Frequently Asked Questions
How hard are the trails?
The trails are Intermediate to Advanced depending on what you are willing to ride. There are no surprises on the downhill specifically. There are no sheer drop offs. Any type of technical section can be seen ahead of time at which point you can opt to either ride or jump off your bike and hike it. It's all exercise, so it is no big deal however please be courteous to riders coming up behind you.
Can a beginner ride in Downieville?
You need to have some experience on a bike to ride Downieville, however it is not a prerequisite. The trail is mostly singletrack, so agility and balance are the most important factors.
Can I ride my hardtail on these trails?
You most certainly can, but it will be bumpier and so you should wear good quality full-finger gloves. Also, the V-brakes can get dusty, wet and hot so it is best to keep a rag in your pocket to wipe the rims if neccesssary.
3 downhills later...
What is the Downhill like?
The dowhill is a great fitness ride. It descends a whopping 4000', but it does so over the course of 15 miles so you have a good deal of pedalling however you don't spend a lot of time in the saddle.
How long is the trail?
The trail can be longer than 15 miles if you take Big Boulder, Pauley Creek or Lavazzola at the top of the downhill instead of Butcher. Additionally, taking the 2nd Divide will add time to your run since it is a little bit longer but takes quite a bit longer since it involves lots of climbing.
What is the elevation loss?
We drop you off at elevation 7000'/Packer Saddle where you ride on mostly singletrack back to Downieville at elevation 1800'.
How technical is the trail?
The trail is only as technical as you make it. At it's easiest it is Intermediate.
How long does it take to ride the trail?
The fastest time is 37-38 minutes. The extreme bikers can do it in under and hour. The average biker does it in an hour and a half and the biker who takes breaks or has a mechanical on the trail does it in 2 hours or more.
How's the fishing?
The fishing is excellent. Call Bassett's Station, Sierra Country Store, Sardine Lake Resort, Packer Lake Resort (all in Sierra City, see Dining page for phone numbers) for fishing info and licenses. Sierra Hardware is the place to go if you are in Downieville. Mostly there is Rainbow, Brown and Brookie. Of course, you have to ask the locals where to find the Brown stashes.
Can my teenage child do the downhill without a parent?
Depending on the skills of the rider it is possible. It is not reccommended for a beginner or to be done by themselves. Best advise is to bring a friend and have a walkie-talkie radio or GPS. Speak to the shop about estimated ride times, but basically plan on 2 hrs for the ride and 45 mins for the shuttle.