All riders can look forward to a delicious, riverside barbecue dinner following the ride served between 2:00 and 6:30 pm.

All distances and climbing data is provided by .  DON’T PANIC!  Much of the longer routes are hilly with some steep climbs although much shorter than most Sierra passes.  Riders that sign up for the Metric route or longer can choose from any routes on the fly to customize their challenge.   The longest route is great training for the Alta Alpina Challenge!

We recommend all riders start between 6:30 and 8:00 am.  Please use the Aid Station Operation  Hours on the Safety and Support page as a guide.  

GOLD DUST – Half Metric -1 aid station, post ride dinner.                                          35 miles, 2,824’ climbing
This is a relaxing introduction to the bicycling options of Northern El Dorado County. Leaving Lotus cyclists enjoy a very gradual climb to the community of Cool on Highway 49 “The Golden Chain Highway”.  Approximately eight miles further on Highway 193 you will turn to enjoy the quiet of Greenwood Road.  A short climb brings you to the bucolic town of Garden Valley.    Rolling through Garden Valley sets you up for a beautiful descent down a newly paved jewel of cycling to camp.  Freshen up, take in a self guided tour of the Gold Discovery State Park, enjoy some tasting at the local wineries, or just sit by the river and enjoy a good read. Be sure to return to camp for our riverside BBQ dinner served from 2:00 – 6:30pm.

GOLD NUGGET – Metric Century – 2 Aid Stations, Lunch Stop, & Post Ride Dinner. 65.7 miles, 6,430’ climbing
Where the Gold Dust riders turn to camp, you will descend down canyon then turn for a steady ascent of Rock Creek Road.  This stretch offers the sublime views of the South Fork of the American River canyon above Chili Bar Reservoir, and concludes with a refreshing aid station at Finnon Reservoir.  Replenished you will experience the thrilling descent to the historic Mosquito Road Suspension Bridge (originally put into service in 1867).  Pause to take in the view then get out of the saddle for the climb up to Placerville. This portion of the canyon is the centerpiece of the ride and you will want your camera!

Following a delicious lunch ponder a miner’s life as you ride down historic Main St Placerville.  This stretch of road is part of the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway turns 102 this year!

GOLD NUGGET PLUS! – 3 Aid Stations, Lunch Stop, & Post Ride Dinner.                 81.5 miles, 7,585’ climbing
Extend the fun riding through the vineyards and orchards of the Apple Hill area.   part way up the El Dorado Trail to access the orchards and vineyards of Apple Hill.  An aid station at Jack Russell Brewery (not recommended but tasty $ beer samples) will whet your whistle until your arrival at the lunch site for more sustenance.

THE MOTHERLODE – Century –  4 Aid Stations, Lunch Stop, & Post Ride Dinner.   95.2 miles, 9,177′ climbing
The Motherlode Century is the whole enchilada.  It shares all of the beauty of the Gold Nugget route with the addition of the tour through Apple Hill, and the Weber Creek loop.

Later on where the Gold Nugget riders turn downhill, you, the durable, persevere through the Weber Creek drainage with a last aid station and a unique stream crossing valet you can choose to ride or have our friendly valets carry your bike across.  If you feel you need to get a full 100 miles in check out the optional routes below.  Massage, showers, dinner, live music and beverages await you at our riverside camp!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * OTHER COLOMA/LOTUS VALLEY RIDES
The following are suggestions for further exploration of the area. They are not part of the event, and are not supported.

PROSPECTOR GRADE – 7.4 miles, 1,367’ climbing
This climb up Prospector Grade and descent down Marshall Grade offers a nice workout and a rewarding panoramic view of the Coloma Valley.

Thompson Hill Loop – 8.9 Miles, 1188′ of climbing
This short loop offers a sampling of what Gold Country cycling is all about.  A short climb, a quiet contemplative stretch, and a short but fast descent.  This includes the Highway 153 (shortest CA highway) piece and a spin through the Gold Discovery State Park.

Highway 153 – 3.3 Miles, 302′ of Climbing

Just to say you did it!

Reported to be the shortest Highway in California State Route 153 at .5 miles in length is a very short and very scenic ride through history.


Get a glimpse of some of the Gold Nugget 63, 77, and 83, or Motherlode 97 mile routes on You Tube