Calling all thrill-seekers! Downieville Downhill offers a jaw-dropping 17 miles of downhill biking with a 5,000-foot vertical drop. Nestled in Downieville, California, this loop trail has gained notoriety in several mountain biking publications and ranks consistently as one of the best mountain biking spots in the U.S.
From Downieville, take Highway 49 Northeast past Sierra City to Bassetts. Make a left, go a mile, and turn left over a bridge, then take your first right and follow signs to Packer Saddle-Start. It’s about 20+ miles from Downieville. Coyote Adventures offers seasonal shuttles, a safer alternative to the dangerous road conditions for cyclists.
The scenery kicks off with breathtaking views from Packer Saddle. You'll start on pavement that quickly turns to dirt. Look for a drop-in on the left side called Butcher Ranch. Good working brakes are mandatory, and pack all the essential tools and an extra tube. You are, after all, in remote territory.For variety, the route blends fast and flowing downhill sections with more technical rock gardens, drops, and berms. The ride culminates in a fast, banked flow trail at the Third Divide, boasting creek crossings and panoramic views.
Whether you're a seasoned mountain biker or an intermediate looking to up the ante, Downieville Downhill is a ride to put at the top of your bucket list. It combines natural beauty, technical challenges, and high-speed thrills in a ride that’s described by many as 'legendary.' It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is 1,000% worth getting to.