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  1. #1
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    Need info on Lakes Basin loop near D'ville

    Planning on car camping and riding up there in a couple of weeks. Is there a shuttle-free epic that includes Mt. Ellwell? Any suggested campsites? I've only been in the basin once and remember that the trails are very primitive. Is there a map available somewhere?

    Thanks!
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  2. #2
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    bailout, I've seen maps on either/both of Yuba's or DO's websites. from what I remember it looked like there are a few loops you can string together including Mt Elwell. I haven't explored that area yet so I don't have any first hand recs. I'd like to check it out though. next weekend?

  3. #3
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    Looks like you can camp at Gold Lake or just down the road from it (Gold Lake Highway). If I'm reading the maps correctly, that should put you in the middle of the Lakes Basin and Graeagle trail systems. While I've never ridden up there, my Dad took me fishing at Gold Lake some twenty years ago. It's a beautiful lake.

  4. #4
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    Ellwell can be done shuttle free, plan on a slow trip to the top, as you noted the trail's are primitive and there is some hike a bike to get to the top of Elwell, but the ride down towards Graeagle is one of the best around!

  5. #5
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    If you have a high clearance 4wd you can camp at Deer Lake, which is beautiful and isolated, and an easy ride away from the top of packer saddle. As far as riding the lakes basin, the trails are very rocky - bring your fs (or a trials bike!)

    Nick

  6. #6
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    Here is an online map:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/plumas/publi...in_infomap.pdf

    There is a detailed map of the area put out by the forest service. You can probably get one in Downieville, or you can order a copy online. Hers a link to one site:

    http://www.omnimap.com/catalog/cats/usfsca.htm#p4

    Scroll down & look for

    62-56812 Lakes Basin - Sierra Buttes & Plumas Eureka State Park (Tahoe & Plumas NF).

  7. #7
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    I've only hiked in the area - and while I wasn't thinking about the possiblity of biking while on the trail, my memory confirms what Mr. Despacio says: be prepared for lots of rocks and some "trials work" (or HAB in my case)

    We hiked along the NE side of Long Lake and then up to Elwell - I don't think you should bring a bike up that. Perhaps going up by Silver and Mud lake would be the better way to go - but I still think you're in for an adventure of a bike ride.

    Looking forward to the report!

  8. #8
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    I'll be riding there on Sunday. I'll post a report.

    I did a reconnaissance loop the last day of the DV gathering, and there is a lot of potential.

    As mentioned above, the trails are primitive, rocky, and technical. It's a completely different riding experience than the Downieville downhill.

    sierratrails.org has some route recommendations.

  9. #9
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    Can't tell you much about the riding, but as for car camping hit up the east side of Gold Lake. My wife and I have used that as a quick freebie place for years and have shown up late at night and always were able to find a spot open. There's about 25 free sites on that side of the lake and they're right on the water. Pretty cool spot. Have always wanted to use that as a base camp of sorts to launch rides from.
    bailout-contact Stoccy D. on the YUM listserve...he's got the goods about riding Elwell to GrayEagle.
    www.velocitybicycles.comWhere customers become friends, not simply a dollar sign.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Planning on car camping and riding up there in a couple of weeks. Is there a shuttle-free epic that includes Mt. Ellwell? Any suggested campsites? I've only been in the basin once and remember that the trails are very primitive. Is there a map available somewhere?

    Thanks!
    Snag Lake campground is less populated than the other campsites and you can camp lakeside. Good fishing, too.

    Greg Williams from Yuba Expeditions just opened another shop in Graegle and can help you out with Mt Elwell trails.

    I have bunches of other campsites scouted out, but need to go check my notes. My wife and I drove all the campsites a few weeks ago and rated them...
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

  11. #11
    Log off and go ride!
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    Don't pay money for topo maps.

    Download free here. 8.5x11 so you can print them on your home printer.


    http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/plumas/maps_.../pnf_quads.php

  12. #12
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    bailout when do you want to go

    its possible shuttle free ive done it but you do have to hit a lil bit of highway riding .... last time i attempted it i almost died due to running out of water and the idiot i was with making a "wrong turn" costing us 1000' or more in additional climbing .... always wanted to attempt it.

    And pretty much anything off gold lake highway in plumas is free and good ... snag like iheartbicycles said is a good one
    AZ has the best mountain bike gathering ever

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the info guys!

    We're going on the weekend of the 25th. PM me if interested. We'll probably head up Friday PM and ride in the Basin on Sat.
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internal14
    Can't tell you much about the riding, but as for car camping hit up the east side of Gold Lake. My wife and I have used that as a quick freebie place for years and have shown up late at night and always were able to find a spot open. There's about 25 free sites on that side of the lake and they're right on the water. Pretty cool spot. Have always wanted to use that as a base camp of sorts to launch rides from.
    bailout-contact Stoccy D. on the YUM listserve...he's got the goods about riding Elwell to GrayEagle.

    Yeah, that Stoccy D. Does he still ride his bike ? I'm just beginning to realize that I need at least 3 days of riding up there. Need to check out the new N. Yuba trail and Chimney Rock as well.
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Planning on car camping and riding up there in a couple of weeks. Is there a shuttle-free epic that includes Mt. Ellwell? Any suggested campsites? I've only been in the basin once and remember that the trails are very primitive. Is there a map available somewhere?

    Thanks!
    I've camped several times at the Lakes Basin campground and ridden from there. the Bear/Silver/ Long lake loop is worth adding to any ride. the Mt Elwell ride (and DH) is excellent, but be prepared for a lot of serious hiking. Loop back on the Gray Eagle/Grassy Lake trail.
    Even better is to climb past Silver and Hellgramite lakes, hit the perfect trail or thereabouts, then drop down Jamison lake, past Grass lake, and loop back past Smith lake. Again, as with most trails there, enjoy the rocks, and pushing your bike in spots. The awesome folks at the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship can provide lots more info.
    http://www.sierratrails.org/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemore
    I've camped several times at the Lakes Basin campground and ridden from there. the Bear/Silver/ Long lake loop is worth adding to any ride. the Mt Elwell ride (and DH) is excellent, but be prepared for a lot of serious hiking. Loop back on the Gray Eagle/Grassy Lake trail.
    Even better is to climb past Silver and Hellgramite lakes, hit the perfect trail or thereabouts, then drop down Jamison lake, past Grass lake, and loop back past Smith lake. Again, as with most trails there, enjoy the rocks, and pushing your bike in spots. The awesome folks at the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship can provide lots more info.
    http://www.sierratrails.org/

    Any idea how difficult a "double loop" would be from the lakes basin campground to elwell then back down to the basin and then climb up to Jameson creek trail, past grass lake then back down the elwell DH and finally to camp? I want to check out both (elwell loop + Jameson creek) but have no idea if it's worth the effort.
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Any idea how difficult a "double loop" would be from the lakes basin campground to elwell then back down to the basin and then climb up to Jameson creek trail, past grass lake then back down the elwell DH and finally to camp? I want to check out both (elwell loop + Jameson creek) but have no idea if it's worth the effort.
    pretty much unreasonable. check your map

  18. #18
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    i was up there this weekend, and rode the trail from gold lake lodge to bear lake, then left to silver lake, and was planning on doing a loop back around to round lake, but the trail had multiple trees accross the trail and snow. the trail up to silver lake is very fun, but really technical, i rode it on my am hardtail, but it required a lot of trials type riding. there are many rocks, roots, and stream crossings. it is an epic trail, probably my favorite. you can do about 5 mi of riding on it, and be exausted because of the technical challenges, so you dont have to be that far in to get a good ride.

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