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Fishing: California > Tahoe National Forest > Downieville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Second Divide Trail

Beginning Elevation: 3,400 Feet (1059.9 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,040 Feet (324.2 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 4,440 Feet (1384.0 Meters)
Length, Round Trip: 7 Miles (11.67 Kilometers) Second and Third Divide Loop
USGS Maps: Downieville 7.5' & Sierra City 7.5'

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Second Divide Trails is a moderately difficult trail at an elevation of 3,480 feet. This trail offer several possibilities to explore in this area. The Second Divide Trail follows Pauley Creek down the canyon. This area has a wide variety of birds, wildlife, and flowers. Pauley Creek falls rapidly and the short spur trails leading to the creek are well worth exploring for picnicking, fishing and sightseeing.

Backpackers may choose to follow Second or Third Divide Trails to the junction of the Butcher Ranch and Pauley Creek Trails. The Butcher Ranch Trail offers beautiful displays of spring flowers. The scenic Pauley Creek trail accesses Gold Valley.

Day Hikers who can arrange transportation may wish to be dropped off at the Third Divide Trailhead and hike the loop to their vehicle at Second Divide.

Directions from Downieville: Travel on Upper Main Street. Approximately 0.5 miles east of the town Post Office, cross the Downie River Bridge. Continue on the dirt road 2.7 miles to the Second Divide trailhead on the right. To access the Third Divide Trail, continue another 1.5 miles to a well-defined road fork. Take the right branch, entering Empire Ranch private land, and proceed 0.2 miles to the trailhead sign on the right. Please park your vehicle well off the road and respect the rights of private property owners.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: April through November (NOTE: During mild Winters this trail can be accessed year round.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Fishing Fishing is available in the creeks along the trails.
ICON Hiking & Walking Second Divide Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Horseback riding is available on these trails.
ICON Wildflower Identification There are many opportunities to view wildflowers on these trails.
ICON Bird Identification Many forms of birds can be found on these trails.
ICON Mountain Biking Mountain biking is available on these trails.
ICON Motorcycle Riding Motorcycle riding is available on these trails.
ICON Picnicking Picnicking is available along these trails.
ICON Viewing Scenery There are many opportunities to view scenery on these trails.
ICON Viewing Wildlife There are many opportunities to view wildlife on these trails.

Related Activities
Butcher Ranch Trail - Butcher Ranch Trail is a difficult 4 mile trail at an elevation of 6,200 feet. This trail follows the contour of Butcher Ranch Creek for 1.5 miles to the confluence of Butcher Ranch and Pauley Creeks.

Pauley Creek Trail - Pauley Creek Trail is a difficult 3.5 mile trail at an elevation of 6,200 feet. This trail heads north toward Gold Valley. The trail along Pauley Creek is a steady climb, offering views of a series of beautiful, deep pools.

Third Divide Trail - Third Divide Trail is a moderately difficult trail at an elevation of 3,400 feet. The trail crosses Lavezzola Creek and climbs moderates for 2 miles through a beautifully wooded area until it reaches the ridge top.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Downieville Ranger District, 15924 Highway 49 , Camptonville, CA, 95922, Phone: 530-288-3231, TTY: 530-288-3656


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