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Huffmaster Hopper

February 25, 2023


The classic Huffmaster Hopper, produced by Hopper Adventures, and the second leg of the six-part Grasshopper Adventure Series.  The event starts in Maxwell, California. West of Hwy 5 and east of the Mendocino National Forest lies miles of rolling gravel roads and lightly traveled tarmac. With two routes to choose from, 89 or 59 miles, and less climbing than a typical Hopper, you will be treated to an adventure few have seen on two wheels. Both routes are 1/2 gravel and 1/2 pave.

Huffmaster Full Route: The course starts at Maxwell High School. The route heads north and west on paved, FLAT roads for 25 miles.  (likely headwinds). There is a gradual climb from mile 25 to 40 and a stiff gravel climb from mile 40 to mile 43.  We top out on county road #303 at 1700 ft. From here, the day’s most challenging, fast gravel descent drops into the valley below Stony Creek. You continue on gravel from mile 46 to 53 and climb from 1000-1800 ft. Here we hit Sites- Lagoda Rd. and descend west on the pavement to Leesville-Lagoda Rd. The course continues on a mix of pavement and gravel, where you pass through Leesville Gap at mile 67. You will continue just under 1 mile from here to a left turn at Huffmaster Rd. There is a short 400 ft gravel climb to the summit. From here, the course continues on all gravel to mile 80 to the “town” of Sites. In Sites, you get back on pavement for 5 miles and then turn right off the main road onto the gravel.

Mini-Huffmaster: This route heads west to Sites and on to Leesville-Ladoga Rd, where it joins the others riding the Huffmaster full route. Though shorter, there is a stiff climb from mile 14 to 17.5 that climbs from 550 ft to 1800 ft. This route has gravel on Leesville-Lagoda Rd and Huffmaster. Approximately 25 miles of gravel total.

Hopper recommends a 38-40 tire. Either slick or semi-slick/slight knobs. Overall the gravel roads are smooth and packed, but there are a few sections with deep gravel and loose corners. The most important thing is to have tires in good/new condition. Be prepared! We will have some rolling support out there, but it’s essential you can take care of your basic repairs. Recommended tool kit: 2 tubes, 2 CO2, small pump, Dyna Plug, chain tool, Allen/Torx wrench set, patches, tire boots.

The event is well supported with two hydration and nutrition feed zones, event timing, and emergency medical support en route.  There are prizes for the top 3 finishers in each category/group and prize money for the Pros.

The 26th annual Grasshopper Adventure Series is the US’s longest-running gravel/mixed-terrain adventure series.  The series comprises six unique rides, routes, and races in Northern California. Whether looking for races or adventures, each event allows you to explore little-known paved, dirt, and single-track in Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humbolt County.  These are eclectic races designed to push riders to the limit without pushing them over.  The six series events run annually from January to June, including Low Gap; Huffmaster HopperKing Ridge; Lake Sonoma MTB, Sherwood Adventure; and Humbolt Hopper.  There is a competition for the Hopper Super King of the Universe title based on overall points leaders for riders who complete five Hoppers.

Grasshopper also produces the highly acclaimed Mendo Hopper and the USAL Lost Coast Hopper.


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