Big Chief Truckee - how to get there and where to park?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Big Chief Truckee - how to get there and where to park?

    Staying in Northstar, want to ride up 06 and do upper/lower Big Chief, cannot figure out how to get there. Seems like I have to take 06 fire road, is it drive-able? Is it accessible from a River road?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The bottom is at the sawtooth parking lot. You could park there and fire road climb up.

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  3. #3
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    ^ what Dagoner said, there are a couple of parking areas along 06 then just ride up to the intersection with the lower or upper segment

    maps on Trailforks:

    lower BC - https://www.trailforks.com/trails/bi...lower-section/

    upper BC - https://www.trailforks.com/trails/bi...upper-section/

  4. #4
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    Below is a link to the route to take if you want to ride all of Big Chief top-to-bottom and not do any other trails. It's a 15mi ride with 1800' of elevation gain (not: BC is DH only--don't ride up it). The link will give you directions from wherever you are to the start of the trail.

    https://www.trailforks.com/ridelog/view/7806169/

    However, I personally think that Upper Big Chief is by far the best part of the ride and for me a classic. Personally, I found the first half of Lower Big Chief to be less enjoyable. The second half is better, but still not my favorite.

    If you want to check out Upper Big Chief, I personally believe the best way to do it is park at Squaw, take Western States to Walternate, then descend down Over the Bars. Pedal up the fire road to Upper Big Chief, do a lap (or 2!) and then descend down deer creek. If you do one lap on upper BC, it's 19 miles and 3k elevation gain. Here's a link to the route, with directions to parking.

    https://www.trailforks.com/ridelog/view/13646211/

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    Honestly if you're at Northstar I think the better way is just go up to the 267 summit and then along the fiberboard to the top of the Big Chief trail. Paved road all the way, and there's a little dirt lot there. Then ride the trail and pedal back up the 06 to your car. That's probably the least amount of driving with the least amount of traffic, and the most direct ride back to your car at the end.

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    Thanks a lot, guys, will report back!

  7. #7
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    Ya, Upper BC is the only section that's any fun to ride. But if you've never seen the rest of it and have any interest in trail building it's worth checking out. There is some fantastic rock armoring and fun rolls. It's just that it never really goes *down*. For all the work that you do riding up the 06 there is never really a pay off.

  8. #8
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    If you want to check out Upper Big Chief, I personally believe the best way to do it is park at Squaw,
    Done this many times to access Big Chief and other trails in this zone. It's a nice climb up WS and Walternate.

    Recently, we did this route but descended on the Rim Trail from Big Chief/Watson Lake down to Tahoe City, which was surprisingly fast and fun.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    Done this many times to access Big Chief and other trails in this zone. It's a nice climb up WS and Walternate.

    Recently, we did this route but descended on the Rim Trail from Big Chief/Watson Lake down to Tahoe City, which was surprisingly fast and fun.
    Super fun! If you havenít yet done OTB and Deer Creek also awesome. Deer Creek early season when itís not to dry is one of the best rips around. Super fast and flowy with just enough chunk to keep you on your toes. Motos might have blown it out by now though, maybe wait for some rain...

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    Deer Creek has been on my list for a few years, but still haven't done that descent. I'll make it happen this summer.

    OTB is really fun (recently redesigned, I think), and Missing Link is a great classic trail in that area.
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  11. #11
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    From Sawtooth I think lower BC is a better climb than descent. I know some will disagree but I've never had any trouble climbing it with descenders.

    BTW the TRT from 267 to Watson Lake/Upper Big Chief is one of the best stretches of trail I've ever ridden if you like to pedal. If you can have someone swoop you in Truckee stitching those together is a great route (or loop it if you like big rides!).
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  12. #12
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    Last year, we had Dirt Gypsy pick us up at 06 Road in Truckee, and shuttled us to Martis.

    Rode the Rim Trail from Martis to Watson Lake, dropped upper and lower Big Chief, then Sawtooth/Happy Face back to Truckee. Good times.

    24ish miles/2200 vert
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    Last year, we had Dirt Gypsy pick us up at 06 Road in Truckee, and shuttled us to Martis.

    Rode the Rim Trail from Martis to Watson Lake, dropped upper and lower Big Chief, then Sawtooth/Happy Face back to Truckee. Good times.

    24ish miles/2200 vert
    That's not bad. I've actually never done the Rim Trail from Martis to Watson Lake. Heard that it's quite chunky.

    I've done the TRT from Painted Rock to Tahoe City years ago. Just remember riding on shale for a long while. That was fun (well mostly, since I had bonked badly a couple hours prior).

    Not related at all, but last year we did the DLRT from Donner Pass all the way down to Truckee via Trout creek trail.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    I've done the TRT from Painted Rock to Tahoe City years ago. Just remember riding on shale for a long while. That was fun (well mostly, since I had bonked badly a couple hours prior)
    If I recall correctly, the TRT was rerouted several years ago and no longer includes the shale section. But I think the shale section is still rideable
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    If I recall correctly, the TRT was rerouted several years ago and no longer includes the shale section. But I think the shale section is still rideable
    There is a little bit of shale on that section of TRT, just enough to give you the novelty of it. Digging deep into my terrible memory from last summer, but I seem to recall it being on a flat spot on the descent down to Tahoe City. I enjoy the sound of riding on shale but it's not actually fun.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    If I recall correctly, the TRT was rerouted several years ago and no longer includes the shale section. But I think the shale section is still rideable
    Well, that was circa 2005...

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Well, that was circa 2005...
    Damn, I'm old
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    That's not bad. I've actually never done the Rim Trail from Martis to Watson Lake. Heard that it's quite chunky.
    It is a pretty nice ride with basically a little bit of absolutely everything. Some good chunk, some climbs, some flow, and dozens of options to bail out down anywhere from Carnelian Bay to Tahoe City, through the state park (which has a few hidden gems in it). Makes a pretty cool night ride too.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrwin View Post
    If you want to check out Upper Big Chief, I personally believe the best way to do it is park at Squaw, take Western States to Walternate, then descend down Over the Bars. Pedal up the fire road to Upper Big Chief, do a lap (or 2!) and then descend down deer creek. If you do one lap on upper BC, it's 19 miles and 3k elevation gain. Here's a link to the route, with directions to parking.

    https://www.trailforks.com/ridelog/view/13646211/
    Thanks for posting this, rode this route today.

    Was pretty hot and my marsh dweller genes struggle with the elevation.

    Forgetting all my food, save for one 80 calorie fruit chew pouch, in the car didn't help. Was like the little mystical buddha child in the Golden Child, nibbling on one tiny leaf to sustain.

    Had my first random nosebleed ósince being a 3rd grader living in Sacó when I pulled into the parking lot. Asume heat, dryness and altitude was the cause. Or the 'rona

    Wish I was able to ride those trails weekly to learn more of the features. I'll do it again at some point before the season ends. The beginning of the ride looks like it would be a fun descent as well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
    Ya, Upper BC is the only section that's any fun to ride. But if you've never seen the rest of it and have any interest in trail building it's worth checking out. There is some fantastic rock armoring and fun rolls. It's just that it never really goes *down*. For all the work that you do riding up the 06 there is never really a pay off.
    Hit the nail on the head. Only fun is Upper Big Chief.

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