Downieville Downhill For Mountain Biking

The 70th most popular mountain bike trail in California.

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Northeast of Downieville, the Downieville Downhill is the quintessential mountain biking epic that's on many riders' bucket list. This shuttled mountain bike route combines five main trails over 14 miles with roughly 4,300 feet of descent. Starting up at pine-forested Packers Saddle (7,100 feet) northeast of Downieville, the Downieville Downhill follows Sunrise Trail to Butcher Ranch to Third Divide to Upper First Divide to First Divide before rolling back into downtown Downieville (2,800 feet). Switching back through steep canyons, there are plenty of rocks, roots and jumps on the wild ride down. In addition to the main route, there are several side trails such as Gold Valley Rim Trail to Baby Heads to Pauley Creek, which bypasses Butcher Ranch, and also the Second Divide, which bypasses Third Divide. With the readily available shuttles from Downieville, you can ride this route several times and try out these side trail options on subsequent rides.

If you can arrange your own car drop shuttle, there is now an additional 9 miles of singletrack above Packers Saddle called the Sierra Buttes Overlook Trail. This trail starts at the top of Sierra Buttes (8,591 feet) and descends 1,500 feet to Packers Saddle over 9 miles. Then you can continue down the regular Downieville Downhill route for a total of 23 miles with an epic 6,800 feet of drop. Special thanks to the Yuba Ranger District of the Tahoe National Forest, Sierra County Land Trust and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship for pulling together the Sierra Buttes Overlook Trail!

The Downieville Downhill is the site of the annual Downieville Classic, which follows the main route along with the Baby Heads/ Pauley Creek side route. The 29 mile Classic skips the shuttle from Downieville and start in Sierra City with a 3,000 foot ascent up to Packers Saddle. With the side route, the Downieville Classic has over 5,000 feet of descent.

Overall, Downieville Downhill is the 70th most popular mountain bike trail of all 133 mountain biking rides in California. Several of the better mountain bike trails are nearby Downieville Downhill including Big Boulder Ride, Bullards Bar Loop Trail, South Yuba Loop, North Yuba Trail, Dixie Mountain Route and Homer Lake Ride.


Local Contact(s):  Downieville Tourism (530) 289-3507; Yuba Expeditions shuttle (530) 289-3010; Downieville Outfitters shuttle (530) 289-0155

Recommended Book:  "Northern California Mountain Biking" from Ann Marie Brown

Best Season:  Jun. - Oct.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  Downieville River Inn (800) 696-3308; Carriage House Inn; Cannon Point CG; Union Flat CG

Luxury Loding:  Bucks Lake Lodge; Sierra Shangri-La (530) 289-3455; Downieville Loft; Lure Resort (530) 289-3465

Breakfast Restaurant:  Coyoteville Cafe, Downievlle

Reference Source:  click here

Article Source:   Best Downieville Downhill Mountain Biking Review

GPS:  39.558, -120.827

Date Published:  5/2/2016

Date Updated:  5/15/2018

ID:  11092

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Downieville Downhill Mountain Biking Map

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