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Lost and Found Gravel Festival 2025

June 14, 2025

Riding Lost and Found Gravel Festival
Last Updated July 5, 2024 --

The 2025 event date is not confirmed -- The Lost and Found Gravel Festival is a celebration of Gravel Cycling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The event takes place in the Lost Sierra, one of California's most beautiful and vast alpine valleys. This mixed-surface cycling event offers a blend of pavement, dirt roads, gravel roads, and historic railroad grades. New for the 2024 event is the 3 timed segments for those looking to get their competitive juices flowing! Strambecco has named the event as one of the best gravel cycling events in California, and it benefits Sierra Buttes Trails Stewardship.

Event & Course Info

The Lost & Found Gravel Festival offers three distinct routes catering to a variety of riders, each promising a unique blend of challenge, adventure, and scenic beauty. The 100-mile route, aptly named ‘Serious Riders and Racers,’ is designed for those looking to test their limits. With an impressive 6,473 feet of elevation gain and 80% dirt trails, this route is perfect for race pacers and fit rider athletes seeking a strenuous challenge. Six aid stations are strategically placed to keep riders fueled and hydrated throughout the course.

For those who prefer a long-ride experience while soaking in the views, the 60-mile ‘Adventure Rider’ route is ideal. This route offers a century road ride equivalent with a 3,613-foot elevation gain and 70% dirt trails. Riders can enjoy the serenity and vistas with the convenience of four aid stations along the way.

The 35-mile ‘Good Times Rider’ route is tailored for participants seeking a social and scenic ride. With 2,752 feet of elevation gain and 35% gravel, this route promises laughs and great views, supported by three aid stations.

A highlight for all participants is the three timed segments, adding a competitive twist for those inclined. The Grizzly Grind, a 1.2-mile dirt road uphill with a 400-foot elevation gain, the Crocker Cruise, a 2.8-mile flat-ish paved road with a 200-foot elevation loss, and the Dotta Downhill, a 2.7-mile rough double track with an 800-foot elevation loss, offer prizes and a race within the race. Clearly marked on the course, these segments provide an extra challenge for competitive riders.

Riders will begin their journey at Portola City Park with a neutral roll-out start on Highway 70. The 100-mile racers will roll out at 8am, while the 60 and 35-mile racers start at 9am. Participants are required to stage at least 15 minutes prior to their start time for instructions.

The course is well-supported, with multiple themed aid stations stocked with fresh water, energy snacks, and other items provided by generous sponsors. A dedicated course sweep ensures all riders are accounted for, regardless of the weather conditions. The event will proceed with rain, shine, sleet, or snow, with adjustments made only for extreme weather or natural disasters.

Whether riding or racing, participants at the Lost & Found Gravel Festival are sure to enjoy the combination of challenge, camaraderie, and breathtaking scenery.

The Lost and Found Gravel Festival is hosted in the wide-open and high North Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, providing riders with stunning views and challenging terrain. Participants can choose to race or simply ride the route and take advantage of the quality aid stations. Racers and riders from around the world will be invited to lose themselves and find this two-wheeled paradise.

It is essential to choose the right bike for the Lost and Found Gravel Festival. The Sierra requires wider tires with more tread. The recommended tire width for cyclocross bikes is at least 40mm, like WTB Raddler, Riddler, or Resolute tires. Riding a light, fast, rigid mountain bike with 2.0 tires wouldn't be a bad choice either, especially if you are more comfortable on a mountain bike. There are lots of rocks and rain ruts crossing the dirt road sections in numerous spots, so when in doubt, check your speed a little.

The Lost and Found Gravel Festival is not just about cycling. It is also a celebration of mountain life. A Welcome party and festival atmosphere brings all participants together with live music, snacks, and adult beverages. Saturday is a day of the rides with various start times for each course: Longest, Longer, and Long. Post-ride recovery starts mid-day with a post-ride meal, awards ceremony, and live music from several artists throughout the day and into the evening. The Lost and Found Expo is available all day, and free kids' races are available in the evening.

The best part of the event is that the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder generates funds that are reinvested in the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. This organization is dedicated to creating sustainable communities centered around recreational activities by focusing on stewardship, job opportunities, and hosting other exceptional events like the Downieville Classic, which is one of the Best MTB Events in the Northwest. Through their efforts in trail construction and upkeep in the Lost Sierra region, they ensure the provision of exceptional outdoor experiences.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Portola, the host town, is a small city located in Plumas County, California, in the northeastern part of the state. The beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains surround it, and it is home to many outdoor recreational activities.  Besides cycling, one popular outdoor activity in Portola is hiking. There are many scenic trails in the area, such as the Feather River Canyon Trail, which offers stunning views of the Feather River and the surrounding mountains. Other popular trails include the Beckwourth Peak Trail and the Lakes Basin Trail.  Fishing is also a popular activity in Portola, with the nearby Feather River and Lake Davis.  Boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding are also popular on Lake Davis. In the winter months, Portola becomes a winter wonderland, with many opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The nearby ski resorts of Sugar Bowl and Boreal are popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts.

The Lost and Found Gravel Festival offers a deal on Portola camping sites; purchase three nights and get the fourth night free. For those who prefer hotels to camp, there are several options in Portola or Monterey. See Nakoma Resort, Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, or Monterey Marriott.

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lost and found gravel festival course map


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Portola, California


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