44 mi / 70 km
Dirt (Grade B)
It's a rough and windy start as you head up the tablelands towards the prominent Casa Diablo Mountain. This whole area was formed after the constant tug and pull of monumental geological forces that caused faulting, erosion and pyroclastic flow.
You'll notice the turbulent landscape with its cliffs, canyons and crevices that a whole host of critters take full advantage of. Look out for reptiles, rodents and rabbits hanging about. Hawks and owls are also prevalent here due to the terrains prime nesting opportunities.
Up the side of Casa Diablo you'll enter into some serious gold mining territory that thrived up until the 1940s. The mine attracted a considerable workforce and even had electricity and working phone - yep! that was huge back then. However, like many other gold mines, its operations eventually declined as the easily accessible gold deposits were completely depleted.
After 16 miles you'll find yourself amongst a forest of Pinyon and Jeffrey pines. Keep your eyes peeled for squirrels, chipmunks and pinyon jays in the fall as they scurry around collecting the delicious nuts fallen from the Pinyon Pines.
It's all downhill from here as you cross the dam to Crowley Lake, traverse the freeway and slide your way down the steep canyon carved out by Lower Rock Creek.
At the bottom and end of the route you'll be at what one of Owen Valley's first explorers, Captain J.W. Davidson said was "the most beautiful place he had ever seen". Round Valley is one of the greenest parts you'll find in this neck of the woods. It also makes for some fantastic photos as the lush green fields back to the stark rocky Sierra's.
IMPERIALHome page Explore Scenic Drives Scenic Finder Community Articles