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Mills Peak Shuttle Run

 4.2 (18)
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9.1 Miles 14.7 Kilometers



269' 82 m


-3,167' -965 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (15°)

7,313' 2,229 m


4,414' 1,345 m


Shared By Lance Buck



Getting forecast...

A ripping good time! Just be gentle on the shale... it tends to shred tires.

Lance Buck

Dogs Off-leash

Features -none-

Lakes Basin Road closes for snow.


This is designed as a shorter shuttle ride. Overall it's pretty easy technically, but a very fun trail to rip.

Be sure to stop at the Fire Lookout before you head out for your session. Climb the stairs and enjoy an awe-inspiring view. The trail starts just below the peak and heads towards the Graeagle. The upper section is loose shale and slightly challenging while the lower sections go so fast you'll want to do it all over again.

Need to Know

Hwy 89 near Graegle is the Gold Lake Hwy. This is an easy, smooth, paved road. About 10 miles brings you to the Mills Peak Road. Then, just 3 miles of good condition dirt/gravel road to the tower. Nothing steep and the entire route can be done by a car.


This ride starts on the west side of the loop at the end of the road. The trail begins by heading south but soon doubles back and zigzags back and forth across the ridge in a northern direction.

Just about four miles in, this trail turns onto an old jeep track and the speed really picks up. There is a left-hand turn that you don't want to miss, so watch your speed! When the terrain opens up and the jeep track starts to head off the ridge and down to the right; look for the singletrack trail veering uphill to the left. Keep an eye out, I bet you blow right past it.

2 miles later, the trail again intersects a road, this time a pretty good forest service road. Turn left and ride downhill looking for the trail on the right.

The rest of the ride is pure bliss through open woodland on a fast, winding delight. The trail terminates at the corner of Highway 89 & Gold Lakes Highway, it is an easy jaunt into Graeagle for beers.

History & Background

Mills Peak Lookout US 602, CA 73 is on the National Historic Lookout Register. The first Mills Peak Lookout was an L-4 ground house (unusual for California) constructed in 1933. Mills Peak LO was recently restored and reactivated for fire detection in 2005.


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Your Check-Ins


Oct 19, 2018
Chris F
Sep 3, 2018
Take Mills Peak Road all the way to sign, don’t turn left when google maps says. Park a bit downhill from tower. 9mi
Jul 17, 2018
Kirk Liebscher
Fun trail with awesome views from the top. As noted earlier, shale can be tough on tires! Not really recommended for a beginner. 14.1mi
Jul 15, 2018
Colin Gruen
Solid trail. Even in the heat it’s well shaded. Road from town and thought it’s reasonable ride up, it’s probably not the best mid July.
Jul 1, 2018
Fabian Osorio
Jun 27, 2018
Briana Clark-Forgie
May 26, 2018
Marc Brown
Awesome 9.1mi
Oct 1, 2017
Chelsea Hodge

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 18 votes


in Lakes Basin


  4.2 from 18 votes
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in Lakes Basin


in California


92 Views Last Month
8,939 Since Jul 28, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

Nothing wrong with shuttling this trail. Nothing wrong with pedaling up. There is a small percentage of trails, relatively speaking, where shuttling a long downhill is possible. And no one needs to feel guilty about it. Not against the law, rules, or even ethics. Most of us pedal uphill plenty, but we do not need every single ride to be an athletic achievement. May 7, 2017
Wonderful trail. A softer more gentle Downieville. Certainly worth the ride. Trail conditions where good. Aug 21, 2017
Kelly Clark
Plumas Lake, CA
Kelly Clark   Plumas Lake, CA
Feather River Outdoors in Qunicy:… now offers a shuttle service for this ridiculously fun trail. Check them out! Jun 15, 2018

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