At an elevation of approximately 5,000’, the huge valley is the largest alpine valley in the Sierra Nevada range. Tucked at the base of the eastern slope of the Sierras, the Sierra Valley communities include Sierraville, Sattley, Calpine and Loyalton.
Known as the valley ranch communities, in the 1850s these communities provided dairy products, hay, and cattle for Truckee and the western Sierra County and Comstock Mines and proved to be one of the finest agricultural regions of California during that time. The lumber industry was also part of the agricultural economy. Sierra Valley timber supplied the Comstock mines, Central Pacific Railroad, and California fruit industry till the early 1900s when there was a decline in the timber demands with the closing of mines in California.
In present day times, much of the population has been devoted to cattle-raising and farming. The mountain valley reflects life as it used to be in much of the west. Amidst century-old barns built by early ranchers, herds of cattle graze on 120,000 acres of valley floor consisting of a grassland and sagebrush ecosystem and extensive freshwater marshes. These marshes are also part of a major flyway for migrating birds and therefore provide excellent bird-watching locations.
Once a thriving mill town, Calpine was built as a company-owned sawmill town for the Davies- Johnson Lumber Company and its 500 workers. Surrounded by National Forestry Land, now it is a quaint town of less than 350 people. Numerous golf courses – Whitehawk, Graeagle Meadows, Plumas Pines, and Feather River Resort – are a short drive away in the charming community of Graeagle. The majority of homes in the community are summer cabins though several full time residents live in this serene community for its beauty, peace and quiet.
Originally known as Smith’s Neck, Loyalton was renamed by mountaineers who were loyal Union men. Its population is comprised of ranchers, loggers, former loggers, or suburbanites escaping from the growing Reno-Tahoe area. Because Loyalton is Sierra County's most populous municipality and it’s only incorporated city, it offers several of the county’s services, an elementary, middle and high school and several businesses.
This a very small community of less than 50. There is no commercial development. On the edge of the valley, against the hills, Sattley offers remnants of both early ranching and logging with its old farmhouses, barns and stunning view of the valley.
Located at the intersection of Hwys 89 and Hwy 49, Sierraville is the portal to the Sierra Valley from Truckee. Sierraville has one elementary school, a post office, a couple of restaurants and a few businesses including the historic Globe Hotel which serves as lodging for the Sierra Hot Springs Resort and Retreat, just 1 mile away. The majority of the community is ranchers; however, only 30 minutes from Truckee, some full time residents choose to make the scenic commute to work each day.
Plumas County is just an hour northwest of Reno on National Scenic Byway, Highway 70, eastern Plumas and Sierra Counties offer the very best in California rural living. With charming towns, distinctive golf course communities, and thousands of acres of valley and forest land, you’re sure to find just the right spot for your vacation property or year-round home.
Plumas County's only city built by Western Pacific Railroad at the turn of the 20th century, the little company town of Portola has become the hub of eastern Plumas. Both the railroad and the wild and scenic Feather River pass through the middle of this small city, and a classic arched bridge spans the two and connects the north to the south side. Older homes are enjoying new facelifts, and new homes are being built in wonderful older neighborhoods, giving you housing opportunities that are almost unheard of anymore. Portola is the civic center for the east county where you will find out- standing medical services, including trauma and cardiac care, schools, a library, parks, shopping, and more.
Located in Plumas County just between Oroville, CA and Reno, NV along Highway 70 near Bucks Lake. Quincy is not far from Lassen Volcanic National Park and many other local points of interest. Quincy is the county seat of Plumas County and the hub of all activity.
Graeagle is a quaint resort community. All those cute red buildings aren’t just some of the neatest shops you’ve ever explored; they were once home to the mill workers who supplied lumber to the gold mines and towns that once flourished here. Graeagle’s new gold rush is its incredible charm, some of the best golf courses in California, and world-class dining establishments. Add to that a recreation paradise at Lakes Basin just minutes away and the historic ghost town, Johnsville, is nearby. It’s the perfect mix for vacation or year-round living.
Along Highway 70 in the valley are the hamlets of Chilcoot, Vinton, and Beckwourth. Each community has been a gathering center for generations of ranchers, farmers, and townsfolk. Catch a cowboy poetry show at the grange hall in Vinton and get a taste for the way life was—and continues to be—in this wonderful, magical place.
Gold Mountain is a gated community planned by Taliesin, the architectural firm of Frank Lloyd Wright. The surrounding area has something for everyone: golfing at the Nakoma Golf Resort, fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, skiing, boating and kayaking in Lakes Basin, snow shoeing, amazing star gazing and dining. The area is renowned for its fabulous Sierra golf courses. Also try the beautiful Whitehawk and Graeagle Meadows golf courses each located about 15 minutes from Gold Mountain.
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