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Big Boulder

Average Rating:    (4.92 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 13

This said, now I can tell you that this trail is one of the sweetest single tacks around! It is a top 10 ride in my book! FUN, FUN, FUN! Park at Packer saddle and right across the road is the new killer single track. Funs with lots of log drops. Call it Gregs trail (since he cut it). This trail will dump you out on a gravel road. Make a right and go for about 3 to 4 miles until you see the sign for Gold Valley/Pauley Creek. Take this OHV road down, and hold on for some fun! Cross Pauley creek and go up the quick climb, maybe 10 yards long. With in about 100 yards you will see a turn off to the right for Smith Lake. Take this turn off and climb the gentle climb to the ridge top. When you crest the ridge make a left (the road you are on will go straight to Smith lake, do not go this way, make the left here). Continue climbing to the top and now you will pass to the backside of the ridge. Start to go down hill and hold on again. The road narrows and will become some sweet ripping single track! This trail is 3 wide in places and if you fall, well kiss your ass good bye J. This is where you will either love it or hate it (depending on how good you are). For those of you that are ripping it up, right on! Have a great ride all the way down to 3rd divide. For those of you that are hating life, well go homethis place is for mountain bikers not whiners, whimps or skirts Enjoy
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Latitude
39.619424959447336
Longitude
-120.66730499267578
Trail Directions
Ok here goes another one This ride is not for beginners or intermediates. If this is you, then stay on Butcher Ranch or Pauley Creek. This ride is not for you intermediates that have rented a DH bike for the day so now you think your advanced. There is a good chance that you will fall off the trail into oblivion. This trail is narrow (3 wide in places) and very off camber. If you fall off the trail there is no one around to come get you (except the bears). Make sure your self-sufficient out here too! Park at Packer Saddle (look at how to get to Butcher Ranch or Pauley Creek).
Trail Length
20 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Downieville/Bassets
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
October 9, 2008

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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5.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: sam-eye-am ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I did this ride during the Downievile Gathering in June 2008. Hands down the best ride I did there. I'm no XC weenie, but not a FR/DH guy either. Somewhere in between, and that is what this ride is. If you shuttle up to packer saddle and then ride sunrise, and then the fire road(s) to get to big boulder...including a section everyone was calling "baby heads"...which was really a lot of fun to haul some a** through. The big boulder trail itself, is sweet. Narrow, more buffed and less trafficked single track than what you'll find on the standard D'ville Downhill route. Once you climb up to the summit, you might be tempted to bypass the little trail that is goes off to your left and start the Downhill. Don't! Take the left at the summit...it is a short out and back to a killer view point...for some good scenic photo opportunities and a chance to relax and eat some lunch. Bottom line...if you don't mind a little pedaling but don't necessarily want to kill yourself climbing...this is a must do for D'ville in my opinion. (I'll rate it at a 4 for aerobic from my sea level normalized lungs perspective...probably a 3 to a 4 for tech depending on you experience...but a 5 overall).

Recommended Route:
I just followed a guy who had a good map, so I'm not of much use on this one.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
They are all good.



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Review Date
July 10, 2008

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: bpressnall ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
With the name "Big Boulder" I expected more rock gardens, but actually it's more of a forested cruisy kind of ride, kind of like the lower Third Devide trail. I found it fun and challenging, but nothing really hairy. The jeep trail section into Pauly Creek was the hardest part. Technically, I give it a three, but maybe a four compared to other trails in the same area. Aerobicly: 2-3 with shuttle, 4-5 without. If it had some more rock gardens or other more interesting terrain fetures, I would have given it an overall 5.

Recommended Route:
Either shuttle or ride up Union? road to Packer Saddle, then take the Sunrise trail and roads over toward Smith Lake. The Lake is a nice detour, but requires climbing out. Or you can follow the ridge over to Summit Lake and maybe sneak in a little PCT riding. I think taking Third Devide has a better flow and save Second Devide for when you do Butcher Ranch. Of coarse finish with First Devide.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
You'll find out.



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Review Date
February 17, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Bigboulder ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This is where my Mountain Bike Epiphiny occured nearly ten years ago. Read all the reviews here...they are all true..still one of my favorite XC rides...does not get the traffic that Pauly creek and Butchers ranch get because of the climb up from Gold Valley. If you are in NORCAL...you must give this a shot!

Recommended Route:
Either take "Gregs" trail from Packer saddle to the fire road....or go up the deer lake OHV to view Stunning Deer Lake then come down to the Gold Valley entrance from Summit Lake. After completeing bigboulder...don't be a wuss...opt for 2nd divide over instead of third divide!

Other recommended trails in the same area:
2nd divide, North Yuba, South Yuba, Mt Elwell



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Review Date
February 13, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: wnsirfir ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
What can I say about this trail that hasn't already been said. This is a great adventure ride by intermediate plus level or better cross country riders who are looking for a great workout and fun technical trail to ride.

As stated in previous reviews the Big Boulder trail is accessed off the Pauley Creek downhill trail. If you don't like climbing and you are on a 35 lb. plus bike you probably won't like the 1,000'+
CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE RIDGE.

If you are up for the climb you won't regret the downhill once you reach the top. Upon reaching the ridge top you can take a well deserved break and have a breath taking view of the Packer Saddle Butcher Ranch Sierra Buttes area. The only other better views are off the Pacific Crest Trail which is off limits to mountain bikers.

From the view point there are two choices to continue the ride. One is down the 8'wide gravely road to the old Big Boulder mine to continue on the Big Boulder singletrack descent or you can take a singletrack off the top of the ridge to connect up with the Big Boulder trail.

The advantage of taking the single track off the ridge is to avoid the 8' wide gravel road plunge and steep ass probably unrideable for most mortal's climb back up to the top of the Big Boulder singletrack descent.

Once on the Big Boulder singletrack descent drop your seat a little and tighten your chin strap you are going to experience one of the best rides of your riding career. Good luck and have fun.

Once you reach Third Divide you can either turn right and continue the high speed descent. Or if your in great shape and want more of a work out turn left and climb 50 yards up to the top of the ridge. Drop down the trail for about 100 yards and turn right down Second Divide. Note: the drop down Second Divide has several aerobic climbs that will be fun for serious cross country riders and will make most downhillers wish they had continued down Third Divide.

The the other reason to ride Second Divide is that it adds over a mile of singletrack which ends up being a fireroad on Third Divide.

If you take Second Divide you need to hang a right at the end of Second Divide to hook up with First Divide. To make sure you don't get lost it might be a good idea to hook-up with someone who has ridden the route previously.

Recommended Route:
See Above

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Butcher Ranch



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Review Date
January 21, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Jeff Bowers ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I've been riding for 15 years. By far, (all) the trails at Downieville are the best I have ever ridden.Why??? Fast, medium & steep downhill grades, large berms, natural jumps-everything is here if you crave on-the-edge BMXy/freeriding speeds. You must have good technical skills, or these trails will eat you alive- no beginners please.
The trails are exceedingly long,15 miles long! You catch a shuttle ride to the top,for $15 bucks a ride.Average ride up to the top & back down to Downieville, about 2-3 hours, and it wears you out. High points: Cool town, nice people,pleasant summer temps with many different technical, thrilling downhill rides with varying terrain, from rock gardens to smooth BMXy sections under pine trees that flow into bridged river crossings. The Downieville trails are legendary- if you call yourself a MT. Biker, must ride these trails. Bring a decently lightweight full-suspension trail bike (4-5 " of travel the best), lots of spare tubes and a pair of large ones. The smile on your face will be hard to wipe off!!!! Have fun & be nice to the locals.Downieville is MTB heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recommended Route:
All the trails are loads of fun, ask the local bike shop employees/locals or shuttle up with experienced riders who will guide you down-just tag along, everyone is cool.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Around the Lake at Bassetts - a good, easy, flat beginner ride, nice views & take a dip in the Lake coves.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5