Big Boulder from Gold Valley Rim Trail - IMBA EPIC
ElevationAscent: 1,498' 457 m
Descent: -5,662' -1,726 m
High: 7,481' 2,280 m
Low: 2,901' 884 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 55% (29°)
Current trail conditions
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“You still have about 2000 ft of climbing on your way, but descending Big Boulder is pure bliss!”— Michael Klimek
Gold Valley Rim Trail starts with a gradual climb to obtain the ridge where you are rewarded with sweeping views of the Lakes Basin. After riding along the ridge, the trail crosses a couple small service roads where it then deviates from the old PCT and begins to drop down toward "Baby Heads" on new singletrack. The descent is on par with the many great descents in the Downieville trail system with plenty of rocky technical sections. The trail crosses over several sections of rock slab that gives you a little taste of Moab riding, Sierra style. Look out for a great optional slab descent feature about 4.7 miles in.
The trail ends at an intersection with Forest Service Road 93-3. Follow signs straight to continue on to "Baby Heads" and the start of Pauley Creek /Big Boulder trails.
Once you cross Pauley Creek (it's a large meadow), you'll climb out of the creek and then watch for the Big Boulder turn off on your right. Keep climbing until you come to another fork. The trail you want to take is the option on the left; there is a sign proclaiming it an OHV trail; that's the only confirmation you'll have once heading towards Big Boulder.
You'll begin a well-earned descent here, and one that is as much fun as you can find anywhere in the Downieville area. The trail is fast, flowy, a little technical, and a little dangerous. You'll head through exposed sections and through the woods, FAST. Big Boulder ends at Third Divide for some more fast downhill flow. It's all ripping fun until you get to Lavezolla Road and head toward First Divide.
From Lavezolla Road, you'll come to an obvious open area just before the fire road starts upward, where First Divide (upper portion) sneaks off to the right. Look for a little sign that says "Trail" with an arrow. First Divide is relatively flat/descending singletrack, pedaling most of the way. At times it's quite narrow with a rock face wall on one side and a drop off small cliff on the other.
At the end, you can cross the fire road and continue onto First Divide (lower portion), which will be a singletrack on your right. The First Divide (lower portion) is rocky singletrack mostly along a rock edge, with a small bit of climbing. It's a short stretch, but technical in spots, so be particularly attentive. The difference here is that if you go off trail, it's a long way down.
This last portion puts you onto a paved road, which you'll follow mostly downhill about a mile back to Downieville.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Features, E-Bikes Allowed, History & Background
Local Club: Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
Apr 15, 2019: Chris McGovern and the Birth of Lost and Found
Apr 8, 2019: Jeff Sperry – From Super Volunteer to SBTS Employee
Land Manager: USFS - Plumas National Forest Office