the mid 60’s to the mid 80’s with SW > NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:


  1. Another great blog Nancy. And another reminder how California is so beautiful. Interesting names of all these places.Thanks for sharing this. P.S. We love your YuCanCook Channel on Youtube tpo. Keep biking …and cooking!


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