top of page


Upcountry Road Improvements in Calaveras County

On September 9, 2015, east of the California foothill town of Jackson in Amador County, a PG&E power line came into contact with brush and sparked flames that grew into a wildfire that jumped the Mokelumne River into Calaveras County. That fire, known as the Butte fire, eventually killed two people, destroyed nearly 1000 structures, and burned over 70,000 acres across two counties. The impacts to Calaveras citizens, economy, and landscape were devastating.

The Butte Fire caused significant damage to road segments above Highway 49 in Mountain Ranch, Sheep Ranch, Railroad Flat and along Jesus Maria Road. These small county roads are the life-lines for the tiny rural communities in the mountains, and Calaveras County Public Works is currently spending $14.6 million dollars to repair and repave at least 24 county road segments that are within the Butte Fire burn scar or were damaged by emergency access use.

The road repairs make bike riding in these upcountry communities more accessible and desirable. These upcountry roads have been popular with cyclists since the late 1970’s, but, poor road conditions have discouraged cycling tourism. The current road improvements will make Calaveras a go-to cycling destination for cyclist and bike tour companies.

San Andreas and Mokelumne Hill are centrally located at the base of upcountry hill climbs allowing avid cyclists access to the rolling foothills with hill climbs, descents, and of course, spectacular scenery. Traffic on upcountry roads is light, although cyclists should be cautious when riding.

Calaveras County Upcountry

Seven Routes, 200 miles of roads, 18,700 feet of climbing

San Andreas, Jesus Maria Road and Old Gulch Road (Loop)

Jesus Maria to Whiskey Slide to Mountain Ranch (Out and Back)

Calaveritas Road to Old Gulch Road(Out and Back)

Calaveritas, Fricot City Road to Rite of Passage School (Out and Back)

San Andreas, Hawver Road to Jesus Maria Gravel Ride

San Andreas, Pool Station Road (Out and Back)

San Andreas to Angels Camp and/or Murphy’s

Jesus Maria Road

Please review this showcase area and tell us what you think!

Are these the popular bike routes you like to ride currently?

What bike destinations or routes would you like to visit/ride to in the future?

Do you have Safety concerns within any Showcase Area?

Do you have any ideas for supportive amenities (signage, repair services, bike racks, etc) that would encourage bike riding in the Showcase Areas?

Email comments to

The road improvements identified in the list below will be completed by fall of 2023, based on available funding.


bottom of page