Cool / Coloma Region
This area is rich in history - Coloma is where gold was discovered
along the American River in 1848. The news of this discovery lead to
the Gold Rush of '49 - and eventually lead to California's statehood.
Coloma is well worth exploring when visiting. Cool is slightly to
the north of Coloma, and higher in elevation (1500' versus 760').
Most of this area documented below is rural and below 2500 feet elevation.
As such, it can be very warm in the summer, so plan your rides accordingly
(start early if it's going to be a warm day).
Shop: Road bikes / Mtn. Bikes - Phone: 622-3015.
1307 Broadway St., Placerville.
Open from 9:30 - 6:00 (Monday - Friday), and from 9:30 - 4:00 on
Gold Country Cyclery:
Recumbents / Tandems - Phone: 676-3305 3830 Dividend
Drive, Shingle Springs.
Open from 11:00 - 5:00 pm (Wednesday-Friday); and 11-5 (Saturday).
Time to Ride: Most of these rides can be ridden year
round. However as noted above, summers can be very warm - even hot -
so if you're planning a ride here- especially on the warmer summer days -
it may be best to start early in the morning. This especially
applies to any ride that includes Prospectors Road whose climb is stiff
and has very little shade.
As a general rule of thumb, rides tend to average about 10-14 miles per
hour. Climbing overall is approximately 100 feet/mile (so a 20 mile
ride has about 2000 feet total climbing).
Rides in this area include:
(13 miles) Although the distance is relatively short, there is more
climbing per mile than most other rides listed - which is why it borders
on the difficult rating. Don't let that discourage you though. Thompson
Hill Rd is a wonderful scenic road with little traffic, and makes all the
climbing worth while. The climb up Lotus Rd is stiff, but it gives you
breaks, and the shoulder is wide here. Only downside to this ride is the
relatively short section on Cold Springs Rd which can have moderate to
(29 miles) Okay... so you want to practice your hill climbing? This
is the ride for you! Prospectors Grade is known as one of the three
toughest hill climbs in El Dorado County (Slug Gulch and Snows Rd being
the other two). Only 2 miles long, there are no breaks once you start, and
it's guaranteed to get your heart pounding. The second major hill climb
(after Chili Bar) is still stiff, but is not nearly as difficult as
compared to Prospectors Grade. This route though does give you a rest
in-between the two climbs with some very pleasant cycling on Garden Valley
Rd. Gold Hill Rd is also a gem. Only drawback to this ride is the initial
heavy traffic on Highway 49 for the first 4 miles. Great scenery along the
way, and the descents on Lotus Rd and Highway 193 are absolutely
(28 - 32 miles) This ride is also known as the "Georgetown
Grunt", but don't let the name discourage you. It's a beautiful
ride, and the most difficult climbing is completed in the first 3 miles.
After that, it's mostly rolling hills - with one moderate climb the
last mile to Georgetown. If riding during the hot summer months,
best to start the ride in the morning - as Prospectors Road has very
little shade - and very few breaks during the climb. The town of
Georgetown is absolutely delightful and well worth the time to explore.
The town of Cool has restaurants, a deli and a grocery store... a good
place to stop before the final 10 miles on Highway 49 back to the starting
point. The main ride is the 32 mile one that goes through Georgetown.
If short on time, you can shave off 4 miles by going on Greenwood Road and
(42 - 45 miles) This is a great Winter or Spring time ride, though it can
be throughout the year. Salmon Falls Rd is narrow, but beautiful. The
climb from Salmon Falls Recreation Area up to Pilot Hill is stiff, but the
scenery keeps you going. Groceries are available in Coloma, Rescue and (if
taking Alternate 1 path) Cameron Park. The other route (Alternate 2) is 4
miles longer and takes you on quieter roads bypassing Cameron Park.
|Comparative Elevation Profiles: