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  • Writer's pictureJason Sheck

Henness Pass Road - Part 2 (Jackson Meadows to Downieville via Galloway Road)

With Bri in Wisconsin I thought I'd better stick to easy and regularly travelled forest roads when I head out in the Jeep by myself. I typically travel with enough food and water to camp out for a few days if I have unexpected trouble or get suck somewhere along the way. The Jeep always has basic recovery gear and tools in it, but only so much can be fixed in the field. Earlier this year I had the idea of trying to travel the entire Henness Pass Road from Reno to its terminus in Northern California. After making my way from Jackson Meadows to Galloway Road, and finding out that Henness Pass Road is paved quite a ways into the Sierra, I might forego travelling the rest of the road. I prefer dirt roads for my outings. Either way, the views from this outing were outstanding. The most difficult part of this drive was the sustained steep decent into Downieville. It was long enough to require careful management of the brakes' temperature. The road was so steep that I made a note in my GAIA to not attempt that road in slippery or wet conditions.

What did I learn?

The end of October is a great time to visit the North Yuba River between Downieville and Bassetts. The trees along the river turn yellow and gold a few weeks after the higher elevation Aspens have lost their leaves. It's a great way to extend fall color viewing.

Driving into the Jackson Meadows area from Highway 89. The storm of a week prior left plenty of snow at certain places, but by the time I turned northwest on Henness Pass Road, it was mostly gone. It was nice to be out on these forest roads without having to keep the windows closed for dust.

Looking northwest from the general vicinity of the dam that creates Jackson Meadows Reservoir.

The Middle Yuba River heads northwest from Jackson Meadows Reservoir. The road and river below are along the river.

The views from Henness Pass Road as I travelled from Jackson Meadows to Galloway Road. The rocky buttes are the Sierra Buttes, which my wife has blogged about hiking up.

As I started my way down from Henness Pass Road to Downieville, on Galloway Road, I noticed a cattle yard of some sort made of wood. I see a lot of these chutes in Northern Nevada and California pretty often, but this log-constructed version was unique.

The end of the road, downtown Downieville.

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