Top moto riders set to take on Donner Summit National |

Top moto riders set to take on Donner Summit National

The Donner Summit National rolls into the area this weekend for three days of MotoTrial competition.
Courtesy of Pat McPhetridge

The trails around Auburn Ski Club will come alive this weekend with the sounds of specialized motorcycles as some of the nation’s best riders come to the area for the American Motorcycle Association — North American Trials Council MotoTrials National Series Finale.

The Donner Summit National is hosted by Sacramento Pacific International Trials Society and will feature three days of action, beginning with youngsters taking to the course on Friday, followed by adult riders hitting the course during the weekend.

MotoTrials competitions feature riders on lightweight motorcycles tackling extreme terrain and natural obstacles, like boulders, in an effort to make it cleanly through the course with the lowest score possible. Points are added for putting a foot down, stalling or falling over.

“Lots of big rocks, sharp turns, and steep hills within a very small area,” said Alison Hermance, spokesperson for Sacramento Pacific International Trails Society. “Everyone gets excited about riding out here, because the granite … jumping the big granite rocks is what people get excited for.”

“Everyone gets excited about riding out here, because the granite … jumping the big granite rocks is what people get excited for.” — Alison Hermance, Sacramento Pacific International Trails Society spokesperson

More than 150 riders from across the nation are expected to take part in the event, which features two rounds of competition.

The trials also mark the last chance for riders to score points in the series, and also serves as the opening two rounds for the International Motorcycling Federation North America series.

The course will feature three laps on a 2-mile course, taking riders through the trees behind the ski club, according to Laura Galbreath of the Sacramento Pacific International Trials Society, with an additional loop included for spectators. There will be 12 obstacles per lap.

Organizers said this will also be the first year the event has been held at Auburn Ski Club. In previous years, competitions have been held at Donner Ski Ranch.

Youngsters will start things off on Friday, Aug. 31, with first of two days of riding in the Youth Trials at the National Championship Series. The youth trial will begin at 2:30 p.m. and is free to register.

Adult riders hit the course the following day at 9 a.m., with youth riders concluding their series at 4 p.m., followed by awards at 5:30 p.m. Festivities come to an end on Sunday, Sept. 2, with the first adult rider hitting the course at 9 a.m. and awards at 5:30 p.m.

There will be food and merchandise vendors on site during the weekend. Admission is $15 per day or $25 for the weekend. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. each day. Children under 10 are free.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit

“The stuff these guys ride is truly mind boggling,” said Hermance.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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