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America's Most Iconic Drives

America's Most Iconic Drives: Gold Rush Highway 49, California

INTERFOTO / Alamy

Gold Rush Highway 49, California

This winding, two-lane highway passes dozens of carefully preserved Victorian-era mining camps, dusty ghost towns, deep canyons, rushing rivers, and oak-covered foothills. Highway 49 also takes in the historic Mother Lode gold mining district, where the Golden State got its start.

Where to Stop: The Empire Mine—the oldest, richest, and largest gold mine in California—has been preserved as a state park at the heart of the gorgeous artists’ community of Grass Valley. empiremine.org

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