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Level: Advanced
Length: 16 mi (25.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +503/2 ft
Total: 245 riders

Mountain Biking Downieville Downhill

*****   Add a review
#1 of 1,000 mountain bike trails in California
#6 in the world

17 MILES OF DOWNHILL AND 5000 VERT. DROP!!! Its been profiled in three or four mountain biking magazines. Singletrack for 85% of ride. steep technical on top with creek crossings, faster high speed on lower area called 2nd divide, waterfalls, swimming holes, long suspension style bridges, and getting rockier each year, go soon! MTB magazines said possibly the best singletrack in the West!

First added by dppaladino on Jun 14, 2005. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Downieville go Hwy 49 North East past Sierra City to Bassetts, turn left go 1 mile turn left over bridge take first right turn follow signs to Packer Saddle-Start. This about 20 or more miles from town, and during the summer season, Coyote Adventures offers shuttles a few times a day right to the start-call them. Do this because the loop is about 35 miles and the road is flat out dangerous to ride on! The views up on top of Packer Saddle are sweeeeeeet! Go down pavement, stay right turns to dirt quickly then look for drop in on left side of dirt road called Butcher Ranch, This trail needs GOOD working brakes and bring lots of the nessessary tools and extra tube, you are out in the boonies here.
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Downieville Downhill Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

(on Oct 6, 2019)
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Trail conditions

(on Nov 17, 2019)
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Camping & Lodging

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Downieville Downhill videos

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Downieville CA
Downieville Downhill
Downieville, CA
Downieville 2009
Downieville in November
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Downieville, California

Advanced | 17 mi
| 14 mi
| 15 mi
| 2 mi

Rider questions

Q: how much money to get in
A: 20 bucks a person for shuttle at Yuba Expeditions

Q: With the new pct realignment how much extra ascent is there for the nearly 8kft descent?
A: The pct realignment trail is called gold valley rim trail. It's roughly 800-900 ft climbing.for the 8kft descent you have to climb another 1500ft to the top of the butter lookout tower. Ride gold valley rim if you want to ride big Boulder or pauley Creek.

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  • Matt Bacola

    Best trail I've ever ridden!

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  • JeffEvanForbes

    I don't have much to add as other reviewers nailed the trail description. This was my first time out here and this run has everything you'd ever want in a mtb ride. The drops weren't too big, the boulders were doable and even easy at speed, and the flow was apparent through the whole 15 mile stretch. Sickest ride I've had thus far.

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  • socalalan99

    Truly amazing, once in a lifetime biking experience. The scenery is priceless and the ride is legendary. **** super important: be sure to have a reliable trail app on your phone loaded before you head out. You do not want to get lost here!!! We used AllTrails and it saved us a dozen times from going the wrong way. .... generally for advanced riders and not the faint of heart. There's a handful of areas with very narrow single tracks - fall to the side and you might be in some very serious trouble. Coupe riders we went with were intermediate level, managed to get through it but not without lots of concern. ... don't miss this one, 1,000% worth getting there!!!

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  • chefmark

    Really a great trail
    You should ride it at least once in your life

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  • lhogue

    Consistently ranked as one of the best Mtn. Biking areas in the US for a reason. Greg and the guys from Downieville Outfitters are up on the trails early in the Spring grooming them perfectly and have been doing it for over 20 years. A couple of days are necessary and if you're like me, you can make it an annual stop on wherever your Mtn. Biking adventure takes you.

    Downieville Outfitters shuttle you to the top for 14 miles of shear enjoyment. The Flowy, banked sections of Sunshine at the top take you to Butcher Ranch for some fast technical fun, and finally down to the third divide, which is a ripping fast banked flow trail that crosses creeks has just enough bumps and has some awesome views along the way.

    This ride can be done in an hour and change and a second shuttle can be caught to go catch either Pauley Creek or Big Boulder loop. These rides start at the same drop point with the shiuttle, but at the fire road crossing at the Butcher Creek entrance you'll hang a right and begin to climb. Not a super taxing climb, but it IS a long, slow grind. Once at the top you'll catch some more amazing flow trails through the woods with more sweeping fast turns and nicely positioned drops that tie back into the 3rd/2nd divide sections of the Downieville Downhill. Spend a couple of days doubling up these rides and another day or two exploring some of the other trails. Having ridden everywhere from the Rocky's west and from Whistler to San Diego, I would recommend Downieville be put on top of every bucket list.

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  • Alex Thor Johnson

    pretty dope used downieville outfitters $20 shuttle.

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  • Holly Cass

    Took my 9 yr old who proved to be a bad ass. The drops and water sections were our favorite. Butcher proved to have some really fun berms as well. We showed up with our turner crew and had a great day! Love this and can't wait to come back next year!

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  • Philip Momber

    Sunrise trail was still closed because of snow when I was there on 05/27/16. There were huge snow drifts on the road about a half mile from the sunrise trail head but you can still hike/ride through the snow about 2 miles along butcher ranch road to ride butcher ranch trail right now

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  • Philip Momber

    Sunrise trail was still closed because of snow when I was there on 05/27/16. There were huge snow drifts on the road about a half mile from the sunrise trail head but you can still hike/ride through the snow about 2 miles along butcher ranch road to ride butcher ranch trail right now

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    We had Yuba Expeditions ( great not for profit shop) shuttle us up to the top of Sunrise, from there we did Butcher Ranch, to Third Divide to First Divide. The trail was a lot of fun and there is lots of speed to be had. It was very dry and dusty, and rather easy to lose control ( which I did on third divide). Lots of rocks but nothing you can't either ride or hike a bike over. Not a ton of climbing ( we only climbed 1285 in the 17 miles).

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  • Linda Bransford Peterson

    I'm a intermediate downhill and beginner uphill (which means I have no uphill endurance) rider I hiked-a-bike more then a bit and white knuckled 50% of the downhill..Some nice flowing downhill sections mixed with a good amount of rocks and roots. I will be doing this again but next time I'll have a better fitness level.

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  • cgreen5150

    Absolutely EPIC! Definitely the most intense ride I've ever done. Very little climbing - just bombing downhill. First time there, but the trail seemed to be in great shape. A must ride!

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  • cgreen5150
    Reviewing Butcher Ranch:

    If you're riding any of the trails in Downieville, you have to ride this. Great trail with a little bit of everything thrown in. Good flowy sections and technical rock gardens. Drops, decents, berms - it's all here. For the most part the trail was in great shape. Go ride!!

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  • waterwall

    Go early in the season to ride the trail before it gets beat up. Beautiful views of the river, great little town. Fun times. Go shred the gnar!

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  • jrsnot

    Rode this as part of a day long Downiville trip and loved every foot of these trails. Took a 5 inch travel trail bike and had a great time, but I think a longer travel bike would have been a smoother and faster ride.

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  • John Fisch
    Reviewing Sunrise Trail:

    This is an excellent "warmup" at the beginning of the Downieville Downhill. Beautiful woods and tight singletrack make for a great start.

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  • John Fisch
    Reviewing Butcher Ranch:

    1 to what Greg said. This is the centerpiece and highlight of the classic Downieville Downhill. Fast gnar at its best.

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