DVille/Lakes Basin Knowledge- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    DVille/Lakes Basin Knowledge

    Planning a 4 day solo riding/camping trip in the Downieville and Lakes Basin area, was looking for route recommendations. I do enjoy suffering, dont mind a hike a bike, and am looking for 5k vert and up to 30 mile days.

    I was planning on riding Halls Ranch/Fiddle creek trail, via Brandy City/Eureka Mine road, is it worth the extra effort to approach from this direction vs the hike a bike up Halls Ranch from 49? Is St. Charles Hill Trail easy to find the entry to?

    2nd question - Jamison Creek, whats the best way to incorporate, I was looking at a fireroad loop by riding up Johnsonville McRea road to Gold Valley OHV, down Jamison back to Jamison mine road and out vs some other combo of single track starting on gold lakes rd.

    Finally want to do an Elwell loop, I have ridden a big loop from Graeagle, up Mills peak to Oakland Pond and then down Elwell to, smith peak trail before - is there anything else in the immediate vicinity to hit that is better?

    I appreciate any feedback, this is my replacement ride for a cancelled TransBC race trip this year

  2. #2
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    You already have a good handle on the options.
    1. Loop Halls and Fiddle with North Yuba. St. Charles is a fun descent, not a fun climb without a battery. Bottom is just below goodyears bar at the road sign.

    2. Jamison is fun the way you describe. You could loop from Oakland Pond or ride from Packer up Gold Valley for an epic. You can also do a variation back up to Smith Lake which allows for some fun loops.

    3. Your Elwell loop is a classic. Most people will find that pretty hard.

  3. #3
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    Its best to figure out that area by trial and error. Most people won't understand that alleged blasphemy. Keep it real, if ya can. Nothing beats an adventure that you're not sure how it'll go once you start pedaling. Always be prepared!

  4. #4
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    Mills-Round-Oakland Pond-Helgramite-Mud-Jamison-Jamison Connector-Smith-Graeagle Connector-Graeagle Creek-TDGF (town does't give a f***)-OGHT (over grade horse trail, aka: horse stables don't give a f***) into town. Elwell is good, but Red Forest section had work done that has made it a skidfest. Don't drink the koolaid and ride out of the box.
    Last edited by Schril; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    Last fall I climbed up and did Chimney Rock to Empire Creek. Lots of fire road but still a good loop.

    The Mt Elwell loop you mentioned is one of my favorites. I was disappointed in Jamison Creek.

    I liked Lavezzola as well. Has anyone ridden Spencer Creek trail? Worth it? I thought I heard the steep jeep trail at top of Lavezolla was going to be re-routed to be singletrack. Any recent news on that?

    Climbing up to the Sierra Buttes lookout, then riding old PCT/Gold Valley Rim, to Big Boulder, to 3rd/1st divide is probably the best bang for your buck top to bottom lap out there.

  6. #6
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    Some Big rides in d-ville to do. PM me if you want to chat more

    1. Out and back on lavezzola is fun ride. You can also incorporate a loop on 3rd or second divide (or first) with it.
    2. Out and back on 3rd divide + big boulder is good. you could also keep going up big boulder and then go down Pauley creek instead.
    3. North Yuba river trail to halls ranch as an out and back is good, or replace halls ranch with St. Charles. (BTW St. Charles is probably the best MTB descent in the D-ville area IMO)

  7. #7
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    Start in Graeagle, up Frazer, around Gold lake OHV up to Summit, Traverse to Jamison, down Jamison, up Smith Lake trail (hike a bike), down Smith lake/Graeagle Creek trail to town. Bring your fishing pole.

  8. #8
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    Some good suggestions here and I was just up there last weekend doing many of these trails so here is some recent intel:

    Big Boulder is already pretty damn loose and blown out especially on the tight switchback corners - not sure I would recommend climbing it in this condition especially w/ possibility of folks descending pretty fast - on that note, I don't know if I would climb 3rd divide w/ the amount of mach10 DH traffic that trail was getting - I was surprised how good 3rd Divide was holding up considering how much traffic it was getting - can't say the same thing for First Divide or Sunrise

    Lavezzola Creek ST out & back is really fun and absolutely gorgeous and you probably won't see a soul but that route is a lot of steep fire road burn back and forth to access - hardly saw any motos and few tracks on this route

    Chimney Rock to Empire Creek was pretty fun and very scenic, but IMO not sure it is worth the effort - again A LOT of fire road and is just stupid loose - these trails seem to get lots of moto traffic - the FR to ST ratio on this loop is not great (unless you love FR)

    Gold Valley Rim is money right now and the views are so good

    Not sure when you're heading up, but some of the Lakes Basin / Mt. Elwell stuff still had huge snow drifts and some trees down, so if it is soon that is something to take into account

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    Some good suggestions here and I was just up there last weekend doing many of these trails so here is some recent intel:

    Big Boulder is already pretty damn loose and blown out especially on the tight switchback corners - not sure I would recommend climbing it in this condition especially w/ possibility of folks descending pretty fast - on that note, I don't know if I would climb 3rd divide w/ the amount of mach10 DH traffic that trail was getting - I was surprised how good 3rd Divide was holding up considering how much traffic it was getting - can't say the same thing for First Divide or Sunrise
    Good point. I was riding it all of May when traffic was low, and trail conditions were all time. Might be best to climb 2nd divide instead, much less busy than third. Typically BB isn't that busy regardless of time of year though, right?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Good point. I was riding it all of May when traffic was low, and trail conditions were all time. Might be best to climb 2nd divide instead, much less busy than third. Typically BB isn't that busy regardless of time of year though, right?
    True that BB gets way less traffic (mtb traffic at least) b/c of the nasty climb to the top but it still gets some - like I said it was pretty loose deep pumice in the corners so that can make for a slightly unpleasant mtb climb - I think the motos are loving BB! - can't say I blame them looks like it would be a fun climb

  11. #11
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    Cheers everyone, I am headed up mid week after the 4th, I need to look over the recommendations with a map in front of me. Can't wait to get out there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    True that BB gets way less traffic (mtb traffic at least) b/c of the nasty climb to the top but it still gets some - like I said it was pretty loose deep pumice in the corners so that can make for a slightly unpleasant mtb climb - I think the motos are loving BB! - can't say I blame them looks like it would be a fun climb
    Those are some basic routes...you need to get out and explore

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wls4ever View Post
    Start in Graeagle, up Frazer, around Gold lake OHV up to Summit, Traverse to Jamison, down Jamison, up Smith Lake trail (hike a bike), down Smith lake/Graeagle Creek trail to town. Bring your fishing pole.
    Thatís my kinda ride

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