Located in the Sierra Valley, Loyalton is a perfect venue for photographic and painting excursions. Outskirted by expansive fields of green alfalfa and harvested hay, the seasonal water channels meet dense, pine forests. Numerous owls inhabit old, rustic barns that are scattered throughout the valley and that date back to original settlers. Excellent artistic opportunities occur from public roads.
The greatest asset is its people, who welcome the involvement of all those who live and work in the city of Loyalton and Sierra Valley, so as to partner together in making this community one of excellence. Loyalton promotes local, engaging events, advanced education (Visit Our Schools), local arts and culture, and great, safe neighborhoods, all of which exist in concert with the natural Sierra environment.
The City of Loyalton is dedicated to delivering sound municipal services and being responsive to the needs of the entire community. It places great emphasis on family, children, and senior inclusiveness and is committed to preserving history, culture, and its unique, rural character.
Birding in Sierra Valley is very popular, because the valley is a collision of various microclimates and habitats, consisting of grasses, streams and rivers, high desert lakes, tumbleweed and sage, wetlands, and conifer forests. Where else would you find an eagle feeding near a den of barn swallows or sand cranes nesting near a river’s watershed? At the right time of year, it is possible to see over one hundred species of birds in a day by starting at Yuba Pass in early morning, continuing through the valley, and ending at Frenchmans Lake to the east.
The rural highways leading into Loyalton offer paved bicycling routes around and through the valley. Many bicycling events are held throughout the Sierra Valley and through Loyalton, including the Agony Ride and the Tour de Manure. The valley is frequently used as training grounds for those readying for endurance races. Loyalton and Sierra Valley remain a must for true cycling enthusiasts.
The area is one of the most unspoiled places in the West for outdoors enthusiasts. Jackson Meadows Reservoir lies east on the Henness Pass Road and is one of the top fishing and camping lakes in the Northern Sierra Nevada. Little Truckee River Falls (also referred to as Webber Falls) lies only three minutes off the road and is one of the best waterfalls of the Eastern Sierra. It lies on Sierra Pacific Industries’ lands, with courtesy access to the public. Frenchman Lake on the northeast side of Sierra Valley is also popular, with productive fishing, swimming, and camping area. Lake Davis, at the northwest end of the valley, is one of the best bass and trout lakes in the West.
Sierra County itself is comprised of two very different geographical areas. To the west side of the Yuba Pass, are mountainous canyons and rivers that welcome the weekend gold panner. To the east side of the pass is the home of Loyalton — the five-thousand-foot-high Sierra Valley. The valley is said to have been an ancient lakebed, once part of Lake Lahontan, an inland ocean. Lahontan was a large endorheic lake that existed during the ice age, covering much of northwestern Nevada, extending into northeastern California and southern Oregon. During this most recent glacial period, Lake Lahontan would have been one of the largest lakes in North America. Sierra Valley is the largest alpine valley in the Sierra Nevada range; some claim it is the largest alpine valley in North America.
More than seventy percent of the county contains national forest lands managed by the Plumas, Tahoe, and Toiyabe National Forests. The Sierra Valley and the surrounding areas of Sierra County are a splendid vacation playground. Activities during the valley’s agreeable summer season include 4-H, school sports, camping, birding, horseback riding, photography, swimming, boating, fishing, shopping, hiking, visiting Indian remains and petroglyphs, hunting, mountain biking, off-roading, and mud bogging. During the winter, the area lends itself to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and just sitting by a toasty fire.