Downieville Trail Conditions and Information

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We sell top-of-the-line Santa Cruz bikes, buy one from us and know that proceeds go back to the trails you love to ride. Also, take your first rides in Downieville and our expert mechanics will help you set-up and tweak the bike for maximum performance - that day!

Spring/Summer 2019

July 9th - Wow! That was a late snow-melt season!

Game on! Sunrise trail is open and so is the Gold Valley Rim Trail! That means all the Downieville system trails are melted out and open! Great conditions up high as the snow has kept the dirt damp. It's time to get up here!

June 30th

Upper Butcher is open and clear of snow! Sunrise will be open in a week or two. Start making plans!

June 19th

Thanks to Sierra County, in cooperation with Tahoe National Forest, the road got plowed and cleared all the way to the top of Packer Saddle! There is snow at the top and it is a hike across snow to the beginning of the Butcher Ranch/Downieville Downhill singletrack. Snow will continue to melt quickly and we will keep you informed of Gold Valley Rim and Pauley Creek trail openings as they occur. 

May 30th

Packer Saddle is under 7 feet of snow, but melt out should happen fast. We are taking shuttle reservations for July, so you may want to start planning your trip.

April 28th

We are patiently waiting (not really) for the snow to melt out of the high country and shuttles are not running yet. We are still planning on opening Memorial Day weekend but we will not be shuttling to Packer Saddle.  However, you can ride from town up Third Divide and partway up Big Boulder.  Second Divide is passable but there still might be some lingering patches of snow and some down trees.  North Yuba Extension (Downieville to Goodyear Bar), Halls Ranch, and Fiddle Creek are OPEN.  Come get some early season brown pow and get fit for the upcoming season!  If you have any questions email us at yubaexpeditions@gmail.com.

Also, check out our new location in Quincy.  We are opening May 17 and having a party (of course)!  We will be shuttling partway up Mount Hough.  It is south facing and the snow is melting fast!  There will be plenty of rippin' single track to get your early season fix.  Email us if you have any questions.

Downieville Area Trails:

Sunrise - 1.9 miles - OPEN

Gold Valley Rim Trail - OPEN

Butcher Ranch - 4.0 miles - OPEN

Pauley Creek - 3.5 miles - OPEN

Big Boulder - 3.2 miles - OPEN

Third Divide- 2.8 miles - OPEN

Second Divide - 6.1 miles - OPEN

First Divide - 3.4 miles - OPEN

North Yuba -15.8 miles - CLOSED due to landslide 1 mile below Goodyears Bar - North Yuba Extension is open

Downie River - 3.5 miles - Open

Herkimer Mine/Bunker Hill - 2.7 miles OPEN

Rattlesnake Creek - 3.2 miles OPEN

Lavezzola Creek - 5.1 miles OPEN

Fiddle Creek Ridge - 6.0 miles - OPEN

Halls Ranch - 5.0 miles - OPEN and logged out, very brushy on the section that crosses Little Fiddle Creek

Chimney Rock - 4.8 miles - OPEN

Empire Creek - 2.5 miles - OPEN

Graeagle/Lakes Basin Trails:

Mills Peak - Open

Tamarack - Unknown

Upper Salmon - Unknown

Sierra Buttes - Open

Sardine Lake Overlook - Open

Oakland Pond - Open

Mt. Elwell - Open

Round Lake - Open

Bear Lakes Loop - Open

Grassy Lake Trail - Open

Long Lake - Open

Gray Eagle Creek - Open

Smith Creek - Open

Jamison - Open

Surrounding Area Trails:

Bullards Bar

Forest City

 

Fall 2018

November 23rd

The mountains are taking a nap under a blanket of snow. So we, as well, will take a well deserved rest. See you in spring! We'll have snow melt reports here, so check back when it gets close to melt off and ride time! Usually May sometime.

Sunday November 17th

Amount of smoke: A bit hazy, no heavy smoke. No smoke smell. All shuttles are running this weekend!
Quincy air quality is better than Downieville. Quincy/Mt. Hough shuttle is on.
Current Downieville AQI - We are unsure about the accuracy of this measurement
Current Quincy AQI - This one seems pretty accurate.

Saturday November 17th

Amount of smoke: A bit hazy, no heavy smoke. No smoke smell. All shuttles are running this weekend!
Quincy air quality is better than Downieville. Quincy/Mt. Hough shuttle is on.
If you have a Downieville shuttle reservation and want to switch to Quincy for better air quality, contact the shop.
Current Downieville AQI - We are unsure about the accuracy of this measurement
Current Quincy AQI - This one seems pretty accurate.

Friday November 16 2018

Amount of smoke: Morning is pretty good with it getting worse in the afternoon.
We are considering canceling Saturday and Sunday afternoon Downieville shuttles. Morning shuttles are on for now. You can smell smoke.
Quincy air quality is pretty good, better than Downieville. Quincy/Mt. Hough shuttle is still on.
If you have a Downieville shuttle reservation and want to switch to Quincy for better air quality, contact the shop.
Current Downieville AQI - We are unsure about the accuracy of this measurement
Current Quincy AQI - This one seems pretty accurate.
This page will be updated daily.

Thursday November 15 2018

Amount of smoke: Morning is pretty good with it getting worse in the afternoon.
We are considering canceling Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon Downieville shuttles. Morning shuttles are to be decided.
Quincy air quality is pretty good. Quincy shuttle is still on.
Current Downieville AQI: 70 (Moderate: If you suffer respiratory issues, reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion)
Current Quincy AQI: 80 (Moderate: If you suffer respiratory issues, reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion)

This page will be updated daily.

November 12 2018

The smoke from the Park Fire has eluded us this weekend, no smoke in the valley and no smoke on the top of Packer Saddle, hoping for more of the same.  We are closing for Thanksgiving week to spend time with our families, if a snow storm rolls in during that time, it has a strong possibility to end the season as we are so deep into November. This could be the last weekend of Downieville shuttles, so come and get it while you can! Quincy shuttles are running this Saturday and Sunday as well. There are open spots! Get em!

October 30 2018

November is "Bonus Season" for riding the mountains around Downieville. The summit can be shut down for the year by a big snow storm, and only Mama Nature knows when that will be. Right now we have a forcast of 2 weeks of dry weather. In previous years we have been closed by now. The message of all this is...
Get it before the snow sticks and shuts Downiville riding down for the season!

October 11 2018

This was last weekend - herodirt! We got some extra rain Saturday and Sunday to kick off Tacky Season in the high country! This is the best time of the season to ride Downieville!

Spring 2018

Trails are open!

Follow our Facebook or Instagram feeds to get trail conditions and deals directly from us.

Here is what we did in 2017 to keep the good times on the trail going:

  • 152 Miles of trails maintained
  • 13 Miles of new trails built
  • 398 Fallen trees cleared

...and we have fun doing it! Join us!

June 5th, 2018

All Downieville area trails from Packer Saddle down to town are open and free of snow.

June 4th, 2018

Tower 2 Town Trail is open with a few snow drifts.

May 28, 2018

The new Gold Valley Rim Trail is open with some snow drifts.

May 24, 2018

Sunrise is open with only a couple small drifts!

Empire is unknown.

Lavazolla is open to A tree.

It's been showering all week, the dirt is all time! Get up here!

May 22, 2018

Sunrise is still under snow
Butcher is open
Pauly is open
Big Boulder is clear
The new Gold Valley Rim Trail is probably covered in snow (not yet explored)
Henry and the trail crew are logging out the trails up to the snow line this week.

May 18, 2018

May 12, 2018

April 30th, 2018

Gold Lakes Highway is clear of snow and open! And Packer Lake Road is clear to just past Packer lake!

Lower Country Trail Conditions: April 26th, 2018

It's been hot in town and the now is melting fast! The trails are clear up to around 6k right now (Divide Trails are open). Jake and Jason made it almost to the top of big boulder on Monday. We drove up craycroft to 5600ft before the snow was too deep to drive through. We also heard that the shuttle road is opened up to diablo campground 

Lower Country Trail Conditions: April 16th, 2018

Rode Fiddle and Halls Ranch yesterday and they are better than they've ever been. Fiddle is dialed! Loam town!
We just worked on these trails and widened the super tight switchback for more flow.

April 6th, 2018

We cleared the Divides (1st, 2nd, 3rd Divide) and North Yuba of trees and they are open.
Snow is still about a mile up Butcher.
The snow is melting really fast and with this warm rain things are going to open soon.
In the meantime we have been working on Halls Ranch and Fiddle Creek trails.
Check out our work here.

Lower Country Trail Conditions: February 13, 2018

Lower and Upper First are all clear and running fast.
3rd is all clear second divide has a couple trees down.
Butcher is clear up to just above the waterfall.
North Yuba out of town is clear also.

 

 

2017 reports below:

Tacky Season is on!
Fall is best riding of the Season.

Tacky dirt. No dust. No dust hidden rocks. Minimal dappelled light for clear viewing. Hoot and holler while riding right behind your buddies.

Bonus: Beautiful fall colors and cool temperatures.

Get it before the snow flies!

Update 10.24.17: A nice storm rolled through and made for amazing conditions last weekend. Conditions are still good. Should stay tacky up high until the end of the season.

Update 10.09.17: Dust is back, next rain will tamp it down.

Dirt perfection

Brown Pow photo taken this fall!

 

Downieville Area Trails:

Sunrise - 1.9 miles - SNOW

Butcher Ranch - 4.0 miles - SNOW

Pauley Creek - 3.5 miles - SNOW 

Big Boulder - 3.2 miles - SNOW but can ride about a mile up

Third Divide- 2.8 miles - OPEN

Second Divide - 6.1 miles - Patches of snow at the top

First Divide - 3.4 miles - OPEN

North Yuba -15.8 miles - CLOSED due to landslide 1 mile below Goodyears Bar - North Yuba Extension is open 

Downie River - 3.5 miles - Closed from the top but can ride partway up it.  Expect down trees.

Herkimer Mine/Bunker Hill - 2.7 miles SNOW

Rattlesnake Creek - 3.2 miles  SNOW

Lavezzola Creek - 5.1 miles  CLOSED but can ride partway up it.

Fiddle Creek Ridge - 6.0 miles - OPEN

Halls Ranch - 5.0 miles - OPEN and logged out, very brushy on the section that crosses Little Fiddle Creek

Chimney Rock - 4.8 miles - SNOW

Empire Creek - 2.5 miles -SNOW

 

Graeagle/Lakes Basin Trails:

Mills Peak - OPEN

Tamarack - OPEN

Upper Salmon - OPEN

Sierra Buttes - OPEN

Sardine Lake Overlook - OPEN

Deer Lake - OPEN

Oakland Pond - OPEN

Mt. Elwell - OPEN

Round Lake - OPEN

Bear Lakes Loop - OPEN

Grassy Lake Trail - OPEN

Long Lake - OPEN

Gray Eagle Creek - OPEN

Smith Creek - OPEN

 

Mt Hough / Quicy Trails:

OPEN

 

Surrounding Area Trails:

Bullards Bar

Forest City

 

Trail Work

Every year we clear, log out and repair the trails we love so much. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship trail crew goes through the trails top to bottom with the focus of eliminating braking bumps and rain ruts. We put dirt back in the trail where water and or traffic has moved it. This work involves pick, shovel, McLeod, Pulaski and compaction by hand and with a plate compactor.

3rd Divide Before

3rd Divide After

1st Divide Before

1st Divide After

Big Boulder Before

Big Boulder After

Details Snow Melt Trail Conditions

We document, what trails are open and when on a weekly basis during the snow melt in the spring and the coming of winter in the fall. Track this page for conditions in the shoulder seasons.

July 2, 2017

Sunrise trail is open!!! Riding all trail from the shuttle drop is on. All trails down to Downieville are open. It's on and low dust! Get up here!

June 26, 2017

Big Boulder is open. That means all trails below Sunrise trail are open: Butcher Ranch, Pauly Creek, and Big Boulder.

June 23, 2017

Only 1 snow drift now left to hike over to get to Butcher Ranch trail head (Butcher details below; June 22). We checked out Pauly Creek and it is running great, Baby Heads was awesome, the creek crossing is thigh high, and we are rebuilding the paver section so watch for construction. But it is 15-20 minutes of snow hiking to get to Pauly.

June 22, 2017

The snow hiking/riding from the shuttle drop off is just on the pavement to the top of Butcher Ranch Trail. The upper Butcher Ranch single track is logged out, but has some large snow drifts, but the Butcher Ranch OHV road is mostly free of snow, but has a few trees down. Big melt off is happening now - the snow drifts are shrinking so fast, days to a week to a full ride from the shuttle drop. Get the hero dirt before dust season! Mills Peak has been logged, is clear and has just a few drifts!

June 19, 2017

Snow is melting FAST!  We are shuttling to the top of Packer Saddle and it only takes 10-20 minutes of snow hopping to make it to the hero dirt.  Big Boulder is in great shape but you have to ride it as an out-and-back due to snow.  Pauly Creek is having trees removed and rock work done at the moment and should be ready in a week or so.  If you are riding up from Sierra City plan on about a mile of tough snow hiking to get to Packer Saddle.  

June 16, 2017

We did a recon run of Butcher Ranch yesterday and found the snow hiking/riding from the shuttle drop off is just 35-45 minutes! The route is flagged and the more riders who go through, the faster the route will become. Big melt off coming this week!

June 15, 2017

The road has been plowed to the top! We are OPEN and running shuttles to the top this weekend. To get to the brown pow on the other side, will require about an hour of snow hiking. The snow level on the other side is at the Gorge. The route is flagged. With high temperatures coming this weekend and next week, we expect snow melt off at a brisk pace up from the Gorge.

June 12, 2017

We are OPEN and running shuttles this weekend. Currently the road is plowed to the Steep and Narrows below the pass and we have to drop riders there. The snow level on the other side is at the Gorge. The route is flagged. Quite an adventure. With high temperatures coming this weekend, we expect snow melt off at a brisk pace, and are lobbying to have the road plowed to the top. Soon.

Long Lake trail has big drifts and is a few weeks out.

June 8, 2017

The road to the top of Packer Saddle is now plowed to The Narrows (1 mile short of Packer Saddle). With the snow hiking that will need to be done, and a forecast of 40 degrees for Packer Saddle, we will not run shuttles to the top. We want our customers to keep their toes. :) We will run shuttles to the top the weekend of June 17th. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divides are running great and we are running shuttles to 2nd and 3rd Divide trail heads this weekend.

Mills Peak jeep road has been cleared of a 15 trees and is free of snow. Another 10 trees were cleared up to the Rock Squeeze on the singletrack above the Log Landing. Much above that and you start hitting more trees and snow. Most downed trees I've ever seen up there. We'll keep at it. (Thanks Ron & Melinda Heard!)

While we wait for the snow to clear over the top of Elwell so we can use the southern approach, an out and back on the north side is quite doable. It only gets unpleasant and steep above the pond. Most folks never think to climb the north side, but it's great.

May 26, 2017

The snow is melting fast, 1 foot of snow melted in a week due to the heat. Packer Saddle is still buried and the road up is not plowed. Butcher is open 1 mile from The Waterfall, Big Boulder is open 3 miles above 3rd Divide (at the mine). 2nd and 3rd are logged, clear and running great.

May 12, 2017

We made it to the waterfall on Butcher Ranch/Downieville Downhill. The melt is on and the water is flowin. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship crew is clearing out downed trees and working with USFS crews to fix the trail. 

March 15, 2017

Henry logged out 40 trees to open up 2nd and 3rd Divide Trails. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divide Trails are free of snow and a go!

Winter, 2017

Snow + snow + moar snow = snow.

Check back to this page, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the latest updates.

 

 

Yuba Expeditions Builds and Maintains These Trails

Yuba Expeditions is owned and managed by Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. The proceeds from Yuba Expeditions go directly back into building and maintaining these trails. By taking our shuttle, or purchasing product from the shop, you are supporting the trails we all enjoy.

These trails are maintained by the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship in partnership with the Forest Service and other volunteer trail groups. Many of these trails are maintained as part of the  Adopt-a-Trail Program administered and organized through the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. The trail adoption program ensures that each individual trail receive regular maintenance and upkeep, each season.

The Stewardship also hosts monthly Trail Daze volunteer work days, these work days account for more than 30,000 volunteer labor hours on historic, multiple-use, and motorized multiple-use trails. If you enjoy riding high country trails in the Sierra Buttes region, then join us; as a volunteer, as a member, as a steward.

Downieville Map

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