The route starts out with an early descent on gravel to the Yuba River. Once you’ve reached the Yuba River at mile 6.5, you begin your first major ascent as you regain a thousand feet over the next two miles of gravel. Some relief comes in the form of a 5 mile paved section of roadway before giving way to more rugged gravel roads. At mile 15 you’ll begin a mixed terrain approach to historic Malakoff Diggins State Park. Over the next 10 miles you’ll crest the first major summit of the race around 4,000′ before making your way all the way back to the Yuba River at 2,600′, and the town of Washington. What comes next is a 2,000′ climb on pavement to Highway 20 with some pretty epic views. Next up is some singletrack as you make your way back to Nevada City with one more Highway 20 crossing. There are three aid stations along the route. The total route length 54 miles with an impressive 7,200 feet of elevation gain!
The Heart of Gold Gravel is brought to you by Bike Monkey which produces some of the best gravel and road events throughout California and Nevada. Bike Monkey not only produces great experiences, but each event gives back to the community where the event takes place. In the case of the The Heart of Gold, event proceeds benefit several charitable organizations focused on youth mental wellness.
The event host, Nevada City is recognized as California’s best preserved Gold Rush town. It’s an exuberant Victorian era city amid rivers & forest. Nestled in a basin on the Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada, it is framed and protected by ridgetops and promontories. At 2,500 feet above sea level, Nevada City is surrounded by forest. Deer Creek flows through and graces the center of town. It was voted by U.S. travel media as “Most Beautiful” and “Best River Town.”