The Big Boulder Trail is undoubtably the trail for you if you're looking for sustained climbing, outstanding mountain scenery, varied technical challenges, and singletrack descending that almost lives up to that impossible descriptor: endless.
The Big Boulder is a historic 130-year-old mining trail, which has recently been revived as one of mountain biking's finest singletracks. Not only is there fabulous riding as you descend along the Yuba River, but near the end dozens of swimming holes provide an excellent opportunity to cool down and relax your brake-weary fingers.
Expect twisty, technical singletrack as well as a 17-mile fireroad climb. Consider organising a shuttle to avoid a lengthy climb.
In recent years, Downieville has become a premiere West Coast riding destination. Proof of its popularity is the fact that a number of mountain biking's pioneers have purchased second homes in the area. One trip down the Big Boulder Trail's descent will tell you why. After the first half-hour of super-fun singletrack descending, you'll be smiling ear-to-ear. Sixty minutes in, you'll probably be hooting. Somewhere along the way, you'll experience pure mountain bike ecstasy, and if you can think beyond the next turn you'll be delighted that you put Downieville on your must-ride list.