Ride to the Old West town of Colfax starting from Downtown historic Grass Valley. Grass Valley’s claim to historic fame is embedded in the vast amounts of gold discovered and extracted from its rich underground mines. In more than 100 years of mining, the mines of Grass Valley made it the richest of all California gold mining towns.
Originally known as Alder Grove, Colfax began as a winter camping spot for trappers and gold miners in the mid 1800s. Soon a camp grew into a village and the name was changed to Illinoistown. When the railroad was designed, the grade they selected bypassed Illiniostown and the entire town was uprooted and moved to its present location. The name was again changed to Colfax in honor of Schulyer Colfax, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, who visited the town in 1865 while inspecting progress of construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad. He later became Vice President under U.S. Grant. Today, entrance to the town sits alongside Interstate 80, while historic U.S. Route 40 runs through the historic downtown area (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_40#California). Passenger and freight trains still travel through, and Colfax, with its historic depot, is a stop on the Amtrak line. Known as the “Gateway” to the High Sierra Mountains, our motto is, “Above the Fog, Below the Snow”.
Colfax is also mentioned in Chapter 26 of, Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne.