Tucked safely in the sierra foothills, an hour’s drive from any road and at the Downie and North Yuba Rivers confluence is a tiny town called Downieville. The only reason why Downieville still survives and exists is purely due to mountain bikers. During the gold rush it used to be the fifthlargest town while currently it is a ghost town with less than 350 residents remaining. However prospectors during the gold rush built magnificent trails and that is why this town is a top attraction for mountain bikers.
With over 500 miles of trails it is a challenging ride all round with rugged, fast, steep and utterly challenging trails for the more experienced riders especially even though various skill level riders come along. S short way from town lies Lake Basin, with challenging and new trails that borders on technical skills with elevations of 8,000 feet and along alpine lakes with Mills Peak offering an ascend of 3, 000 vertical feet.
That Downieville is picturesque is no doubt, with wooden sidewalks, narrow streets and historic buildings. The Downieville Classic which spans over two days is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with a mountain bike race that runs from Sierra City and down to Downieville and across the Sierra Nevada in the middle. That weekend includes after riding fun that includes live nightly music, mechanical bull riding and river-jump competition.
Looking at local guides you will find that Yuba Expeditions which are owned by Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship knows which trails are best. The newest North Yuba Trail is a cross-country experience while adrenalin junkies will adore the Third Divide where speeds can run over 40 miles per hour.
As far as off-biking activities go is there fishing or swimming and drinking is at a tiny bar which is also the only bar in town called St. Charles Place. Eating is also limited however great burritos are found at La Cocina Del Oro. Staying options include the Carriage house Inn and the Downie Loft.