Exploding through the breathtaking Lost Sierra region of Northern California, Mt. Hough offers an exhilarating mountain biking experience that’s perfect for riders of intermediate skill levels seeking a smoother, faster trail alternative to the more technical runs nearby. Located just an hour’s drive north of Reno, Mt. Hough stands as a testament to the diverse and exciting terrain available in Plumas County.
The Lost Sierra has gained fame as a mountain biking mecca, attracting riders from far and wide. Its trails range from technically demanding descents to smooth and flowy rides, ensuring there’s something for every skill level. Towering peaks and deep valleys create an undulating landscape that promises an adrenaline-pumping adventure around every corner. With trails that seem to go on forever and scenic viewpoints that take your breath away, it’s no wonder mountain biking enthusiasts consider this a must-visit destination.
A Trail for All Riders
Mt. Hough starkly contrasts its neighboring peak, Mills Peak, boasting a fast, smooth, and entirely intermediate-friendly terrain. With just one optional technical feature at the mountain’s summit, this trail promises an enjoyable ride for those looking for a flowy, non-technical descent.
The trail can be divided into distinct sections, each offering a unique flavor to the ride. The initial segments of Mt. Hough are characterized by their speed and openness, providing riders with a natural singletrack sensation as they wind their way down the mountain. However, the well-crafted flow trail segment that awaits riders in the middle truly sets Mt. Hough apart. Here, berms, tabletop jumps, and other features make for an exciting and enjoyable riding experience.
Climbing for the Descent
While you’ll be descending a thrilling 4,200 vertical feet on this trail, don’t forget that you’ll also encounter approximately 400 feet of climbing. These climbs typically appear in the middle of the trail, and after the high-speed descent, they might feel a bit out of place. Some riders wonder if the trail could have been routed differently. However, a closer look at the topography reveals that these climbs are merely small hills that stand between you and the next exhilarating downhill stretch. Soon enough, you’ll be back to soaring through the high-speed flow.
The Need for Speed
Though generally buff and non-technical, Mt. Hough’s singletrack offers plenty of opportunities to unleash your inner speed demon. Release the brakes, and you’ll achieve blistering speeds in certain sections. Some parts of the trail are surprisingly steep and straight, allowing you to experience the thrill of flying down the mountain at breakneck speeds. Even advanced riders will be captivated by these high-speed descents’ excitement and adrenaline rush.
However, it’s essential to remain vigilant as you enjoy the thrill of speed. The fast-paced downhill sections can occasionally lead you into tight and twisty trails through dense stands of trees. Riding with your head up is crucial to navigating these sections safely.
Finding the Trailhead
Here are general directions to the Mt. Hough trailhead:
1. Start in Quincy, California: Quincy is the nearest town to Mt. Hough and serves as a central point for accessing the trail.
2. Head North on Highway 70: From Quincy, take Highway 70 north. This highway runs through the region and is a common route for reaching the trailhead.
3. Turn onto County Road A-14: After driving on Highway 70 for approximately 7 to 8 miles from Quincy, you should look for County Road A-14 (sometimes called Oakland Camp Road or just Camp 14 Road). Turn left onto this road.
4. Follow A-14 to the Trailhead: Continue driving on A-14 for several miles. You’ll eventually come to the trailhead parking area. Look for signs or trail markers that indicate you’ve reached Mt. Hough.
5. Park and Access the Trail: Once you’ve arrived at the trailhead parking area, park your vehicle, unload your mountain bike, and prepare for your ride.
Yuba Expeditions Shuttle Services
For mountain biking enthusiasts planning to explore the exhilarating trails of Mt. Hough in Quincy, Yuba Expeditions offers an official and permitted shuttle service that promises an unforgettable adventure. As part of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, Yuba Expeditions has a direct connection to the mountain’s trail, having played a pivotal role in building it from scratch.
By choosing Yuba Expeditions as your shuttle service, you access this incredible trail and contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the #dirtmagic that makes Mt. Hough special. So, go to Quincy, hop on a shuttle with Yuba Expeditions, and experience the thrill of their most recent singletrack creation.
Currently, Mt. Hough shuttles operate from Friday through Monday, ensuring ample opportunities for riders to embark on their mountain biking adventure. However, if you have a group of five or more riders interested in midweek shuttles, Yuba Expeditions will accommodate your needs with prior arrangements.
Before booking any shuttle service, verifying that they hold an official shuttle permit with the Forest Service is crucial. Only a limited number of permitted services are authorized for both Mount Hough and Mills Peak, and only two for Downieville. Opting for non-permitted shuttle operations can have implications for trail access, potentially affecting the mountain biking experience for everyone.
To meet the Mt. Hough shuttle, head to Yuba Expeditions Adventure Center, conveniently located off Highway 70 just north of Quincy, next to the airfield near Spanish Creek Road. The address is 550 Crescent St, Quincy, CA 95971. Yuba Expeditions ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
If you’re seeking an intermediate-friendly mountain biking adventure in the Lost Sierra, Mt. Hough in Plumas County should be at the top of your list. Its blend of smooth, flowy descents and exciting technical segments provides an engaging and memorable riding experience for all skill levels. So, hop behind the wheel, make the scenic drive north, and prepare to be captivated by the exhilarating world of mountain biking at Mt. Hough. This trail is a true gem in the heart of California’s mountain biking paradise.”
Nestled in the breathtaking Lost Sierra region of Northern California, Mt. Hough offers an exhilarating mountain biking experience that’s perfect for riders of intermediate skill levels seeking a smoother, faster trail alternative to the more technical runs nearby. Located just an hour’s drive north of other renowned shuttle runs, Mt. Hough stands as a testament to the diverse and exciting terrain available in Plumas County.
If you’re seeking an intermediate-friendly mountain biking adventure in the Lost Sierra, Mt. Hough in Plumas County should be at the top of your list. Its smooth, flowy descents blend and exciting technical segments provides an engaging and memorable riding experience for all skill levels. So, hop behind the wheel, make the scenic drive north, and prepare to be captivated by the exhilarating world of mountain biking at Mt. Hough. This trail is a true gem in the heart of California’s mountain biking paradise.
Need more a more technical trail experience on Mt. Hough? This is it. Old school moto trail. Starts down a fun manzanita corridor with playful woops then turns into a more technical narrow singletrack with loamy corners and high speed sidehilling. Finishes on an old roadbed at the base of the Mount Hough Trail, then crosses Tollgate Creek to Oakland Camp. In spring of 2022 the SBTS Trail Crew built a connector trail from Berry Creek Trail to Mt. Hough access road, so now you have more singletrack to choose from when riding lower Hough loops and when you do not want to get wet crossing the creek at the bottom of the Hough Trail.
Make It a Weekend in the Lost Sierra
If you’re planning a thrilling mountain biking adventure on the iconic Mt. Hough trail in the heart of California’s Lost Sierra, why not turn it into a memorable weekend getaway? Quincy, Graeagle, and Portola, nestled amidst the stunning wilderness of Plumas County, offer the perfect blend of outdoor exploration and relaxation. When it comes to lodging options, Quincy Courtyard Suites in the charming town of Quincy or the Pioneer RV Park & Campground for a more rugged experience are excellent choices. Meanwhile, Graeagle boasts the Graeagle Meadows Vacation Rentals and Chalet View Lodge, both catering to outdoor enthusiasts seeking a comfortable and rustic atmosphere. In Portola, consider staying at Nakoma Resort for a touch of luxury or the Feather River Inn for a historical ambiance.
After an exhilarating day of mountain biking, fuel up at local eateries that celebrate the outdoor lifestyle. Quincy’s Morning Thunder Cafe and Quintopia Brewing are perfect for hearty meals and artisanal brews. In Graeagle, relish American cuisine at Graeagle Restaurant or grab a coffee and pastry at Graeagle Mill Works, and spend the evening at a Sierra REC favorite The Brewing Lair for the perfect Beer hide away int he Sierra. Meanwhile, Portola offers exquisite dining experiences at The Lodge at Nakoma and Fifty Grand Steakhouse, where you can savor delectable dishes while soaking in the serene mountain views. So, make it a weekend in the Lost Sierra, where adventure and relaxation seamlessly merge to create unforgettable memories amidst the breathtaking beauty of Northern California’s rugged terrain.