Volunteers needed to help with Loop 6 Black Diamond Motorcycle Trail

Loop 6 - 1

The Tahoe National Forest is looking for volunteers to help improve one of the forest’s most challenging motorcycle trails. The “Loop 6” Motorcycle trail, located south/southeast of the Foresthill Divide Road near China Wall staging area is on the American River Ranger District.

Motorcycle trails normally have three difficulty levels that are a part of the Tahoe National Forest's recreational trail system. They range from “Easy Trail” designation; with a solid green circle, to “Difficult Trail” designation, with a solid black diamond to identify the trail. A solid black diamond trail is the most difficult and has routes with rocky surfaces, sharp turns, switch backs, steep grades, narrow passages, low overhangs, ledges and large rocks.

The Loop 6 is classified as a Black Diamond Trail. This trail / loop is approximately 18 miles in length and needs work in many locations due to it’s steep, narrow design. The work includes general maintenance such as corridor cutting and tread work, but also in need of heavy maintenance like drainage work, rock armoring, and sustainable re-alignment. The drainage, rock armoring, and alignment concerns originate from the unsustainable design of the trail when it was originally constructed in the 1980s. Aggressive and frequent trail maintenance is needed to maintain this rugged, advanced trail.

Loop - 6 2B

Grant funded work began early in 2018 and began addressing the problem areas of the trail. The American River Ranger District trail staff worked with internal and external partners to help complete the work including: the Great Basin Institute, American River Hotshots, and Tahoe National Forest Helitack. As of July 2018, much of the work on this trail was completed by Great Basin Institute crews including drainage features, trail tread surface work, and corridor cutting.

The American River Hotshots, along with the American River trail crew, also constructed a section of trail that re-aligns a large unsustainable section. The goal is to open this new trail section within the next year.

Paver rock was also purchased for rock armoring sections of the trail. This rock was flown-in by Forest Service helicopter for problem locations along the trail. Work on the armoring sections is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2018. 

The goal for Loop 6 comprehensive trail work is to increase sustainability of the trail while maintaining the expert features that give the trail it’s “Black Diamond” rating. In doing so, it is desired that expert riding opportunities for the Loop 6 trail will continue. Volunteers from the motorcycle trail riding community are strongly encouraged to help with trail work when they can. This project will begin early October, 2018, and continue through November 2018. Interested volunteers should contact Matt Brownlee at American River Ranger District (530) 367-2224, extension 228.

Loop 6 - 3

Loop 6 - 4