Photo © Frank Sanchez
While the stores and restaurants of yesteryear have long since closed, Goodyear's Bar offers nuggets of history, magnificent scenery and serves as the starting point for adventures. Goodyear's Bar is home to the trailhead for the North Yuba Trail connecting Downieville to Indian Valley, and is also a popular river put in on the Yuba.
If you look to your left at the Mountain House Road turnoff, you will see Saddleback Mountain Summit which lies about four miles to the north, at an elevation of 6,621 feet.
Following down Mountain House Road, you will come to the Goodyear's Bar Bridge, spanning the North Yuba River. This bridge was damaged by the floods of 1997, repaired and raised to avoid the damage of future deluges. A plaque on the northern end gives a brief historical account of the town’s origins.
Beyond the bridge visitors arrive at a T-Intersection. To the right, one continues on Mountain House Road and quickly arrives at the St. Charles Hotel (see pictures). The hotel was constructed in 1852 (the same year Sierra County was established) and offered patrons a bar and dance hall, but was lost to fire in 1864. The hotel was rebuilt and continued to serve guests until the mid-1950s when it was converted to a private residence. The road beyond the hotel connects to the Henness Pass Road and the small towns of Forrest City, Alleghany and Pike.
Turning left at the T-Intersection sends visitors down Old Toll Bridge Road, which parallels Highway 49 which lies to the north. The first attraction is nearly a stones thrown from the turn, on the left, the Goodyear's Bar School and Community Hall. The small structure has served the residents of Goodyear's Bar since 1862, first as a school house for 52 children and has since housed numerous community and religious functions.
A few hundred feet beyond the school/community hall, Pebble Street connects at an acute angle (don’t drive too fast, or you’ll miss it) and leads visitors to the Goodyear's Bar Cemetery which lies just above the intersection. The cemetery inters some of the earliest settlers of the region and offers a nice view of Grizzly Peak to the north.
For further reading, please visit http://www.malakoff.com/goldcountry/goodyear.htm ; “Sierra City and Goodyear's Bar” by James J. Sinnott