This ride will take you up to the Mt. Hough fire lookout. From this vantage point you can see Mt. Lassen to the north, the Sierra Buttes to the south and you get a feel for the whole of Plumas County. The view is worth the climb alone!
You can always shuttle the climb, and get to enjoy the descent alone.
The descent is on singletrack that is shared with moto's, so you might encounter one or two, but everyone is really nice. Consequently, the singletrack is loose, fast, flowy, and fun!
The ride is mapped to start and end at Feather River Camp, which is a great place to stay during the summers.
Mt. Hough is an actively managed forest, so you are bound to encounter logging operations. Be aware. This ride takes you through two clear-cuts, however, it is easy to follow the trail due to Moto tracks and ribbons. Just keep your eyes peeled, particularly on the lower half.
Head for Quincy Junction road, when you reach it, take a left, and then your immediate first left onto Mt. Hough Rd. From here, just go up, and up, and up... You'll pass a couple of intersections, they are mostly marked. When in doubt, just keep going up.
After climbing almost 11 miles, you'll reach one final intersection where you can take a right to go up to the Mt. Hough Fire Lookout. It adds a few feet of climbing, but it's worth the view. If you're shuttling, I don't recommend driving up to the lookout, best to continue straight and park at the start of the descent.
Once you've soaked in the view, eaten a sandwich or four, head back down to the trailhead. As you're descending from the fire lookout to Mt. Hough-Crystal Lake Rd, take a right. Keep your eyes peeled to the left, and you'll see the trailhead sign, it can be tough to find, but you should be able to see the Mt. Hough 8
trail from the road.
Buckle your seatbelt, and get ready for the descent (dropping your saddle is optional, but recommended).
The grade starts out fairly mellow, but the speed and the switchbacks increase the further you go. This trail was designed for both moto and mountain bikes, so be prepared for loose sections, but mostly, be prepared for ridiculous fun.
Mt. Hough 8
ends at Reinheart Meadow. Proceed about 100 yards across the meadow, and when the road starts going up, look to your left to access Mt. Hough 4
. The fun continues until you reach the intersection with Mt. Hough 1
. As of 2015, this area has been harvested, so the trail is a bit tough to follow. Look for the moto tracks and the ribbon, and you'll be golden! It is just a short hike to reach the trail, and let the fun continue!
When Mt. Hough 1
crosses Forest Service Rd. 25N73, stay to your right since there is another clearcut area. It is possible to follow the road to reach North Tollgate, but if you follow the trail and the ribbon, you'll eventually reach Tollgate Trail
2. After having to deal with a couple of clear-cut areas, you'll appreciate returning to the amazing trail! From here, until you reach the train tracks, it is one big grin-inducing descent. The trail is bench cut into the hill but has a nice grade, and since there is some exposure, you get some amazing views of the American Valley.