Downieville - Sierra Buttes Lookout Tower- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Downieville - Sierra Buttes Lookout Tower

    Rode Downieville this weekend and it was stellar...as usual. But one of the highlights was taking the journey from the Packard Saddle Drop off up to the Sierra Buttes Look Out Tower.

    Have you been?

    It is VERY, VERY cool. For those who haven't been, it's the little box atop the Sierra Buttes about 1000+ feet up the hill (you can see it when driving up). Why is it cool? For one 360 views of the entire region...we saw Shasta. Second, it's perched on the side of a sheer cliff that has to be 1000 feet + from the ground below. The see-through mesh cat walk makes it so that you are walking and looking straight down this perilous drop. Anyhow if you have never been, somehow put it on your list...it is totally worth the haul up the hill.

    Cheesy vid (not mine):



    Dang...pics came out sideways...no edit capabilities. dar!
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    Last edited by fc; 08-09-2011 at 09:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for letting me tag along. The view was well worth the climb!

    The Buttes from Packer Saddle.




    Stairs to the tower.



    On the catwalk.



    The view.



    Info

  3. #3
    My spoon is too big!
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    Not for the acrophobic! I was up there with my family as a teenager. There may still be marks from my death-grip on that railing that goes around it. I'm still not sure how they got me to climb those stairs.
    "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
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  4. #4
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    During a full moon, it's worth staying up there for the sunset and moonrise, unreal... Just don't forget a jacket and a headlamp.

  5. #5
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    Man that looks cool! Must have been a good day for you. Medieval I get your comment about the death grip. My buddy is hanging on to me for dear life while I take a pic of my other buddy. Looks like there is a rock right beneath me but there isn't! I would never do that again. Smetimes gives me the chills to think of all the chances I took.
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  6. #6
    Over the Hill
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    If I am in area and there is a lookout around I am compelled to go bag it. Sadly we lost, due to fire, Needles Lookout in the Southern Sierras last week.

    Dean

  7. #7
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    I rode up there from Bassetts on the Tamarack Connection Trail. More interesting for me than the downhill because fo all of the exploring and changes in geology. Gut-wrenching for me on that see-though deck but the views were amazing. I did the Boulder Creek down and the road back to Sand Pond. I was so hot I rode into the pond, bike and all. Then up to Pack Saddle Campground. A fine day.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 08-08-2011 at 10:05 PM.
    I don't rattle.

  8. #8
    NedwannaB
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    Heard a hiker fell from somewheres up on the Buttes Saturday, had to be airlifted out. I assume not from that far up.
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  9. #9
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    Lucky Bird

    Am I doing this right? I'm new to MTBR and I guess I just browse these blogs and post as I wish. I'm mainly interested in Downieville MTBing, my favorite spot. I've always wanted to go to that tower but never made it.... Thanks for rubbing it in.
    Happy cycling.

  10. #10
    Singlespeed Enduro Poser
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    Damn Squashyo those pics looks sick! I wanted to HAB up there

    Jmac, we were all up there that Saturday when the hiker fell. There was a fire ranger blocking all routes too.

  11. #11
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    Wish we could have gotten the perspective from the mesh...you are literally overhanging the abyss.

    Raja: Great riding with you too...hope the rest of the trip is great!

    As for the hiker, I heard a hiker fell and hit her head.

    Side note: Big Boulder/Third Divide was spectacular!

  12. #12
    fc
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    nice squash. I edited your photos from your sideways camera.

    fc

  13. #13
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    I've been on that lookout in 40mph gusting winds....talk about death grip on the rail!

    Next time you're in the area and want a slightly less dramatic lookout but far less scary check out Mills Peak Lookout.
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  14. #14
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Wish we could have gotten the perspective from the mesh...you are literally overhanging the abyss.
    Kinda hard to see in the pic but you are literally cantilevered out over a several hundred foot drop. Here's a shot of the stairway from the top and some of the friendly locals.
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  15. #15
    NedwannaB
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    Saturday on the hiker

    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    As for the hiker, I heard a hiker fell and hit her head.

    Side note: Big Boulder/Third Divide was spectacular!
    Yah we heard that from the shuttle driver while we were waiting at Yuba for a dry run back to get our vehicle in Sierra City.

    Sunday we hit same route as you, BB was great! Along with 3rd (we did Sunride-Butcher-2nd-1st on Sat). We passed a group of 4-5 riders about halfway thru on upper 1st right when one of them had just climbed up from what could have been a bad scene tumble. Was that you guys?
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  16. #16
    Track Junkie
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    I've made it up there about 10 years ago. Drove about half way up from Pack Saddle in a 2wd Exploder. Couldn't get the one-legger up the rest of the way, so we hiked the rest. It was an amazing view at sunset.

    I remember the stairs flexing in rythem to our feet climbing up them. Talk about "bob"!

    -B
    I get paid to ride shotgun.

  17. #17
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    Not me

    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Sunday we hit same route as you, BB was great! Along with 3rd (we did Sunride-Butcher-2nd-1st on Sat). We passed a group of 4-5 riders about halfway thru on upper 1st right when one of them had just climbed up from what could have been a bad scene tumble. Was that you guys?
    We had one of those extremely rare no crash, no mechanical weekends...not even a flat. (although the bike sure is a lot noisier now). I ran into one guy walking back just after 3rd...he had 6 flats the day before and day 2, he blew out his side wall. He refused to take our assistance...just preferred to wallow in frustration. (been there by the way...I had a 8 flat day a couple years back...ahh, Downieville, you)

  18. #18
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    Nice marmot.

    "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
    J. R. R. Tolkien

  19. #19
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    That's awesome, thanks for the great pics. Wife and I are going to go check it out when we're up near there in a couple weeks. How's the weather up there right now? I seem to remember its normally deathly hot up there in the summer.

  20. #20
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    Weather was about as perfect as you can get

    Quote Originally Posted by gabe0807 View Post
    That's awesome, thanks for the great pics. Wife and I are going to go check it out when we're up near there in a couple weeks. How's the weather up there right now? I seem to remember its normally deathly hot up there in the summer.
    I am thinking 74F up top and clear...maybe 80F in town? A little chilly at night.

    Not sure about 2 weeks from now though. It can get frickin hot.

    Trails were pretty dusty but still super fun...just had to stagger a bit.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I am thinking 74F up top and clear...maybe 80F in town? A little chilly at night.

    Not sure about 2 weeks from now though. It can get frickin hot.

    Trails were pretty dusty but still super fun...just had to stagger a bit.
    Cool, that sounds good. We'll check the weather just before we head up. I used to live over in Auburn and we used to backpack in Lakes Basin pretty regularly so I know the weather can flip like a light switch. Thanks again for the great pictures.

  22. #22
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    funny story - about 6 or 7 years ago I was at the lookout and a mountain biker comes up to the lookout with his front wheel. i guess he thought someone would steal his bike. so he sets the wheel down at the base of the stairs, leans it against the building.

    a couple minutes later someone below says something like - "hey, was that a wheel that just rolled down the cliff". Everyone leans over the edge and watches this wheel roll a thousand feet down the east face.

    The guy couldn't believe it. what a way to end a day or riding Dville.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by socobiker View Post
    funny story - about 6 or 7 years ago I was at the lookout and a mountain biker comes up to the lookout with his front wheel. i guess he thought someone would steal his bike. so he sets the wheel down at the base of the stairs, leans it against the building.

    a couple minutes later someone below says something like - "hey, was that a wheel that just rolled down the cliff". Everyone leans over the edge and watches this wheel roll a thousand feet down the east face.

    The guy couldn't believe it. what a way to end a day or riding Dville.
    That's priceless. I once walked away from top roping on Mt St. Helena. Pulled my rope, and walked off. But left my anchor (slings, biners, gear) at the top of the route. Not a clue until I unpacked. Fool's folly is the finder's treasure.
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