The Downieville Classic ride. Get your car/shuttle ride to the top. The route skips Sunrise Trail
and starts at Butcher Ranch trailhead. Expect snow in places through May.
Start with Butcher Trail
, which leads to either Third Divide
Trail or Second Divide
Trail ( Third Divide
is faster and shorter than Second Divide
; Second Divide
is longer, but in my opinion, not as much fun as Third Divide
), which leads to First Divide Trail, followed by a fire road, then a road ride return to Downieville.
The ride is a point-to-point that needs a shuttle or car ride to the Butcher Ranch Trailhead.
This ride starts with the Butcher Trail
, where you can expect speed, loose rocks, creek crossings, tight switchback descending turns, and perhaps a few hike-a-bike sections, depending on your skills. Just after the final descent, you'll cross a bridge over a creek and begin a doubletrack climb.
Half way up this climb, there is a fork. Left (and descending) is Second Divide
and right (and continuing to climb) is Third Divide
. Second Divide
is longer, but not as fast (or in my opinion as fun) as Third Divide
. Third Divide
is mostly smooth singletrack, with only a few small technical sections. You can really get some speed on this trail.
leads to a fire-road descent for about a mile. If you've had enough, you can continue along the fire road back to Downieville. If not, you can drop into First Divide (upper portion)
. Look for a little sign that says "Trail" with an arrow.
First Divide is a relatively flat/descending singletrack and is, at times, quite narrow with a rock face wall on one side and a drop off small cliff on the other. Watch not to clip your bars on the rock faces.
First Divide (upper) meets up with a fire road, which you can take back to Downieville, or cross and continue along First Divide (lower) for more of the fun rock face/edge narrow singletrack.
Once you emerge to the paved road, follow it back to Downieville.