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Old 10-19-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
luv2lean OP
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Downieville-Pokerflat-LaPorte trail info needed

This is a route that has been on my exploration backburner list for sometime now. I recently found maps and 4WD comments on this trail online.

map links:

http://www.sierraoutdoorrecreation.c...Poker_Flat.cfm

http://books.google.com/books?id=3At...sult#PPA403,M1


The comments say its steep loose rock approaching Pokerflat from Downieville. I would like to ride this on a BIG dual sport. Has anybody ridden this trail both directions on a GS, or have any experience to share on the conditions of this trail?
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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A few years ago I took a trail south off Quincy la Port Rd and hit some moderatly interesting stuff on my GSA. Probably a bit over my head once or twice as I was alone, but still a great few hours of riding. I think I rode though Poker Flat and ended up at the mine just out of Johnsonville. Considering your ride report from the Continental Divide, you should have no problem riding that area (assuming were talking about the same area).

There were a few hairy spots, esp on the big GS, but..I just took my time, crawled over a few things. I beleive there was some sort of wash out that was backfilled with gravel and large stones. However, this was probably in 2005 or 6. I was running TKC on the front and Tourance on the rear. Worked great for me. North to south.

Im a dirt noob, and have only a thousand miles of dirt under my belt, all of which on the GSA.

I would say riding it loaded would be less than desireable.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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Poker Flat OHV Trail
I rode the trail 2 weeks ago on my Husky 610. I hit the trail just outside of LaPorte and headed to Howland Flat. From there I took the trail to the right and headed up a fairly rocky trail to the top of the ridge. From there you descend a steep, rocky, rutted out section. I was on the front brake with the clutch pulled in on some of this section as my gearing was too tall for the engine and first gear to slow me down. At the bottom of the hill is the old mining town of Poker Flat. From there you go right for a short distance then you cross the creek and start climbing. The climb to the top is one long and steep sucker. You don't want to stall it there. Once you get to the top of the ridge the heavy stuff is over.

As for taking a GS on it, I guess it could be done. I had a GS and I would not have wanted to ride it on that trail. In my opinion the GS is too heavy for those steep downhills. I guess it depends on the rider though. I have met several GS riders that would not have too many problems on that trail.

If you decide to go let me know. I wouldn't mind doing it again.

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Old 10-20-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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That sounds pretty interesting to me also,lots of dirt to be ridden up that way.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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had an epic there

long story short(ened), 3 riders, DRZ400 (2) plus KTM-520EXC day before Thanksgiving, 2005 I think. We rode from Downeiville side. F'd aroudn all day and got to Pker Flat, one DRZ died due to electrical short from mods added. Anyway, it was dark and we got sort of lost coming out (riding 2-up at this point and raining) so we ended up in LaPorte. Started raining hard turning into snow. We ate some spagetti at a bar and the lady that owns the bar said "take my car" to get back to Nev city where our wives were and so we left our bikes and took her Cherokee. Came back day after t-day to get the bike with over 1' of snow on the trails. We rode in 2-up no problem but a bit sketchy with all the snow. Actually easier riding 2 up in the snow (better traction on hills).

That said, you can do it on a big DS if you want but there were a few sections down by the river in Poker Flat, one where you have to get up this little rise about 4' tall and another where you have about 30' of exposed side hill traverse where you should at least have good knobs on there IMO. I would not take my ULY down there with no knobbie but with knobbies I could make it I think. The steep hill mentioned earlier was also very difficult in the snow coming up it and required some pushing along with riding on the way up. You had to be in virgin line and judicious with the right hand or else it was too skatey in the rear and you would just spin the tire. Took me about 4x to get up it with the DRZ in the snow and I can climb hills pretty decently (can do 'most' everything at Carnegie for example on that same bike).

This is almost 3 years back though so it may have changed but really, its pretty easy if you are a good rider save those few spots (and if it doesn't snow and you get lost and your bike doesn't die!).
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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WOW....i MUST HAVE RIDDEN A DIFFERENT TRAIL. MY RIDE WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:00 AM   #7
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I saw that trail in Backcountry Adventures and decided to try it.
A friend and I rode from Downieville to Quincy-La Porte Rd. via Poker Flat.
We stopped in Downieville to grab a snack and some water and we were chatting to a local who asked us where we were going with all that stuff on out bikes (we were on our KLRs, loaded with gear for a week long camping trip).
We told him our route, and he informed us that the trail we were planning on riding was created by "slapping a crazy jackass on the ass and then followint it up the hill".
We rode the trail going uphill, two fully loaded KLRs tractoring along. They're ruts to avoid, roots across the trail and it goes on until you are ready for it to end and then some.
I didn't dab, but my friend stopped and took a breather, he had a hell of a time getting going again.
We didn't notice the black diamond rating on the trail until we got to the top.

My friend Chris explaining that we must have been crazy to ride up it on KLRs. Note the pile of crap strapped to his bike:


I think it would be easy downhill (towards Downieville) on a big GS, difficult uphill, and if you can manage it on a big GS with hard bags and street tires, I'll be pretty impressed.

Two things to add, further up the trail there is a unique little graveyard right in the middle of the forest:

And, if you are planning on camping in Quincy, make sure you don't stay in the campground next to the sawmill. Unless you are a fan of sleeping with earplugs.

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PS This was in July 2004, I'm sure the trail is much easier now.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:51 AM   #8
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Many thanks to advriders for all the feedback. This is very helpful information. Now I am torn between taking the KTM950 with more suspension and HP, or the R100GS with the lower saddle height for dabbing and paddling. I dont run knobs on either so I may take a can of beans and some matches.
Hey Stu, would you say the climb out of the river canyon is easier towards Laporte than towards Downieville?
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2lean
Hey Stu, would you say the climb out of the river canyon is easier towards Laporte than towards Downieville?
I'm 99% sure the trail is easier towards Downieville.

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Old 10-22-2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2lean
This is a route that has been on my exploration backburner list for sometime now. I recently found maps and 4WD comments on this trail online.

map links:

http://www.sierraoutdoorrecreation.c...Poker_Flat.cfm

http://books.google.com/books?id=3At...sult#PPA403,M1


The comments say its steep loose rock approaching Pokerflat from Downieville. I would like to ride this on a BIG dual sport. Has anybody ridden this trail both directions on a GS, or have any experience to share on the conditions of this trail?
Thanks
The gang over at Motherlode Dual Sport can give you tons of beta on this area: www.motherlodedualsport.com
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:43 PM   #11
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We rode it in 2003 on our GS's. A 02 R11250GSA, and two older 1100gs's went from Laport to Downieville, Started down and got past to point of no return, got to the bottom and realized the only way out was just as bad as the way down, CRAP, But the damm bikes did it, (I had to ride my buddies up the first hill) I am always surprised at what the boxer's will do. But on that note I would not want to do it again on my GS, The road could be better or it could be much worse. all depends on how tore up it is from the 4 wheelers. The roads to and from are a blast and there is a bunch of good stuff around there for the GS.

Near the Bottom We thought it was over

Allot steeper than it looks, Pictures look flat and easy, go figure
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rwamf screwed with this post 10-22-2008 at 05:55 PM
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:27 PM   #12
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picture of the day after T-day going back in

It was just us and the bears...bring your bean can!
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Crashing screwed with this post 10-23-2008 at 05:03 PM Reason: small photo
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:29 PM   #13
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another pic

one of the river crossings. Keep in mind we were looking for stuff like this on the small bikes and there were probably some easier options for the most part
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Crashing screwed with this post 10-23-2008 at 05:02 PM Reason: samall photo
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashing
one of the river crossings. Keep in mind we were looking for stuff like this on the small bikes and there were probably some easier options for the most part
You need to make your pictures a little smaller,
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:01 PM   #15
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Just got back from doing the Poker Flat OHV trail on the 950. It was a challenge fer-shure. I'll try to post more info and a couple of pics later.
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