Latitude / Longitude:
39°06′31″N 120°51′34″W / 39.10861°N 120.85944°W / 39.10861 -120.85944
2,861 ft (872 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Iowa Hill (formerly, Iowa City) is an unincorporated community in Placer County, California. The town is located 6.5 miles northwest of Foresthill 9 miles east of Colfax and 58 miles northeast of Sacramento. It lies at an elevation of 2861 ft. The community relies completely upon solar panels and generators for power. Population is around 200 people. Iowa Hill Road claims a small handful of lives every decade, and along with its “off grid” status, prevents the town from growing in population. The community boasts many hardcore cyclists and is appealing to visitors due to the abundance of recreational opportunities.
Iowa Hill Road is a very steep, one-lane, winding road embedded within the mountains. There are no safety guardrails. Since ambulance service from Colfax takes a long time, emergency medical transport is supplemented by CALSTAR, the area’s air rescue helicopter. A landing pad is located next to the town fire house.
In 1920 a fire took hold that virtually destroyed the town. What remains is an old Wells Fargo vault, the old fire house, a couple of other old buildings, and two cemeteries. Iowa Hill is now registered as California Historical Landmark #401.
In 1851 or 1852, miners from Iowa discovered gold here. The Iowa City post office opened in 1854. Stores, breweries, saloons, fraternal lodges, homes, a church, school, and Temperance Hall are examples of businesses thriving in Iowa Hill in the mid-1850s. The town was producing about one hundred thousand dollars per week in gold in 1867. In 1901, the post office changed its name to Iowa Hill.