Recreation along the Bizz Johnson Trail
Please note: Water sources found along the trail are not safe for drinking. Cattle and stock use the river upstream, and springs in the area have not been tested.
Drinking water should be packed in or treated.
If you plan to hike the trail, you will find the 18-mile segment along the Susan River from Westwood Junction to Susanville most scenic because of the variety afforded by the adjacent river and canyon and views of the surrounding mountains. It is an easy hike with maximum
3 percent grade. A variety of day hikes are possible from the many trailheads. By arranging your own shuttle between trailheads, hikers can enjoy more of the trail without backtracking. Backpacking can also be enjoyed along the trail.
Trail courtesy: Walkers and bicyclists yield to horseback riders. When overtaking another trail user, let them know you are approaching so you do not startle them or their horses.
Bicycling on the Bizz Johnson Trail is best enjoyed on wide-tire bicycles. Multi-geared mountain bicycles are excellent for trail use, but single-speed wide-tire bicycles are also suitable. The trail surface consists of a relatively level railroad grade (3 percent maximum) composed of aggregate material.
The trail gradually climbs 500 feet in the first 12 miles from Westwood to Westwood Junction, then drops 1,300 feet in the 18 miles between Westwood Junction and Susanville..
Wide-tire bicycles can easily travel the entire trail.
Exercise caution when crossing planking on decked bridges and when traveling through unlighted tunnels.
Trail courtesy: Share the trail. Bicyclists yield to walkers and walkers and bicyclists yield to horseback riders. When overtaking another trail user, let them know you are approaching so you do not startle them or their horse.
Limited shuttle service provides an alternative to round-trip rides on the trail.
Eleven bridges are passable on horseback, as are two tunnels, one 800 feet long, the other 450 feet. If you wish to avoid the tunnels, riverside trails provide alternate routes.
The best areas for cross-country skiing are on the trail's upper 18.5-mile segment, west of Highway 36 and the Devils Corral area. Elevations from 4,760 feet to 5,500 feet, northern exposures and shading combine to provide the most reliable snow conditions.
A recommended trail segment for cross-country combines snowed-in road skiing from Highway 44 to Goumaz (three miles) with trail skiing from Goumaz to Highway 36. This nine-mile segment affords a gentle downhill slope with good views of the Susan River and Diamond Mountain. To avoid backtracking, arranging your own shuttle is recommended.
The lower seven miles of trail from Highway 36 east to Susanville can be skied following major snowfall, but snow conditions deteriorate rapidly on this section due to lower elevations and open southern exposures. Also, two tunnels (one 800 feet, the other 450 feet) require walking.
The best public access areas are at:
- Mason Station near Westwood
- Highway 44 near Hog Flat Reservoir
- Highway 36 near Devils Corral
- Susanville Trailhead
Before beginning a cross-country skiing expedition, check local weather conditions.
Fishing in the Susan River is best in spring to early summer. The river provides habitat for rainbow and brown trout, speckled dace, lahontan residue, and Tahoe sucker. Twice monthly in May, June, and July, the California Department of Fish and Game plants rainbow trout in the lower Susan River between Susanville and Devils Corral. Stocking of fish generally ends in July when river temperature peaks reach 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
SHUTTLES FOR BIKERS AND HIKERS
Monday through Saturday
A bus that can carry 8 bikes runs between Susanville and Westwood. For current schedule and bus stops, call Lassen Rural Bus at (530) 252-7433 or check www.lassentransportation.com and look for West County bus route and schedule.
Sundays and times not served by the bus
Arrange for a shuttle through, Susanville Taxi, (530) 257-5277 located at 620 Richmond Road, about 1/4 block directly south of the Bizz Johnson Trail’s Susanville Trailhead (Susanville Depot and caboose).
For information on scheduling a shuttle for groups of more than 6 people and for reserving your space on the popular Fall Color Ride bus shuttle in late October call BLM at (530) 257-0456.
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