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Doin' the Diggin's

Dennis R Austin  | Published on 4/7/2019

Girls Jeep
This trio had the early spring 4-wheeling spirit!
More photos in the Trail Album 

It has been a big winter and a late spring, so finding a trail without deep snow was a challenge.  We decided on a trail through some of the hydraulic mining areas mostly because of the low elevations, but also because it was an area where we had no experience.  You can see on the map that the trail is supposed to start in Grass Valley, but that is a pretty long way so we tried to take a shortcut across the Bear River starting at Magra.  We got across the river by the Chicago Park power station, but further access has been blocked by a gate.  Apparently the area had been extensively abused by various yahoos and closure was the result.

We retraced our steps back to I-80 and had to restart our trip by entering from Highway 174 instead.  That was no problem, but we soon found that completing the loop would not be possible because we could not ford Greenhorn Creek at this time of year.  

The trip became an out-and-back on Chalk Bluff Road, but we were able to visit the diggings at the nineteenth century towns of Red Dog and You Bet.  There were numerous mud holes this time of year (it rained heavily the day before our outing) so at least we had the satisfaction of getting dirty on these mild roads.

Diggings Loop Map


The map shows a yellow trace for the basic Three Diggings Loop.  The purple route shows the path we attempted from Magra when we got blocked at the Bear River.  It also shows a shortcut on the east that we thought we might need to avoid snow.

Incidentally, Carl Hayden really wanted to see the other side of the creek so he returned the next day and made it across.  He completed the full loop that we had originally planned.