Where to Mt. Bike in California




Where to Mt. Bike in California

Mountain Biking in California

Let's jus say, it's a world-renowned experience! With a vast landscape, diverse terrain, breathtaking scenery and year-round sunny weather, California is an ideal destination for mountain bikers. From the challenging trails of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the picturesque vineyards of Napa Valley, California is the perfect place to enjoy riding.

One of the most popular destinations for mountain bikers in California is the Lake Tahoe region. With over 100 miles of single track trails, the area offers a mix of challenging terrain for experienced riders and beginner-friendly paths for those just starting out. From the scenic Flume Trail to the technical Northstar Bike Park, there’s something for everyone.

Another must-visit destination for mountain bikers is Marin County. This area is home to a variety of trails ranging from easy rides to challenging technical terrain. Mount Tamalpais State Park is one of the most popular destinations, with miles of trails winding through the park's stunning scenery.

If you’re looking for a more urban mountain biking experience, the city of San Francisco has several parks with mountain biking trails, including Golden Gate Park and the Presidio

The East Bay is home to a number of popular trails, including the Tilden Regional Park and Redwood Regional Park.

For a more unique mountain biking experience, Southern California's Big Bear Mountain Resort offers lift-assisted riding. With a variety of trails and terrain parks, Big Bear is a popular destination for riders of all levels.

California offers endless trails, breathtaking scenery and a range of terrains. Enjoy!


Mountain biking in the Downieville, CA area combines rugged terrain, breathtaking scenery, and thrilling descents. There are trails for every skill level, from beginner to expert.

Starting from the town of Downieville, you’ll embark on epic singletrack adventures that wind through dense forests, across mountain ridges, and along the banks of the Yuba River. The trails in this area are known for their technical features, including rocky sections, rooty descents, and challenging switchbacks.

One of the most popular trails is the Downieville Downhill, a 17-mile descent that drops over 5,000 feet from Packer Saddle to Downieville. This trail offers a mix of fast, flowy sections and technical challenges, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and river valleys.

Looking for a longer adventure? The Downieville Classic All-Mountain course combines downhill with an additional climb and descent, totaling around 29 miles. This course will challenge you with a variety of terrain and features, a favorite among experienced mountain bikers.

Downieville also offers a range of other trails, including the Butcher Ranch Trail, the Big Boulder Trail, and the Mills Peak Trail, each with its own unique character and scenery. You’ll find a quick ride or a full-day adventure, depending on what you’re up for.

Downieville offers a perfect base camp for mountain biking enthusiasts. Relax and unwind in the charming town of Downieville, and then camp under the stars or stay the night in a cozy cabin.

The Lost Coast:

This rugged and remote stretch of coastline is located in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties. A popular multi-day mountain bike trail is the Lost Coast Trail. While not solely designated for mountain biking, it offers a challenging and rewarding experience for riders seeking adventure along California's rugged coastline.

The Trail is located in the King Range National Conservation Area in northern California, near the town of Shelter Cove. It’s renowned for its remote and pristine wilderness, stunning coastal scenery, and challenging terrain. The trail traverses approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) along the rugged and remote coastline of the King Range, with options for shorter or longer routes depending on your skill level and preferences.

The trail features a mix of singletrack, gravel roads, sandy beaches, and rocky sections. Expect steep climbs, technical descents, creek crossings, and breathtaking ocean views along the way.

Best ridden during the dry season, typically late spring to early fall, to avoid winter storms and inclement weather, you should know too that summer is quite foggy, detracting from the ocean view.

Mountain biking is permitted on certain sections of the Lost Coast Trail, but be aware of any restrictions or seasonal closures. Sections of the Lost Coast, particularly within the King Range National Conservation Area, require permits for overnight camping. There are several designated campsites along the trail where you can set up tents and spend the night but permits are required, and reservations are recommended, especially during peak season.

Accessing the Lost Coast can be an adventure in itself due to its remote and rugged nature. Here are some general guidelines:

Choose Your Entry Point: The Lost Coast spans a significant stretch of coastline, so it's essential to decide which section you want to visit. The northern section, including the King Range National Conservation Area, is more remote and rugged, while the southern section near Shelter Cove may offer slightly easier access.

Plan Your Route: Depending on where you choose to access the Lost Coast, you may need to plan a hiking or backpacking trip. There are several trails and routes that lead to the coastline, including the Lost Coast Trail, which traverses the entire length of the wilderness area.

Prepare for Remote Travel: The Lost Coast is remote and rugged, with limited services and amenities. Make sure to bring plenty of food, water, camping gear, navigational tools and other essentials. Cell phone reception may be unreliable or nonexistent in some areas, so consider bringing alternative means of communication and navigation, such as a satellite phone or GPS device.

Check Trail Conditions: Before setting out, check trail conditions and weather forecasts. The Lost Coast Trail can be challenging, with sections of soft sand, steep terrain, and potentially hazardous creek crossings. Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including fog, wind, and rain.

Transportation: Depending on your entry and exit points, you may need to arrange transportation to and from the trailheads. Some areas may require a four-wheel-drive vehicle to access, particularly if you're traveling on unpaved roads.

Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment and preserve the wilderness for future generations. Pack out all trash, minimize campfire impacts, and stay on designated trails to protect fragile ecosystems.

By following these guidelines and planning accordingly, you can access the Lost Coast and experience the remote beauty of one of California's most rugged and pristine wilderness areas.


*The name "Lost Coast" originated from the perception that this stretch of coastline was "lost" or inaccessible, especially during the era of early European exploration and settlement in California. Its isolation and untamed wilderness have since become part of its allure. This part of the northern California coast is frequently shrouded in dense fog, particularly during the summer months when the marine layer moves inland from the Pacific Ocean. The combination of fog, rocky coastline, and strong ocean currents has historically made navigation along the Lost Coast challenging and hazardous for mariners, and shipwrecks were common. The area remains largely uninhabited and undeveloped, preserving its natural landscapes and ecosystems. 

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