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Mountain Bike Trails in Calaveras County and Ebbetts Pass Corridor

Did you know that Calaveras County is home to hundreds of miles of trails perfect for mountain biking?  Find your next mountain bike adventure with our guide to Mountain Bike Trails in Calaveras County and the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway corridor below.

To demonstrate just how close each of these locations are to each other, we’re including drive times from the Visitor Information Center (aka our office, the Calaveras Visitors Bureau) in Angels Camp, CA.

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White Pines Lake Bike Life I Courtesy of Instagrammer @kotoff66

Mountain Biking near Angels Camp

1. Mountain Biking at New Melones Lake

Seasons: Year Round
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: 15 minutes
Difficulty: See Map for details.
Mountain Bike Trail Miles Available: 30 miles of (shared use) Angels Camp mountain bike trails.

Local Bike Shop: Mountain Pedaler Bicycles

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Map New Melones Lake Trails

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Mountain Biking through wildflowers at New Melones Angels Creek Trail I Courtesy of Instagrammer @geopedler

At 12,500 acres, dog friendly New Melones is one of the largest reservoirs in California! Accessible year round, with 19 multi-use trails to choose from. Expand the above map to see trail length and skill level. Learn more about all of the activities available at New Melones Lake here.

Mountain Biking near Arnold, CA

2. Mountain Bike Riding on the Arnold Rim Trail 

Seasons: Spring – Fall
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: 26 minutes
Difficulty: (depending on section) Moderate to Challenging
Mountain Bike Trail Miles Available: 17 miles of (shared use) Arnold, CA mountain bike trail available as of 2022. (More miles coming soon.)

Local Bike Shop: Mountain Aloha MTB in Avery, CA

Arnold Rim Trail map


Explore the Arnold Rim Trail with MTB’ING Adventures. Skip to 5:47 for some breathtaking canyon views.

The Arnold Rim Trail is a beautiful 17-mile multi-use trail system designed with mountain bikers in mind. From canyon views to giant sequoias, wild flowers in mid-summer, a waterfall, White Pines Lake, the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum and more, there is a lot to love about this pristine multi-use trail. Arrange a pick-up and drop off driver to ride the full 17 miles straight through, or choose your own adventure by exploring a combination of public trail sections. Looking for the simplest point of entry? Check out the section of trail that begins at the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum, near White Pines Lake.

3. Mountain Bike Routes at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Seasons: Spring – Fall, (Note: hiking available year round)
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: 30 minutes
Difficulty: (depending on section) Moderate to Challenging
Trail Miles Available: Dozens of miles available for (shared use) Arnold, CA mountain biking on tarmac and fire roads.

Local Bike Shop: Bear Valley Bicycles, Arnold, CA

Mountain bikes are welcome on fire roads and paved tarmac in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. | Calaveras Visitors Bureau

Named for the giant sequoias it houses, Calaveras Big Trees State Park is one of the oldest attractions in California, drawing visitors from all of the world to enjoy the idyllic giant sequoia groves in the North and South sections of this majestic state park. Grab a map of the area from the Calaveras Big Trees Visitor Center before hitting the dirt. Mountain bikes are welcome along all fire roads and paved tarmac throughout the state park, with steep gradients making these roads great for pushing endurance levels without being too technically challenging. Before you ride, give your body a good stretch by walking the North or South Grove trails to get a gander at 1,000-3,000 year old giant sequoias lining the pedestrian-only trails.

4. Mountain Bike Trails at the Sourgrass Recreation Area

Seasons: Spring – Fall
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: 36 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Trail Miles Available: Dozens of miles of (shared use) Arnold, CA area mountain bike trail, tarmac, and fire roads.

Local Sportsman Outfitters: Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods and Sierra Nevada Adventure Company

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Sourgrass Recreation Area I Courtesy of Instagrammer @station.two

From tarmac, to fire roads, to challenging OHV roads, the beautiful Sourgrass Recreation Area will not disappoint. Centered around the wild and rugged Stanislaus River, some of the sections of trail in this area are not for the faint of heart. Just riding for the day? The Sourgrass Recreation day use area allows parking for up to 15 cars and also has potable water and flush restrooms. Lined with wildflowers in the spring, spectacular colors in the fall, and nice shady spots to take a dip in shallow pools or cast a line in the summer; mountain bike trail riders will enjoy clear sections of trails interspersed with gnarly granite boulder fields, as well as tall pines, incense cedars, black oaks and the occasional wildlife sighting.

While the Sourgrass Recreation parking lot is closed to overnight use, the Wa Ka Lu Hep Yo Campground (a stone’s throw away) is the perfect launching pad to enjoy Sourgrass Recreation Area’s beautiful mountain bike-friendly trails, fire roads, hiking, and fishing spots. Inhabited by a local Native American tribe of Miwuks for thousands of years, Wa Ka Luu Hep Yo provides RV and tent camping with history as illustrious as its views.

Mountain Biking near Bear Valley, CA

5. Mountain Bike Trails in the Bear Valley Area

Seasons: June – October (depending on spring snowmelt and late autumn snowfall)
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: 57 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Trail Miles Available: 32 miles of (shared use) Bear Valley area mountain bike trails.

Local Bike Rental: Bear Valley Adventure Company

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Bear Valley Area Trail I Courtesy of  Mountain Bike Project Review rider Phil Jachowski

Located in the Ebbetts Pass corridor, Bear Valley, CA is just East of the Calaveras/Alpine County county line. Nestled in a county named for it’s similarity to the beautiful Swiss Alps, the Bear Valley area offers easy access to hundreds of miles of trails for beginner to advanced mountain bike riders in the June to October season (weather permitting) .

Visiting in winter time, early spring or late autumn? Checkout nearby winter activities, including Bear Valley Ski Resort, with Ways to Enjoy the Snow on Ebbetts Pass. As always, check road conditions and follow all California Highway laws while visiting the Sierra Mountains.

Looking for detailed trail reviews from riders like you? Check out the 14 trails currently reviewed on the Mountain Bike Project (MTB Project) Bear Valley, CA section. Feeling adventurous? Ride mountain bike trails not yet reviewed on the MTB Project by chatting with locals or by grabbing a Stanislaus National Forest map to find new routes to share with your friends and/or the MTB Project community.

6. Mountain Bike Trails in the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway – East of Bear Valley, CA

Seasons: June – October
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: Varies by trail
Difficulty: Varies by trail
Trail Miles Available: Hundreds of miles of (shared use) Stanislaus National Forest mountain bike trails and fire roads available.

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Stanislaus National Forest I Courtesy of Instagrammer @marinainthewoods_

The Highway 4 Ebbetts Pass corridor runs from Murphys, CA to Markleeville, CA. This region includes mountain bike trails detailed above including Arnold, CA, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Dorrington, CA, and the Bear Valley area. But it also includes the wildest most isolated mountain bike opportunities in California. 

View wildflowers from June through September, bike to crystal clear High Sierra lakes, hidden swimming holes, take in sweeping canyon views or peaceful alpine meadows, and more.  Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway abounds with 279 miles (143 in Wilderness, 136 non-Wilderness) of exciting trails and tranquil scenery and offers everything from short, easy rides, to strenuous, multi-day opportunities. Most of these trails are at elevations above the winter snowlines meaning these trails are most often accessible during the summer through early fall months. Beginner cyclists and mountain bike riders can ride on scenic paved or gravel roads with flat to moderately steep terrain, while intermediate to advanced riders can enjoy more challenging steeper grades or technically challenging trails.

So where is this mountain biking paradise? It’s a pretty straight shot (and an easy day trip) east from Sacramento or the San Francisco Bay Area, then take Hwy 4 right into one of the last hidden gems in California: the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, in the heart of the Stanislaus National Forest. Perfectly situated between Lake Tahoe (to the North) and Yosemite National Park (to the South), Ebbetts Pass bridges Calaveras and Alpine County, this pass is a hidden gem for crowd free trails in one of the wildest sections California has on offer. View descriptions of a handful of Ebbetts Pass Mountain Bike Trails here.

Find more detailed Stanislaus National Forest maps available for purchase or free for download here. 

Mountain Biking near Valley Springs, CA

7. New Hogan Lake Mountain Bike Trails

Seasons: Year Round
Drivetime from Angels Camp Info Center: 34 minutes
Difficulty: See Map for details.
Mountain Bike Trail Miles Available: 30 miles of (shared use) New Hogan Lake Valley Springs tri-lake area mountain bike trails.

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New Hogan Lake Bike Trail Map
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Mountain Bike Trail at New Hogan Lake in Valley Springs tri-lake area I Courtesy of Daniel Arbuckle

New Hogan Lake is the perfect place for camping, water sports, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. Part of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, just 30 miles east of Stockton, the west side of New Hogan Lake includes mountain bike trails that can be enjoyed by beginners and advanced riders. You’ll find these near the group camping. For an easy exploration, enjoy a 3-mile trail which connects the Acorn Campground with the park office. Boat-in camping is available at Deer Flat Campground—just one of New Hogan’s three idyllic campgrounds.

Happy trails!

Would you like assistance finding places to stay or places to eat? We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call 7 days a week at 1-209-736-0049 9:30 am to 4:30 pm or contact us via email at info@gocalaveras.com.

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