This east-west road over Henness Pass, said to be the last trans-Sierra backcountry road, is named for Patrick Henness, who developed the pass in 1849 or 1850 into a Gold Rush-era route. With the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859 at Virginia City, it became the main route between there and Marysville. Declining mine production and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 reduced use to local traffic. Near the west end, at the confluence of Oregon Creek and the Middle Yuba, drive through the Oregon Creek covered bridge (ca. 1862). East of Camptonville is Sleighville House, a Gold Rush-era stage stop. Side trips go to the old mining towns of Forest City and Alleghany. West of Jackson Meadow Res. the road follows a ridge between the North and Middle Yuba rivers, providing excellent views, particularly of Sierra Buttes. At Kyburz Flat there are rock-art sites. At the east end, drive up 8,444-foot Verdi Peak.
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