18 miles
2,784 ft
-8,090 ft
2 miles
High Point

While Tower-to-Town can describe any route between the Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout Tower and the town of Downieville, this route is (almost) the most direct. The ride starts from the Packer Saddle shuttle drop and goes up to the fire tower and it's other worldy views at the top of the Sierra Buttes. You'll do a combination of hard riding and a bit of hike-a-bike to get there, but it's worth doing at least once. You can even brave the steps of the tower to get a top-of-the-top view into the Lakes Basin and beyond.

The good news is, it's mostly downhill from here. Point your bike downhill and let er rip back to the shuttle drop, across Sunrise and the Butcher Ranch singletrack which weaves it's way until you hit The Gorge,a perhaps bloated name for a techy gully feature that marks the 'game on' point of Butcher.

From there it's a combo of black diamond rock gnar, alternating with smooth (and sometimes quite dusty) magical dirt trailbed. You'll encounter The Waterfall and The Wall—most likely with a stopped rider or two on or around them. Be courteous as you announce your presence and show them how it's done (or pull over—well outside the riding line—to watch someone else do it.

Most of this route is the 'Downieville Downhill', but you could do a Tower-to-Town route that includes the Gold Valley Rim to Pauley route, or even Big Boulder.

As rides go, don't make this your first one if you're a rookie. Do the 'standard' Butcher Ranch downhill and add options on subsequent runs.

Local Trail Association
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (www.sierratrails.org)
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  • Riding area
  • AKA
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
More Stats for Downieville Tower to Town mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    -5,306 ft
  • Altitude min
    2,897 ft
  • Altitude start
    8,207 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,901 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5 miles
  • Distance down
    12 miles
  • Distance flat
    4,520 ft
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Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Activity Type
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail transparency
trail: 3rd Divide
36:12 | 23 | comments: 0 | favs:
Aug 6, 2018
youtuber Going 55 KPH on Downieville Mountain Bike...
Going 55 KPH on Downieville Mountain Bike Trails...
trail: 3rd Divide
18:23 | 68 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jul 24, 2018
2018 Downie w titos
2018 Downie w titos
29:19 | 53 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jun 20, 2018
Pedal Addicts

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

First Divide
Nov 11, 2018 @ 1:19pm
Nov 11, 2018
Main St.
Nov 11, 2018 @ 1:19pm
Nov 11, 2018
3rd Divide
Nov 4, 2018 @ 9:27am
Nov 4, 2018
Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail
Nov 4, 2018 @ 9:27am
Nov 4, 2018
Sunrise Trail
Oct 27, 2018 @ 11:19am
Oct 27, 2018
Loose lots of braking bumps
more reports »
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