This is an epic gravel tour through the northern Sierras. It has a little bit of everything: big climbs along the sierra range, cruises across bucolic valleys, and even a ride over a massive volcano (Mt Lassen National Park). The distances between resupplies are, thankfully, very reasonable.
The route is roughly: 60% gravel, 35% pavement, and 5% singletrack. Given that you’ll be riding a loaded bike through some sections that have chunky gravel and rocks, using tires that have some tread and are at least 45mm wide is a wise choice.
GPX Tracks & Waypoints
“TOPLESS” ROUTE CHANGE COMING FOR 2023
Due to the above-average snowfall this winter, the 2023 route will not likely climb over the top of Mt Lassen. Instead, we’ll do a “topless” alternate route.
After we reach the Caribou Wilderness (lower region of Mt Lassen), we’ll turn southwest and head towards Chester. Then, after Portola, the route will head east, skipping the overlapping section in the Sierra Valley. Then, it will turn south towards Truckee using gravel roads in the Tahoe National Forest. The alternate will be similar to the normal route in terms of distance (450 miles) and elevation gain (30K ft).
Historically, when there has been this much snowpack (in Feb), the road over Lassen opened by June 10th only 35% of the time. So we’ll plan on doing the “topless” alternate route. However, in May, if the snow levels suggest that Mt Lassen will likely open in time, we’ll revert back to the normal TruLassen route that climbs over Mt Lassen.
For planning purposes, you can check out the 2022 TruLassen tracks and waypoints below (click the title of the map below).
The 2023 route will be posted by mid-May.
California Base Maps for Garmin GPS devices
If you are using a Garmin eTrex GPS device, it’s helpful to have topo maps installed on your GPS device, so you can see elevation, rivers, roads, etc. along the route. If you have a PC and a Garmin GPS, follow these instructions to upload free, California maps to your device.