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.
Elevation: 3,400 feet
Ending Elevation: 4,440 feet
Elevation Gain: 1,040 feet
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Tahoe National Forest, California
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