Lassen CBDT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Xfool, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    Lassen California Backcountry Discovery Trail (CBDT)

    The California Backcountry Discovery Trail system is a network of trails crossing National Forest and BLM lands in California. Routes exist in the Lassen, Modoc, Six Rivers and Angeles Forests along with some BLM routes through the Southern California Deserts.

    The Lassen and Modoc CBDT routes are kind of a southern extension of the Oregon backcountry discovery trail. The Lassen route is about 190 miles long and wanders through the forest arriving at various “discovery points” along the way. You can find info on the discovery points on the Lassen National Forest Web site.

    The CBDT routes are designed for travel with a stock SUV and are more of an off-road touring route than a 4wd adventure. I don’t have any topo maps of large enough scale to cover the 190 mile Lassen route, so I put the route on a satellite photo from the NASA rapidfire web site and overlaid a couple of the surrounding highways using OziExplorer. The dots on the trail show where photos were taken.
    1-map-sat.jpg
    gpx trail file attached.

    The snow pack in 2006 was at near record levels. The NASA rapidfire satellite photos proved to be a useful resource for monitoring the snow pack with new satellite photos every couple of days. This satellite photo was taken about 2 weeks before my trip and there is still snow on the higher peaks. While satellite photos are fun, the folks on advrider were a far more useful resource. dakariste, nooner818 and KLRay live in the area of the Lassen CBDT and were out there every weekend monitoring the snow pack. Reports are on the advrider thread. KLRay made the first successful crossing of Humbug summit about 2 weeks before my trip. I didn’t have any problems with snow when I rode the trail on June 24.

    Enough babble, pics!

    The Lassen CBDT trail starts on the ridge top above Humbug Valley on the south edge of the Lassen Forest (n40 6.736', w121 14.176'). The signs in the photo to the right of my bike mark the start of the trail. The road behind the camera goes on into the Plumas Forest. Some day the Plumas Forest will continue the CBDT route further south. View attachment 947638 2-start.jpg

    Another pic from the early moring blur of the ride. This is the first intersection and you can see a sign on the right marking the trail.
    3-trail.jpg

    Looking back up the trail to Yellow Creek camp. The trail forks at the tree line: Right to Yellow Creek camp, Left to the CBDT trail head
    [​IMG] ADV only allows 4 pics, sorry............

    Yellow creek campground (n40 7.590', w121 14.743'). Bunch of fly fisherman here and the slow moving creek looked like some really good fly fishing waters. People were catching brookies, there are supposed to be some good brown trout here also.
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    The main road.
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    Crossing Humbug Valley.
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    Little Grizzly campground. This is about 9 miles from the start of the trail.
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    Rut! The first obstacle on the trail. By all accounts here on advrider the CBDT routes through the Lassen Forest are all on major “commuter type”dirt roads. I found that to be true and I believe that anyone with reasonable off-road skills could drive a Buick over the entire route. Of course there will be that rouge rut, rock slide or washout that may require a bit of rock stacking to get through and for that reason nothing less than an SUV is recommended.
    9x-rut.jpg

    My biggest concern before taking on the Lassen CBDT was what the roads were like and my fear was that one short hill climb, sand wash, rock garden or washout could be enough to force me to turn around. If that happens 80 miles into a 100 mile route it is a big gas problem. I had zero problems, the entire Lassen CBDT route is over easy terrain and I have a boat load of pictures to convince you of that. The only difficulty on the Lassen CBDT route is dealing with these endless gravel roads.

    ...more………
    #1
  2. Sevoman

    Sevoman Ever Vigilant

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    Nice stuff. Thanks.:clap

    JW
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  3. TTTom

    TTTom some guy on a bike

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    Cool! nice report

    some time this fall after school starts I need to take a weekend to ride that
    #3
  4. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    TTTom: The fall would be a great time to ride the Lassen route. Cooler temperatures and no snow.

    This just had to be bad news for the snowmobile rider.
    10-snowmobile.jpg
    The above photo is about 18 miles into the trail, it was about 11:00. The temperature was already up to 100 degrees and I began to wonder if the ktm was also about to burst into flames.

    Ahhh - some shade.
    11-road.jpg

    Turn to Humbolt Summit. This is discovery point 5 on the forest service route. The Forest Service lists this as mile 21.9, I got 21.6. Pretty close.
    12-intersection.jpg

    Gravel road: This photo is pretty typical of the Lassen CBDT route. Most of the route follows gravel roads like this. You get use to the feeling of your bike wallowing in the gravel and the vague front wheel push entering the turns. I got use to it in the same way you can get use to the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. Airing down to about 25 psi helps a lot.

    I am sure the gravel is a nice ride in a Forest Service truck but this entire route would be way better if it got off the main roads onto the secondary roads. In that respect the Modoc CBDT is a far better ride.
    13-road.jpg

    Highway 32: This is the end of leg 1 of the Lassen CBDT route at mile 33.9. From here the route goes about 2.6 miles down highway 32 to the start of the second leg over to Mineral.
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    ...... more .........
    #4
  5. motoxusa

    motoxusa Biker Dude

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    Some great pictures.....looks like a beautiful ride. Thanks for sharing.
    #5
  6. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    Got a map for the first leg of the Lassen CBDT. This is a C-series map from casil with the OziExplorer gps track. The green line is the route from Chester to Yellow Creek in Humbug Valley. Highway 32 is at p15 on the map.
    1-leg1-map.jpg

    Leg 2 of the Lassen cbdt down into the Ishi Wilderness and over to the town of Mineral. This is also on a C-series topo map from casil.
    2-leg2-map.jpg

    more pics to come................
    #6
  7. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    Leg 2 starts on highway 32 about 36 miles north of Chico at (n40 9.136, w121 35.418). This is p16 on the map above, there is a cbdt sign at the intersection.
    18-leg2-start.jpg

    The trail starts off on packed dirt.
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    But soon you are back on gravel. This is mile 48.8 from the start of the trail in Humbug Valley.
    20-gravel.jpg

    Most of the Lassen cbdt is on gravel roads, except for two sections. This is one of them. Boogieing down the main gravel road I glanced down at the gps and noticed I was off-route. Turned around, went back up the trail looking for a turn to the right, didn’t see it. Turned around, went back down the trail- missed the turn again. Turned around, slowly rode back up continuously watching the gps and finally found the turn onto this cool little side road. Unmarked as far as I could tell.
    22-cool-section.jpg

    It would be tuff to navigate this trail using only a map. Many of the intersections were labeled. Some weren’t. I never would have found this side route without a gps and probably would have just kept going down the main gravel road, bypassed the side route, and hooked up with the trail down below and never new I was off route other than the mileage wasn’t quite right. To find this side route without a gps you will have to watch the map really closely and check closely for side roads once you hit mile 51.3

    More of the side route, mile 52.7.
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    This is near the end of the side route (mile 54.5) then its back to the main gravel road.
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    Back on the main route.
    24-gravel.jpg
    #7
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  8. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Outstanding ride report!

    I absolutely love it when folks include maps of their route. Thanks.


    :lurk
    #8
  9. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

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    :lurk
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  10. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer Supporter

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    That is just ideal for a GS.
    Thanks for the input and great photos.
    #10
  11. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    The Lassen and Modoc cbdt are both a great ride for a GS!!! Scenic route and an easy ride even on a bike fully loaded bike with camping gear. I put a boat load of pictures up here to give everyone a feel for what the roads are like. Outside of gravel, deep in places, the routes are an easy ride.

    At highway 32 the cbdt trail elevation was around 4000 feet and the temperature was over 100 degrees. The bottom of the Ishi Wilderness at Mill creek is about 2200 feet. It is going to be hot. Here is a shot of Mill Creek Rim and the start of the descent.
    26-decent.jpg

    A little farther down around mile 60. The cbdt route does not go into the Ishi wilderness but parallels the boundary on this decent. The wilderness boundary is about ¼ mile south east of here.
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    .. and the picture of Black Rock. Seems to be a lot of these on pashnit.
    27-blackrock.jpg

    Mill creek at the bottom of the Ishi Wilderness, mile 61.8. It was over 100 degrees and with Mill creek pounding down the canyon the humidity was about as high as it could get. It was hot, stupid hot.
    [​IMG]

    From the bottom at mill creek the cbdt route climbs to the top of the mill creek rim. There is a tree stump on the right hand side of the trail about a half mile back from here. Plenty of room to ride around it, but I forgot about the Gobi bags hanging off the ktm and clipped the right bag. Ended up dancing along the left hand edge of the trail. Pheh!!
    29-ishi-ascent.jpg

    Shade, at last! The road is still gravel here but most of it has been kicked off to the side.
    [​IMG]

    Mile 78.8, about 16 miles from Mineral. Another thing about gps, after you have been on the trail for about 4 hours it is not uncommon for people to start freaking out about gas. It is sooo comforting to glance down at the gps and see that you are on the right trail, moving in the right direction with 16 miles and three intersections to navigate to the next gas stop.
    [​IMG]

    Mineral, mile 94.5. I left the Yellow Creek campground around 9:30 and got to Mineral at about 3:30. The café across the street makes a pretty good pork roast dinner, but they dont start serving until 5:00. The gas station, where this picture was taken from, is the other option for food. The station claims to make a dam good camp sandwich. Didnt try one but met some campers who swore by them.
    32-mineral.jpg

    The gas situation: I filled up in Chester and rode 16 miles to the campground in Yellow creek. From there it is 94.5 cbdt trail miles to Mineral. That puts Mineral at about 110 miles. From Mineral it is 94 miles to the end of the cbdt trail and another 23 road miles into McArthur. That puts the second leg at about 117 miles.

    The Lassen cbdt route could be ridden on an enduro bike and Motel it if you didnt want to carry camping gear by staying in Chester, Mineral and McArthur. Your bike has to be street legal, I heard that green sticker bikes are not allowed on the Lassen Forest Service roads.
    #11
  12. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    Here is the route from Mineral over to highway 44 shown on a C-series topo map from CASIL.
    leg3-map.jpg

    Leg 3 starts on highway 36 about 1.6 miles south of Mineral. The cbdt route follows FS17, note the cbdt trail sign.
    33-leg3.jpg

    Shortly after leaving highway 36 the route returns to dirt and the familiar loose gravel of Lassen Forest roads.
    34-roadshot.jpg

    Mile 109.6 on the way to Cabin Springs.
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    Cabin Springs. I spent the night here in what is now an abandoned USFS campground. The good news, no campground fees. The place is kind of a dive though. Next time I am going to look for another camp spot.
    36-cabinsprings.jpg

    Mile 116.9: Back on the trail on the way over to highway 44.
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    Mile 119.9: Highway 44. The next leg of the Lassen cbdt starts about 1.6 miles west on highway 44.
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    This is the last leg of the Lassen cbdt from highway 44 over to McArhtur. The route is shown on a C-series topo map from CASIL.
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    Mile 121.6: Leg 4 of the Lassen cbdt starts about 14.9 miles east of Shingletown on highway 44 at this intersection. There is a cbdt sign on highway 44 marking the start of the route.
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    Mile 127.0: Hmmmmm
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    Mile 132.5: Road shot.
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    Mile 134.4: Running into these signs once in awhile is a great relief if you are trying to navigate the trail using only a map. I had a gps and a tentative route based on tracing the trails off of the forest service map. Finding these signs on the ground was always a great relief.
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    Mile 139.9: Gravel roads.
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    Mile 146.5: There are two fun parts on the Lassen cbdt route. This is the second one where the route briefly departs from the major “commuter” dirt roads onto some secondary roads through the forest. This little side route is about 6 miles long.
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    Mile 147.6: More of the side route. You will find a cbdt sign here if you are on the right route.
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    Mile 148.3: Side route.
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    Mile 151.5: End of the side route and back on the main roads.
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    Mile 152.5: Meadow.
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    Mile 157.9: High speed gravel.
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    Mile 163.0: Hat creek. The route cuts across the valley through Hat creek on blacktop roads.
    [​IMG]
    ……………more…………….
    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    :thumb

    :lurk
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  15. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    I'll bet the California contingent is really liking this ride report. I am.
    #15
  16. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    The California contingent is silent, none-the-less I continue on :norton

    These photos are up here to give everyone a feel for the trail. When I set out on this adventure I expected the route to be fairly easy, but you never know until you do it. It is much easier to evaluate a trail from a photo than a description so I have put a boat load of photos here. Here are the rest of the shots.

    Mile 166.4: The climb out of Hat Creek.
    [​IMG]

    Mile 169.6: Road shot.
    [​IMG]

    More gravel.
    [​IMG]

    Mile 177.5: Red gravel, I got so annoyed with this stuff I stopped for a close-up. The stuff is deep and loose. The Pirelli scorpions attempted to compensate through simulating a knoobie but above about 10 mph the rocks fling out a zap you in the face.
    [​IMG]

    Mile 182.7: Meadow.
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    Mile 188.9: This is the last cbdt sign I saw on the north end of the Lassen route.
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    One more photo on the way over to McArthur for gas. That is Mount Shasta in the distance.
    [​IMG]

    The 200 mile length of the Lassen cbdt wandering through the forest on the north end of the Sierras has the potential for a great off-road touring route. On a scale of 10 the 200 mile length of the trail has got to be worth at least 6 or 7 points. Gas is available at the 100 mile mark in Mineral making the route doable on an enduro bike from either end of the trail. Those are the positives.

    On the down side the route is mostly over major gravel commuter roads. There are two fun little excursions off the main roads but those are short. I’m sure the gravel is a nice ride in a Forest Service truck, but on a motorcycle it’s a drag and I had to focus most of my attention on keeping the wheels under my bike rather than enjoying the ride. Due to the gravel I cant recommend the trail to inexperienced riders and on the other end of the scale I cant recommend it for experienced riders either because the gravel roads are boring.

    So a mixed review, the 200 length is way cool but the gravel is a drag. This route would be way more fun if the Lassen Forest connected up some of the fun little double track roads wandering through the forest. Those side routes are more fun, more scenic, easier to ride and way more fun in my opinion. Still, I would ride the trail again. If you put the Modoc cbdt, which is worth riding, together with the Lassen route you have a 400 mile trail and a week long trip. If you were on your way up to ride the Oregon bct and wanted to shake down you equipment on an easy route the Lassen cbdt would fit right in.

    I put the route and photos of the Lassen California Backcountry Discovery Trail up here on advrider because I think most people don’t know that the forest service has created these long distance off-road touring routes for the OHV community. The cbdt vision is to create a system of trails that cross all of the Forest in California and connect into one massive trail system. Now that would be a great ride! With all of the anti-OHV stuff going on the creation of a cbdt route is a big deal. Personally I think riding these point-to-point routes, like the Lassen cbdt, is way more fun then going to an OHV park and riding around your truck all day.

    ......... See ya!
    #16
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  17. Xfool

    Xfool Been here awhile

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    Lassen BDT re-ride September 2018

    The Backcountry Discovery Trails of the Plumas, Lassen and Modoc Forests more-or-less connect making a 625 mi dirt route from Quincy to the Oregon Border traveling easy Forest Service dirt roads without any locked gates. The Lassen BDT is about 183 miles, gpx file from the ride attached.

    mapS.png

    It’s a great ride for big bike adventures on easy dirt trails that wander through the forest. Rode the route in September on a Tenere.

    bike-picS.jpg

    Gas and food are about a 30 mi ride at points where the trail crosses a road.

    The Plumas gpx track is here: https://advrider.com/f/threads/plumas-cbdt.1343560/
    The Modoc gpx track is here: https://advrider.com/f/threads/modoc-cbdt.155410/

    Attached Files:

    #17
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  18. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thanks so much! I live nearby and this gpx track is very helpful as i could not find some of the FS roads on their maps.
    #18
  19. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    While researching these areas, I found this ride report. Great information... thanks for posting!
    #19
  20. roaddog12

    roaddog12 Wait,what? Supporter

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    Has anybody been on this route lately ? Looks good and i want to give it a try later this spring
    And thanks for posting the info
    #20