Nevada County GOLD - The Official Online Guide to Nevada County
Home Play Mountain Biking

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Mountain Biking

 

 

ROLL WITH IT!

 

As you’ll see from our list of rides, Nevada County has a great selection of routes and trails for mountain biking. Because it’s the Sierra Nevada Mountains, there is no short supply of highly difficult and challenging rides for expert-level bikers but riders at any experience or fitness level can find trails to match their abilities. You will notice that many of the rides
take you past or to gorgeous mountain lakes and there are also trails that offer Yuba River vistas. So have fun, be safe and please share the routes courteously with your fellow riders and hikers. Photo by Dieter King, outsideinn.com

 

EMPIRE MINE STATE PARK
Trailhead: West gate, at hilltop, off Empire St.
Distance: 1.5 - 10 miles
Total Estimated Climb: varies
Time Of Ride: varies
Season: Year round
Degree Of Difficulty: Beginner-intermediate. 3-6 physical, 1-4 technical
Wooded trails with easy to challenging terrain traverse California's richest gold mine, on both sides of highway 174. Trail maps are available at the park visitor center but don't ride in the visitors center area. There is no admission charge at this gate. Please observe the "No Bikes" signs in some areas.

UPPER SOUTH YUBA TRAIL
Trailhead: South Yuba Camp
Distance: 18 miles up and back
Total Estimated Climb: 1000+ feet
¨Time Of Ride: 2-3 hours
Season: Spring to Fall
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate+. 4-6 physical, 4-6 technical. A fun singletrack ride along the South Yuba River that can be ridden in early Spring when there is still snow on the ridges. Ride offers beautiful river views. From Nevada City, drive out Northbloomfield Road. Ride to trail's end at South Yuba Primitive Camp or take the spur to the river for a swim. A looped ride may be taken via the Humbug Trail and North Bloomfield Road.

BANNER - JONES LOOP
Trailhead: Brunswick Basin
Distance: 20 miles
Total Estimated Climb: N/A
Time Of Ride: 2-3 hours
Season: All year, possible snow in winter
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate+.
6 physical, 3 technical. This is a favorite mountain bike ride for road riders. From Brunswick Road, take Old Tunnel Road (behind Lucky's) to Banner Lava Cap Road. Turn right, ride up Banner and out to Red Dog Road. Turn right toward Greenhorn Creek then right again at Tumbling Creek Road (old wooden sign). Continue down Meadow Way to Jones Ridge, turn right at Greenhorn and right again at Brunswick. Return to start.

GLACIER LAKE RIDE
Trailhead: Bowman Lake Road at Forest Road 18, or four miles up at Carr Lake.
Distance: 20 miles
Total Estimated Climb: 1200+ feet
Time Of Ride: 3 hours
Season:Late Spring to Fall
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate+. 7 physical, 7 technical. Fun, challenging and beautiful high country ride in the Grouse Ridge Lakes Basin.
Directions: Take Highway 20 east and Bowman Lake Road north. Park at Forest Road 18 or Carr Lake. Ride to Feeley and Round lakes (Trail 12E26). Follow signs to Milk Lake and Glacier Lake via Trail 13E13. Return the same way.

CHAMPION MINE ROAD
Trailhead: Nevada City
Distance: 7-10 miles
Total Estimated Climb: 300 feet
Time Of Ride: 30 min. to 1 hour
Season: Year round
Degree Of Difficulty: Beginner - Intermediate. 3 physical, 2 technical

Easy ride on gravel and dirt roads in the Deer Creek canyon. Ride out Factory Street (past Miner's Foundry) to the pavement of Old Downieville Highway. Pass a few houses and take the first dirt road left. Stay high (right) at the steel gate. Ride to Newtown Road and return. Or turn right at Newtown, ride up to Highway 49 and right again on Old Downieville Highway. Return to town. A tougher alternative: From Newtown Road, cross Highway 49 and return to town via Indian Flat and Cement Hill roads.  

AUGUSTINE AGONY
Trailhead: Nevada City
Distance: 12 miles
Total Estimated Climb: 1800 feet
Time Of Ride: 3 hours
Season: Year round
Degree Of Difficulty: Advanced. 7-10 physical, 3-6 technical
Ride up Cement Hill Road, turn right at Augustine Road and then keep left all the way down to the South Yuba River. After a swim, attempt to climb back out.

LOWER PIONEER TRAIL
Trailhead: Park at Harmony Ridge Market (mountain bikers invited) or at the horse staging area off Highway 20, one mile east, across from Lone Grave.
Distance: 10 miles.
¨Total Estimated Climb: 500+ feet
¨ime Of Ride: 1 to 1.5 hours.
Season: Can be snowbound in winter.
Degree Of Difficulty: 4 physical, 4 technical.
Directions:Ride eastward on the Pioneer Trail, which runs parallel to Highway 20, on the north side. The trail offers wooded single-track riding with a moderate climb in the eastbound direction. It is marked with small diamond plaques on trees. Ride to White Cloud Campground and return, or continue eastward to Upper Pioneer Trail for a longer ride.
NOTE: The entire route has been developed and is maintained by a local equestrian group, the Gold Country Trails Council. Please extend every courtesy to folks on horseback.

UPPER PIONEER TRAIL
Trailhead: White Cloud Campground
Distance: 10 miles
Total Estimated Climb: N/A
Time Of Ride:1 to 1/5 hours
Season:Can be snowbound in winter
Degree Of Difficulty: 6 physical, 6 technical
This trail parallels Highway 20 on the south side and drifts farther from the highway than the lower section. Ride to Skillman Campground and back, or for a longer ride, to Chalk Bluff Road and back. The trail is fairly rugged and mildly technical single-track, offering more challenging riding than the lower section. (This trail can be linked with the Lower Pioneer Trail for a longer ride).

CASCI RANCH LOOP
Trailhead: Five Mile House. Riders invited to park at Harmony Ridge Market.
Distance: 12+ miles
Total Estimated Climb: 1500 feet
Time Of Ride: 2 hours
Season: Can be snowbound in winter
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate. 4-6 physical, 3-4 technical
Start near the Five Mile House. Follow the Pioneer Trail on the north side of the highway four miles east to Casci Ranch Road. Turn right. Descend to Scotts Flat Reservoir. Return to the Five Mile House via Scotts Flat Road.

BUCKEYE LOOP
Trailhead: Cascade Shores General Store
Distance: approx. 20 miles
Total Estimated Climb: N/A, very hilly
Time Of Ride: 2-3 hours
Season: Can be snowbound in winter
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate+. 6 physical, 3 technical
Ride east on Quaker Hill Road, turn right on Greenhorn and right again on Buckeye Road. Cross Greenhorn Creek. Turn right on Red Dog Road, stay right to Quaker Hill and descend to Cascade Shores.
NOTE: This route follows remote logging roads with few road signs and fewer people. Be equipped and begin early enough to complete the ride by dark.

SOUTH YUBA TRAIL
Trailhead: Round Mountain Trailhead, located off Round Mountain Road
Distance: 20 miles
Total Estimated Climb: 1000+ feet
Time Of Ride: 2-3 hours
Season: Spring to Fall
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate+. 6 physical, 6 technical
A fun and challenging single-track ride with views of the South Yuba River. At one time, the trail was posted as a clockwise riding circuit, but theses days most riders seem to prefer a counter-clockwise direction. From Round Mountain, turn left at the South Yuba Trail, left at Lake Vera-Purdon Road, left again at Rector Road, left at Rock Creek road and return on Round Mountain Road.
 

Higher elevation rides are covered in Bob Ward's "Mountain Biking in the Northern Sierra, Vol II, Grouse Ridge and the Excelsior District," available in local stores and directly from Bobo Publications, P.O. Box 19815, Sacramento, CA 95819.  

RELATED LINKS

TOUR OF NEVADA CITY BICYCLE SHOP
pen 7 Days a week Monday thru Friday: 10 am - 6 pm Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm, Sunday: 11 am - 4 pm. 457 Sacramento Street, Nevada City, CA 95959. (530) 265-2187.
www.tourofnevadacity.com

 

OUTSIDE INN
Catering to Mountain Bikers. 575 E. Broad Street, Nevada City, CA 95959.
www.outsideinn.com

 

MOUNTAIN HARDWARE SPORT
More Than Just Your Friendly Local Hardware Store...
Specializing in products for the Mountain Lifestyle. Serving the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee area for over 30 years. 
Donner Pass Rd. Truckee, CA (530) 587-4844.  www.mountainhardwareandsports.com

 

SIERRA HOT SPRINGS RESORT & RETREAT
Non-profit retreat, workshop center and Hotel. Massage, Watsu®,  Spa Treatment or Chiropractic sessions available by certified staff. 521 Campbell Hot Springs Rd., Sierraville, CA. See website for map and directions. (530) 994-3773.
 www.sierrahotsprings.org

 

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