Top of PageOur Bar Sponsor
Thank you for the Historic 5 Mile House.  Robert, the owner, provided us with some amazing spring rolls and a complimentary round of drinks.  Thank you Robert!  They have a surprisingly extensive menu and an above average head count of women for the area.  Marissa the bartender was knowledgeable about the food and drink.  Her great attitude only added to our good time.  The backyard was amazingly big and offered a bocce ball court as well as an play area for the kids!  They often have live music and hold special events like their Thursday Irish Night.  Not that any of us would know.  Print out the coupon below and go in and have a cold one on us (alright them). 

Print Coupon Here

Upper Pioneer Trail - Nevada City, CA

Our Bar Sponsor     Video Segment     Pictures of Trip     Ride Summary     Ride Detail     Recommendations     White Cloud Campground
Top of PageVideo Segment
Top of PagePictures of Trip
Top of PageRide Summary
Crew: Jason Jeffery, Erik Truxal, Erick Brashears

Fun Factor:



From: White Cloud Campground

Chalk Bluff Rd.

7.5 mi. (one way), 15 mi. (round trip)

Elevation Range:  1700 ft

Time Pedaling: 1 hr 49 minutes

Total Time (with breaks): 3 hrs 35 min

Favorite Bar: The Historic 5 Mile House

Pleepleus References:
Top of PageRide Detail
This trail is a continuation of the lower pioneer trail which begins at the Harmony Ridge Market off Highway 20 across the street from the 5 Mile House.  5MH is a great place for your after ride beer and grub.  They also feature live music almost every night.  

This trail is clearly marked with NFS tags on the trees every few hundred feet.  If you are ever unsure which direction to go, look and you will probably see a marker somewhere close.  You are also paralleling Hwy 20 for the most part so any difficulty and it is less than ½ mi. to the north.

To get to White Cloud Campground (WCC) from Nevada city, head East on Hwy 20 for 12 mi.  The campground is on your left. From WCC head to the southwestern part of the campground and you will see a fire road.  Jump on this heading E until you see a power pole labeled #46.  Head south for less than ½ mi and you will see the beginning for the trail.

You begin at 4300 ft and finish at 5000 ft.  It is an uphill ride on the way out but there are no strenuous climbs.  From here on, you are on single-track.  It begins with jaw dropping views to you right.  For the next 2.5 mi. you will ride on top of a berm? that weaves in and out of the trees. The most difficult section is at the 3.5 mi. mark where you will encounter some loose rocks and boulders that you must navigate through and around.  The section is less than .5 mi and you are back to single-track.  At 5 mi. the trail makes a 90° right turn.  It is marked but watch for it.

The next 2.5 mi. is the majority of you climbing.  It is gradual so it's not going to crush you.  At about 7.5 you will come across an unmarked fire road.  This is Chalk Bluff Rd.  At this point you can turn around and head back or if you are up to it, this trail continues on for another 7.5 mi. and end at Lake Spaulding.

Top of PageRecommendations
Get a ride and take the downhill.  Following the day we rode the out and back, we woke up at 6:30am, downed a 5 hour energy, 2 Excedrin, and chugged a beer.   Once that was finished, Brashears maned up, took his hand out of his pants, and carted Truxal and I up to Chalk Rd. for a fantastic early morning 7.5 (primarily) downhill run back to camp.  Brashears, no matter what they say about your vegan ways, we love you man!
Top of PageWhite Cloud Campground
  • Campground Info: click here
  • Online Reservations: click here
  • Google Map To Site: click here
  • Alternate Campgrounds: Scott's Flat (if you want to be near the water), Skillman (for horse rides),
  • Description: This is the campsite that the trail goes directly through.  It does also go through Skillman but it is more of a horseback riding campground.  You should visit a different website for that information.  Quiet area with large camp sites. Fire pits with roll-over grill.  Ride to trail from campsite.  You can hear some car noise at night but there was not a lot of traffic. Didn't seem to upset the other campers with loud story telling and drunken exaggerations. Not as impacted as other sites so we got in without reservations.  Having reservations is always a good idea though.  The camp ground manager was awesome.
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