Sierra City is a census-designated place in Sierra County, California, United States. The elevation of Sierra City is 5,407 feet (1,648 m), and the town is situated in the canyon of the North Yuba River on California State Route 49, twelve miles northeast of the county seat of Sierra County, Downieville. A sheer rock peak known as the Sierra Buttes, 7,818 feet high, is just 1.6 miles from Sierra City and towers over the town. The population was 221 at the 2010 census.
Historic buildings that remain in Sierra City include the two-story brick Busch Building, which the Wells Fargo Company occupied in the 19th century, and the Masonic Lodge, both of which sit on the town's main street, which is Highway 49. The town hall, a log structure, was built after World War II, and a new post office, dedicated in 1969, features stone work in which antique mining implements, including an ore-car, are embedded. The Bigelow House, a Victorian structure, is situated near the town's southwestern limits. The cemetery contains gravestones dating back to the 1860s.
Today the town-limits signs list Sierra City's population as 225. The main industry is tourism. None of the nearby hard-rock mines are in operation, but the Kentucky mine just outside the town limits, now houses a mining museum. In the summer months, fishing in the North Yuba and its tributaries and in nearby Alpine lakes is popular, as is mountain-biking, placer-mining, and hiking. The Pacific Crest Trail is quite nearby. The nearest public school is 12 miles away in Downieville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²), 99.99% of it land and 0.01% of it water.