Tuesday, October 23, 2018
This clockwise loop meanders around the quiet country backroads of Amador County, the heart of the Gold Country. The route includes a ride through the beautiful riparian woodland along Sutter Creek into Volcano. The return west includes a fabulous roll on Tabeaud and Clinton Rds into Jackson and a scenic run on Stony Creek Rd and Jackson Valley.
Begin from Charles Howard Park in Ione and exit through town on Church and Main to Preston Ave.
Head north on CA-124 to Willow Creek Rd.
Willow Creek turns northward past Tanis Vineyards Winery to Tonzi Rd.
Turn right onto Tonzi, the single lane road travels eastward for one mile to the T junction at CA-124.
Cross 124 to stay on Tonzi, the road changes to a gravel section before returning to a rough single narrow paved lane. It continues through the shaded woodland and scattered ranches along Horse Creek for the next 3.5 miles to the T junction at CA-49.
Turn right onto CA- 49 S to Sutter Ione Rd.
Take a left on Sutter Ione, it continues eastward towards the edge of Sutter Creek.
Turn right onto Old Route 49 and continue along the main street through Sutter Creek’s balconied 19th-century buildings.
Continue east on Church St, the road name changes to Sutter Creek/Sutter Creek Volcano 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.
At the junction, turn left to stay on Sutter Creek/Volcano Rd. The road leads to the small town of Volcano.
Stop at George’s Fountain on Main St.
Exit town on Sutter Creek Volcano Rd, at the Y junction, turn left onto Pine Grove Volcano Rd.
At the next Y split, go right to stay on Pine Grove Volcano Rd, it tilts up for a steep 0.7-mile climb with grades of 14-20%! The road levels out for a short distance before kicking back up with a short steep 14-16% climb up to the crest of the hill.
The road comes to a T junction at CA-88 at the town of Pine Grove. Continue SE on Carson Pass Hwy/88 to Tabeaud Rd.
Turn right onto Tabeaud Rd, it turns southwesterly on rolling terrain through the gorgeous towering conifers for 6.7 miles past the Gold Country Campground Resort near Mt Zion State Park towards Lake Tabeaud.
Tabeaud Rd comes to a high point with expansive views of the open meadows, pastoral fields, and upcountry mountain vineyards.
The road name changes to Clifton Rd as it continues westerly through the high country mountain woodland and scattered ranches.
Clifton drops down through the gorgeous riparian landscape along the South Fork Jackson Creek to Hwy 49 in the town of Jackson.
Head north on 49 through the center of town.
Turn left onto Hoffman St, the road kicks up with a steep 12-14% climb up to Argonaut High School.
The road name changes to Stony Creek Rd as it turns southward across the upper mountain valley meadows.
Stony Creek drops down to the narrow bridge crossing over Jackson Creek followed by a series of short rolling climbs towards Pardee Reservoir.
The road cuts along the northern tip of the lake with wonderful views of the reservoir!
Stony Creek continues past the reservoir to a T junction at Buena Vista Rd.
Head west on Buena Vista, the road drops down into Jackson Valley with grand views of the valley vineyards and Buena Vista Peaks!
Turn left onto Coal Mine Rd, it cuts across the valley floor followed by a 9-12% climb up to the top of the hill.
The road winds around the hillside with fabulous valley views!
At Reservation Rd, turn right onto the single lane road, it cuts across the upper valley meadows to Camanche Rd.
Head north on Camanche, the flat-rolling terrain travels back into Jackson Valley through the open pastoral lands, scattered ranches and valley vineyards.
Head west on Jackson Valley Rd, it continues through the estate wineries and vineyards around the beautiful Jackson Valley.
The road name changes to Dave Brubeck Rd as it heads north towards Ione.
Take Marlette St and Relihan Dr to Hwy 124 for the return to Charles Howard Park.
Bring your low gears for this scenic ride around the beautiful country back roads around Amador County from Ione and Sutter Creek to Volcano, Pine Grove, and Jackson.
66.56 Miles with 4754′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 2513′
Max grade: 20%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with several steep climbs
Weather: Sunny and warm with some breeze. Temps ranging from the high 50’s to the mid 70’s with SW > NW winds.