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14 beautiful downhill miles of fast, flowy, rocky, technical, loose terrain, and drops.

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7,103' 2,165 m


2,895' 883 m


663' 202 m


4,846' 1,477 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed


The Downieville Classic ride. Get your car/shuttle ride to the top. The trail starts immediately on singletrack. There is very, very little climbing. There will be snow in places through May.

Sunrise trail leads into 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. Nearly all of it is downhill.

Need to Know

You'll need a two cars; one to get you to the top and one to take you back up once you're down. Or there are shuttle services available in Downieville. Expect the unexpected on this Ride. The Butcher trail is the most technical portion. First Divide trail is along a rock wall to one side and a drop off to the other.


Start on the Sunrise Trail on narrow, rolling singletrack with small descents and climbs that make a good warmup.

This trail meets 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 decision. 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.

Third Divide leads to a fireroad 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 relatively flat/descending singletrack, and at times is 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 fireroad, 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.

Overall, this is an advanced ride. Intermediate riders will enjoy it too, but might need to hike-a-bike in a few sections. It's not at all recommended for beginner riders.


Shared By:

Jason Lampenrider with improvements by Christopher Hogg

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 136 votes


in Gold Valley


  4.8 from 136 votes
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in Gold Valley


in California


220 Views Last Month
68,646 Since May 24, 2013
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Get your butt to Downieville!
Jun 29, 2016 near Downiev…, CA
Fast and smooth section of Third Divide Trail.
Sep 2, 2014 near Downiev…, CA
A rescue backboard is strategically located at the intersection of Third Divide, Big Boulder, the Butcher Trail, and Second Divide.
Dec 15, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Third Divide getting loosey-goosey.
Dec 15, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Convenient "Bus Stop" next to a mining claim and camp.
Sep 2, 2014 near Downiev…, CA
Fun fast descent - Third Divide Trail
Sep 30, 2015 near Downiev…, CA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Dec 14, 2022
John Blackwell
Oct 30, 2022
Gabriel Lopez
Great ride
Sep 19, 2022
Brian Novak
Aug 1, 2022
Mark Wheeler
Jul 9, 2022
James Beiting
Jun 25, 2022
Sarah Cleveland
Epic day! 16.1mi — 1h 57m
Jun 24, 2022
Chris Sanders
since 2002
Jun 20, 2022
Remi Vichery

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