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North Yuba River Trails - Downieville

The North Yuba River Trails Downieville, 16 miles of fantastic singletrack


Due to the very high amount of snow that was dumped on the range during the previous Winter and early Spring, most of the trails I had planned to shred were still snowed in, however the North Yuba River Trail was one of the few trails that were accessible. The North Yuba Trail is a highly rated +15 miles sweet singletrack that follows the Yuba River from Downieville to the Indian Valley Campground.
So, did this trail excite me as much as the Downieville classic?


The North Yuba River Trail Map


Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town : Downieville

Length: 15.23 mi

Trail Type: Point to Point

Skill Level: [what the books say] no info

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically easy – moderate. Physically moderate.

Duration : My time was 03:22:47

Elev Gain: 3,381 ft

Top Elev : 1,155 ft

Min. Elev : 706 ft


Book Description
One of the finest singletracks open to bikes, the newly built North Yuba Trail is a simple trail to follow as there are no other trails intersecting it. This short loop is 16.6 miles round-trip, and the first 8.8 miles of it clings to a north-facing slope above the North Yuba River. The remaining 7.7 miles rides the sometimes narrow shoulder of paved CA 49. But you needn’t ride the highway if you don’t want to. If it’s all single-track riding you want, you can easily make it so by returning in the reverse direction. Whatever the direction, the trail is a fun roller-coaster path, punctuated with some steep but short ascents and descents while weaving through a forest of dogwood, big-leaf maples, and mixed conifers. Adding even more spice to the sweet trail is its narrowness, scattered patches of loose rocks, and some serious drop-offs into the river. Throw in great views of the river with sections of gushing whitewater and you have one heck of a fun ride.


My Experience

As always, I got to the trailhead nice and early, and again without a map, luckily this trails is very easy to follow. To make things easy, I am going to split this trail in two, first section is from Downieville to Goodyears Bar, and the second section is from Goodyears Bar to Indian Valley. I’m doing this, because in my books these two sections offer a different riding experience.
On the first section you get a good 5 minutes to get warmed up, then you start on a long climb, nothing extreme, but it is a 3 mile continuous climb.
The great thing about this, is that once you reach the top ( 3 mile point ) it’s a solid and excellent fast flowing singletrack all the way to Goodyears Bar.
This downhill section really is the highlight of the whole trail, it is fun and very smooth and fast singletrack that really launches you down through the forest. When you reach the road that takes you through Goldyears Bar, you really feel sad the fun came to an abrubt end.
You now follow a very quite road to pick up the second section of this trail, that will take you on another 8 miles of singletrack.
Unlike the first section, where it was a solid climb followed by a solid “bomb”, this section was 8 miles of short up’s and short down’s. There are a few really nice sections on this trail, and the scenery is fantastic, a lot nicer than the first section, however, to me the fun level was lower than the first section.
The North Yuba River Trail is a fantastic 16 mile singletrack, but in an ideal world, I wish I could start with the second section and finish on the fantastic downhill of section one.



The North Yuba River Trail is without doubt a fantastic trail, and is a must if in the Downieville area. To me it did not impress me as much as the Downieville Classic, but that’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The trail is sweet singletrack, scenic and both technically and physically moderate.

Another good thing about this trail, is you could easily do this as an “Out & Back”, filling your Hydro at the Indian Valley Campground.
The downside to this trail can be “Crowds”, I had the trail to myself on a Thursday early morning, but Saturday was mental on the trail.. we are talking probably 100’s of people.


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail: Thursday early morning, and the trail was mine!!.. however weekends the trail is mental! Avoid if possible.

Wild Life : none

Scenery : Great scenery

Getting There : Trailhead in Downieville

Other : If you can, try and avoid weekends, trail gets very busy


My Trail Rating : 8 / 10



Yuba Expeditions Downieville

The North Yuba River Trail was proudly sponsored by :

Yuba Expeditions Downieville

Yuba Expeditions is the one stop bike shop in Downieville, For SALES • SERVICE • DEMOS • SHUTTLES • MAPS • SEMI-ORGANIZED ANARCHY and lots more.

Yuba Expeditions is THE place to get all the up to date trail intel, as well as any parts you or your steed will need while in Downieville.

Yuba Expeditions is also the choice shuttle service of Mountain Bike Mayhem, High on Mountain Biking and Mountain Bike Trails USA.


Yuba Expeditions – Downieville Downhill
208 Main Street, Downieville CA 95936
Tel: (530) 289 3010


10% discount Mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM and receive 10% discount on the Shuttle Service.





Johnson Meadow Trail Hurkey Creek near Idyllwild CA

The Idyllwild Trails in California did their best to keep me away. I had first planned to come here about 5 weeks ago, and on the actual day I left Los Angeles to head to Idyllwild 4 feet of snow was dropped, and I got a phone call from a ranger saying that I would need chains to get to Idyllwild.. I put everything on hold, and headed South instead.

When I did finally make it to Idyllwild,  both my bikes were in dire need of a bike doctor, luckily for me The Hub Cyclery in Iydllewild did a fantastic job on ordering me some parts and getting me back on the trails..

So, was all this worth the wait?, or was I better off going elsewhere?

Hurkey Creek Trail

Trail Stats & Information


Nearby Town : Idyllwild
Length: 7.3 miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: [what the books say] no info
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically easy. Physically  easy to modarate.
: My time was 01:37:28
Elev Gain
: 892 feet
Top Elev : 5,064  feet
Min. Elev : 4,393 feet


Book Description

I could not find any Mtb Trail books describing the Hurkey Creek Trails, so the below descriptions are based on my personal experience :
>> The Hurkey Creek Trails just a few miles from Idyllwild offer some fantastic and scenic trails. Some of the trails are pretty popular, and are used in the  24 Hour Race held in the Spring. Trails such as Johnson Meadow, Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love are some of the must do rides in this area.

My Experience

Lucky for me there is the Internet, Google and some very good Mtb Forums, ‘cos if I had to get my trail info from books and maps, I would probably still be looking. The good thing was however, wherever I looked, or whoever I asked the answer was always the same.. Do the Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love.
The above was the easy part, finding a trail map of these trails was not as simple. I did get a map from the Hurkey Creek Campground, and some advice about the trails, but to be honest, both meant very little once on the trail.
None of the trails are marked, and the map I had was a bad copy taken from Google Earth. It did not take me long to go wrong… 40 seconds to be exact. For any future non local riders who plan to ride this trail, as soon as you go through the gate at the very start of the trail, take the FIRST singletrack that takes a sharp left.. DO NOT stay on the main trail like I did for a whole mile!!.
Anyway once on the proper trail, a sweet singletrack takes you on a gradual climb to Keen Camp Summit. Once at the summit, you can prepare yourself for a fantastic fast flowing singletrack that takes you to the really nice Johnson Meadow. Here the trail bottoms out, and continues through this meadow for about 1.5 miles, I saw plenty of deer along this section. At the end of Johnsons Meadow, you start another  easy and graduate climb, that takes you to the large Oak Tree. Here at the large oak, you follow the trail on the right.. Congratulations, you have mage it to the Exfoliator. I have not got a clue what Exfoliator means, but let me tell you this, The Exfoliator is gonna put a smile on your chops that will last a long time. This is one hell of a short but sweet experience. FAST!!, just find your line and open up. The thrill is short lived, but it will last a lifetime..
So, I launced myself down the Exfoliator, and was ready to do the same on the Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love..
Well, things did not turn out that way, and I somehow completely missed the turn I should have made, so on this ride I never got to Rage through the Sage or the Tunnel of Love.. But, stick around, ‘cos 2 days later I did do these trails and a lot more.


The riding on these trails is fantastic, high elevation but without the serious uphill climbs. The trails are fast flowing and fun.
Some of these trails can and are very confusing for the first time riders in this area, they are not marked at all, and there are sometimes more than one to choose from. You are not gonna get lost on these trails, but just like myself, your planned route might turn out different than you had planned. But hey, worst case you just bomb down the Exfoliator 3 or 4 times.. Now that would be sweet!


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : I had all the trails to myself, I did not see anyone. 
Wild Life : A few dear along the Johnson Meadow section 
Scenery : Great scenery
Getting There : Click HERE for directions from Idyllwild
Other : Take sun lotion and plenty of bug spray, the horse flies are terrible


My Trail Rating : 7 / 10


The Hub Cyclery IdyllwildThe Hurkey Creek Trails review is proudly sponsored by :

The Hub Cyclery Idyllwild.

Don’t even consider riding the Hurkey Creek Trails before paying a visit to The Hub Cyclery.  This is not your average Cycle Shop, the owners themselves are not just avid mountain bikers, they also build the popular Siren Mountain Bikes. The Hub Cyclery is well stocked with everything you and your bike will need on the trails, and a lot more.  When you buy a Trails Map at The Hub, it comes with some free  and  unmissable  advice and recommendations.

For more info please visit : www.hubcyclery.com