Off Road Trails Offer Great Family Fun.

Easy to very challenging off road trails are all around the town of Graeagle. The Gold Valley trail is maintained by the Grass Valley 4 wheelers 4x4 club. It is one of three that the club has adopted to maintain in our area. The Gold Lake trail continues from where the Spencer lakes trail ended. By putting the two trips together you can start at the Plumas Eureka state park and come out on paved roads above Packer Lake.

For directions to the start of Gold Valley, click on the Spencer Lakes Trail link. The description for Spencer lakes ended at Hawley Lake. This lake is owned by the Contra Costa Youth Organization, and has signs on both sides that say Camp Nejedly. It is very well maintained and is posted with no trespassing signs. Please respect their request. They provide a service to other non-profit groups giving special needs children the opportunity to spend time away from their city environment.

Let’s take the jeep trails into Gold Valley. Leaving Hawley Lake you immediately start the descent into the valley. Nothing on the route is very steep. There are a lot of large rocks embedded in the roadway. Depending on the clearance of your off-road vehicles you can make the call as to how challenging the off road trails are. For our Jeep it is probably moderate. The last time through the heavy snow melt had made the road a bit rougher.  Not moderate any more, a couple of spots have really large rocks that you have to Work around. 

Once in the valley you will see a lot of wild flowers. Flowers bloom much later at this elevation. There are three creek crossings as you drive the length of the valley. The rock book we use for rock hounding in this area says there is Pyrite in some of the rocks along the creek. We haven’t found any yet but have not looked real hard.

When you reach the far end of Gold valley you will see roads that turn to the right, do not take any of these, stay straight. The road out of the valley has some rather large rocks to traverse but nothing that you can’t handle if you came this far. The trail from here to the top is part of the Downieville downhill, watch for mountain bikes coming down. We have seen riders on most of our trips up this section of road.

Once you get up to the top the road Tees, take a right turn here it is a well graded road and will bring you out to the paved road above Packer lake. A left on the pavement will head you back to home base. We hope you have enjoyed your off road trail, it is one of our favorites.

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