“An almost-never-used shuttle route from the A-Tree near Johnsville to Downieville.”
— Matthew Poole
For fans of Downieville who have done all the standard routes is this little-known and almost never ridden shuttle that starts at the A-Tree west of Johnsville.
You'll need two cars; one to get you to the top and one to take you back up once you're down. The route can be ridden from Johnsville via fire road, or you can drive (4WD) to the A-Tree and drop in from there. The first section is too steep for an out-and-back (unless you’re a mountain goat).
Need to Know
From Johnsville, take the Johnsville - McCrae Road to the A-Tree (left at the first major fork in the Johnsville - McCrae Road). Latitude: 39.7148965, Longitude: -120.7443882.
This is a very-little-used route to First Divide, so don't expect any assistance from other riders. Highly recommended that you bring a buddy, tell someone where you’re going, and pack plenty of spare gear/water/snacks.
This shuttle features epic singletrack from the start, with a major drop-in from the A-Tree (go easy on the front brake). It's a little tricky to find the trailhead--it's just west of the A-Tree, on the left side of the fire road heading west. You know you're on the right trail if it's steep downhill from the get-go.
Overall, the Lavezzola Creek OHV Trail isn't too technical, but blue/black rated (IMHO) for lack of help if you get into trouble. The route isn’t marked, but fairly easy to follow, especially if you have the MTB Project mobile app
From the end of the Lavezzola Creek OHV Trail, continue south on the Lavezzola Creek Road
until the start of the First Divide (upper portion)
on your right just after the 11-mile mark. This trail follows the contours along the Lavezzola Creek and then Pauley Creek before dumping you out onto Lavezzola Road to head south to Downieville.