Spenceville Wildlife Refuge (north of Lincoln, Placer County)


This description is copied (with permission) from an article written by Bob Ward for Sacramento's "Backcountry Biking" newsletter.

"Just like any other lower elevation area in the Sierra Foothills, the time to ride for maximum enjoyment is during the winter and spring. Personally, I don't bother after the first heat wave in May browns out the hillsides."

"The only drawback to Spenceville has to do with the topo map situation. Instead of one or two maps covering most of the region, the best biking is right at the junction of four maps. The 7.5 minute maps are 'Rough and Ready', 'Camp Far West', 'Smartville' and 'Wolf'. Fortunately, you can find all of these maps at Ogden Surveying Equipment Company."

"Although Spenceville can be reached via a number of routes, I usually take Highway 65 north of Lincoln to the town of Sheridan. Turn right at Reggie's place then left onto the Camp Far West Road. Follow this rural road until it merges with McCourtney Road at the reservoir. Go left over the bridge and then right, staying on Camp Far West Road. In less than one mile it turns to dirt. You can begin riding here, but to put yourself in the middle of the best riding, drive all the way to the old Spenceville town site. This spot makes a great hub to start numerous loops."

"Although the area is a wildlife refuge, the only real wildlife I have encountered was a herd of bunnies. On the other hand, cows are often in abundance. On the plus side, the cows keep the grasses and poison oak oak mowed down, but on the down side, they also wipe out many of the wildflowers. One must also exercise caution when going head-to-head with the occasional bull. I give them a wide berth."


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