Downieville is mountain bike heaven

Mountain biking in Downieville

There’s something magical about Downieville.

While you might spend an hour climbing for 15 minutes of OK downhill everywhere else, in Downieville you’ll spend 15 minutes climbing and 2 hours shredding the downhill trail of your life. Of course you’ll have to take a shuttle to the top, but some days it’s OK to cheat.



Downieville mountain biking

  • My Strava track from the first shuttle
  • It took me about 90 minutes to ride the 17.7 miles back to town. I took the Second Divide trail instead of the more popular Third Divide.
  • Many riders are armor themselves with full-face helmets, elbow pads and knee pads. Shit happens, so it’s not a bad idea.
  • There are a couple road crossings and confusing spots, so download the Trailforks app so you know where you are at all times.


  • Parking in the central area of town is limited to two hours, so I will try to move my car after my first shuttle run.
  • Shuttles are $20 per person from Yuba Expeditions and run every day of the week during the summer. Only two shuttles run per day Monday – Thursday, but a ton run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Yuba Expeditions also offers bike demos for $100 a day. I rode the Santa Cruz Hightower and it was fantastic.
  • Yuba Expeditions has a hydration pack fill station just outside the shop for water.
  • Public bathrooms are available very close to the bike shop as well.
  • The Yuba River is a great place to dip into between shuttle rides.