New in 2017, Gold Valley Rim Trail
extends from Packer Saddle north to Gold Valley OHV Trail, aka “Baby Heads”, via nearly three miles of the recently decommissioned Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and two new miles of singletrack.
This new singletrack alignment bypasses the Forest Service 93-3 road that connects Sunrise Trail with "Baby Heads", a notoriously rocky doubletrack descent, and is a great alternative for accessing Pauley Creek OHV Trail (11E03) or Big Boulder
trails. Gold Valley Rim Trail
offers majestic ridgetop views of the Sierra Buttes
, Mount Elwell, Packer Lake, and Deer Lake.
Pick up the trail at Packer Lake Saddle (intersection of County Route 621 and Butcher Ranch Rd.), just a short distance from the shuttle drop off at the top of Sunrise Trail.
The trail starts with a gradual climb to obtain the ridge where you are rewarded with sweeping views of the Lakes Basin. After running along the ridge, the trail crosses a couple small service roads where it then deviates from the old PCT and begins to drop down toward "Baby Heads" on new singletrack. The descent is on par with the many great descents in the Downieville trail system with plenty of rocky technical sections.
The trail crosses over several sections of rock slab that gives you a little taste of Moab running, Sierra style.
The trail ends at an intersection with Forest Service Road 93-3. Follow signs straight to continue on to "Baby Heads" and the start of Pauley Creek/Big Boulder
trails, or, turn left on Rd. 93-3 and run about 3.5 miles back to pick up the start of Butcher Ranch Trail.