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Mountain Bike Trails Southern California

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  • August 11, 2015 04:35:47 AM
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Bike This Trail was made by mountain biking enthusiasts for mountain biking enthusiasts. Our website and blog shares great trails and bike tips for mountain bikers.

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Snow Summit Loop – Big Bear Lake

When you think of Big Bear mountain resort, snowboarders and skiers come to mind. However, when summer rolls around, it is converted into an awesome bike park that has to be experienced by every mountain biker. You can elect to climb to the summit for a great training ride (elevation is over 7000 at the start) or simply take the lifts. At the top, you can choose from 3 descents ranging from beginning to advanced. There is something for everyone depending on your skill level, but don't be...

Ride Description

When you think of Big Bear mountain resort, snowboarders and skiers come to mind. However, when summer rolls around, it is converted into an awesome bike park that has to be experienced by every mountain biker. You can elect to climb to the summit for a great training ride (elevation is over 7000 at the start) or simply take the lifts. At the top, you can choose from 3 descents ranging from beginning to advanced. There is something for everyone depending on your skill level, but don’t be deceived; even the beginning level descent is quite a workout! If visiting Bear Mountain bike park for the first time, we highly encourage you to try the beginning descent first.

Difficulty

Intermediate/Advanced
Distance: 11.89 mi
Time: 1:43:41
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,288 ft
Calories: 1,073 C
Avg Temperature: 76.6 °F

Driving Directions

Directions to Big Bear- this will vary depending on where you are coming from. Here are some general directions there:

Catch the 210 west
Enter 330 north
It becomes Highway CA-18
Right on Big Bear Blvd
Right in Summit rd.

Trail Directions

(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)

Enter Bristlecone Dr from the park. Head straight and be on the lookout for a single track on your right with the same name.

.74 Enter single track on your right. You will cruise through the forest until Bristlecone ends on Club View street.

1.5 Make a right on the street. Ride until it curves towards right into cabin neighborhood. You will access Skyline rd from here.

2.21 Enter Skyline. This is a nice and easy fire road climb. Although it is not steep, the higher elevation of big bear may affect your lungs. Enjoy it!

3.81 Right on Snow Summit rd

4.69. Top of Snow Summit

Descend from 3 trails of your choice, which ranges from easy to difficult. You can take the lift for subsequent downhill rides.

Garmin Info


The post Snow Summit Loop – Big Bear Lake appeared first on Mountain Bike Trails Southern California - Bike This Trail.


Skypark – Skyforest

In 2014, the park was acquired by an avid mountain biker and was re-built to operate as a year-round tourist destination as well as a popular mountain biking destination, known as Skypark in Santa’s Village. Several existing buildings and attractions were restored, together with the creation of an extensive network of trails, and it re-opened to the public in 2016. There is something for everyone at Skypark/Santa's Village, so you can easily make it a family day out or head there yourself...

Ride Description

As local Socal kids, we would dream of going to Santa’s Village during the holidays. They had a popular commercial on TV, and it was one of Southern California’s greatest attractions. Located in Lake Arrowhead, it was not far from the greater LA area. The park was originally opened in 1955 but unfortunately ended up closing its doors in 1998.
In 2014, the park was acquired by an avid mountain biker and was re-built to operate as a year-round tourist destination as well as a popular mountain biking destination, known as Skypark in Santa’s Village. Several existing buildings and attractions were restored, together with the creation of an extensive network of trails, and it re-opened to the public in 2016.

There is something for everyone at Skypark/Santa’s Village, so you can easily make it a family day out or head there yourself and shred the network of trails. The park is well maintained, with trails that are clearly marked with names. The park is user-friendly, as it has different trails for different skill levels. There are maps of the trails available upon entering the park, and it’s just a matter of deciding which routes you wish to ride.
The main premise of the park is to ride to the top and then decide which network of trails you wish to descend. The climb is an easy ½ mile riding the Upline trail, which is the only trail that takes you up there. All trails are designed to be descended in one direction only, so it eliminates having to navigate through bikers or hikers making their way up on all trails. Once you are at the top, there are several descending options depending on your skill level. The levels range from Beginner to Double Diamond expert. I’ve been riding for many years, and I enjoyed descending the beginning trails just as much as any other. Depending on which ones you choose, you will traverse through berms, bridges, jumps, and all kinds of fun stuff. The descents are anywhere from ½ to a mile long. After that, it’s a matter of catching the Upline trail again, which is available in 2 sections of the park, and making that ½ mile climb back up. You can do this all day with the network of trails that are available, and walk away with a great riding experience.

There is a fee to enter the park, which also gives you access to Santa’s Village attractions. Aside from all the great riding, you can spend the rest of the day ziplining, rock climbing, or grabbing a bite to eat at one of the various restaurants. You can check out their website at www.skyparksantasvillage.com for more park information. It’s definitely a place to check out!

Difficulty

Intermediate

Driving Directions

From the 210 Frwy East, exit on Waterman Canyon/Hwy 18 and head towards the hills on Hwy 18 until you reach the parking lot on the left.

From the 210 Frwy West, take Hwy 330 to Hwy 18 at Running Springs, take Hwy 18 North-West until you reach the parking lot on the right side.

Trail Directions

(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)

Walkthrough Santa’s Village to the trailhead and follow the train of mountain bikers up to the rim at the top where you can choose what trail best suits your skill level.

Head to the left at the entrance towards the pond and climb up the back way.

Garmin Info


The post Skypark – Skyforest appeared first on Mountain Bike Trails Southern California - Bike This Trail.


Cloudcroft Trail – New Mexico

Not long ago, we wrote about using different resources for discovering new places to ride. This featured loop, which has quickly become a favorite of ours, was recently spotlighted in the monthly publication that AAA (Auto Club of So Cal) sends to its Members. The article actually focused on the fun things to go do in the city of La Verne, and a short blurb on Marshall Canyon was mentioned. It described it as a lush and shade filled canyon for most of it's 5 miles, making it a great ride...

Ride Description

During my annual mountain biking trip to El Paso, Texas, one of my friends suggested we check out the trails in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Cloudcroft is approximately 100 miles out of El Paso, and it is a completely different landscape than the Southwest scenery! This gem of a place sits between 7700 to 8700 feet in elevation and is very reminiscent of the landscape in Big Bear, Ca. It is no surprise that Cloudcroft and Ruidoso, New Mexico (30 minutes from Cloudcroft), becomes a ski resort in the winter. Cloudcroft is also home to an annual mountain biking race that attracts riders from all over the state. Cloudcroft has a large network of trails for both mountain biking and hiking, and there are plenty of trail markers to guide you. It is actually a very well maintained network. You can pick up a map of the trails at one of the local shops in the Village. Some of the names of the trails are Trestle Recreation trail, Cloud Climbing Trestle trail, Crossover trail, and Switchback trail. These trails connect to each other and are labeled using a numerical system. It’s very easy to follow the map.

If you decide to explore every trail in this section, expect to make a full day out of it. I climbed to the Devil’s Elbow Viewing deck, which afforded me beautiful sights of the terrain and mountains. Of course, you can customize the loop for whatever you are feeling that day. I rode 17 miles my first go-around and condensed it to an 8-mile loop the second day. This ride will give you a rundown of the 8-mile loop.

We began this epic loop from the Village of Cloudcroft. It’s a small, quaint center where you can find a hotel, places to eat, and a bike shop. Head towards the adjacent neighborhood and head up the paved road.

Difficulty

Beginner-Intermediate

Distance: 7.43 mi
Time: 1:39:35
Avg Speed: 4.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,299 ft
Calories: 592 C

Driving Directions

10 East
U.S. Highway 54 East
U.S. 82 East.
You will arrive at Cloudcroft village in 16 miles, the destination is on your left. Park in the center.

Trail Directions

(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)

In about 100 yards you will notice a trail as soon as you turn on the bend to your right.

As soon as you enter the trail (like 6 feet), veer right and begin climbing. Traverse through a short series of climbs and descents, and make your way around the forest and campground. Ride for about .75 mile until you exit on a campground street. At this point, you will notice an arrow approximately 30 yards ahead, pointing you towards the entrance of the trail on your left.

Enter, stay on the single-track, and continue riding. This section will end with a descent into a main road within the campground. You will see 2 fire roads as soon as you descend, and you want to take the one that is furthest ahead (like 2 feet ahead).

The first fire road continues to descend, and you will climb your way up this road at the end of the ride. Keep it in mind for later. Head left on the fire road. If you go right you will exit the campground in about ½ mile.

1.5- Ride along this level road for about 1 mile until you get to a fence.

Ride beyond the fence where you will quickly descend into an open area. This is a great rest stop if you want to enjoy the scenery.

2.5- there is a narrow singletrack on your left about 50 yards after descending into this rest area.

Check out the video of this trail, as it is one of the highlights of this ride! It is fast, smooth, and tons of fun for about 2 miles.

4.5- The singletrack ends at a wide open area that can be referred to us a 4 corners system.

If you head to your left on the wide open fire road, this will take you up and out of the campground.

It is a nice, steady climb for about 2 miles towards the exit of the campground. Or you can go straight ahead for about 50 yards and drop into the trail on our left. This will take you through a tunnel which the video highlights, and will take you on an extended climb all the way to Devil’s Elbow. There are several configurations to descend from Devil’s Elbow.

6.5- Head right after exiting the park on US highway 82 and ride back to the village.

8.0- back in Village.

Garmin Info


The post Cloudcroft Trail – New Mexico appeared first on Mountain Bike Trails Southern California - Bike This Trail.


Santiago Peak – Silverado Canyon

In 2014, Silverado canyon experienced a fire that blackened 1600 acres of the Cleveland National Forest. This prompted a closure of Maple Road in Silverado Canyon, which takes you to the Main Divide and Harding Truck Trail. Those of us that like to climb up to Santiago Peak or the Silverado Motorway via Maple Road had to wait close to 3 years before it re-opened. The ride to either location is no joke and requires serious legs to get there. We highly recommend that you be fully hydrated,...

Ride Description

In 2014, Silverado canyon experienced a fire that blackened 1600 acres of the Cleveland National Forest. This prompted a closure of Maple Road in Silverado Canyon, which takes you to the Main Divide and Harding Truck Trail. Those of us that like to climb up to Santiago Peak or the Silverado Motorway via Maple Road had to wait close to 3 years before it re-opened. The ride to either location is no joke and requires serious legs to get there. We highly recommend that you be fully hydrated, stretch well, and get a good night’s rest before tackling either one. There is over 4100 feet of climbing to reach Santiago Peak, so heed our advice. Hikers, mountain bikers, and motor vehicles also share this road, so use plenty of caution. If you are not aware, motor vehicles are allowed on the Main Divide Road, and Maple Rd in Silverado Canyon is one of the few places you can access it on a vehicle. Be prepared to eat a lot of dust if vehicles are making their way up and down. Obviously, there is more vehicle activity on the weekends, so plan your ride accordingly.

Difficulty

Intermediate-Advanced

Distance: 23.91 mi
Time: 4:42:32
Avg Speed: 5.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 4,931 ft
Calories: 2,044 C

Driving Directions

From 55 frwy exit Chapman Avenue and head East towards the hills. This turns into the S18/Santiago Canyon Road. Take this for about 11 miles until you see Tree Farm on left and turn left onto Prairie Road and then quick right onto Silverado Canyon Road. Follow to narrow-windy road for about 3 miles until it dead ends. There is limited parking which requires $5 pass to park or, if gates are open, you can park inside where there is room. If you don’t bring the parking pass, (which can be purchased online for annual pass or purchased at local store in the area) they will issue you a ticket for $5 which can be mailed in.

From the 5 frwy exit El Toro Road and head NE about 13 miles. Turn right on Prairie Raod and quick right onto Silverado Canyon Road. Head for about 3 miles until dead end. Parking pass $5 is required.

Trail Directions

(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)

0.0- Begin making your way up Maple Road form the parking area. The first 3 miles is all paved, but the gain in elevation is immediate. It is not a steep grade, which makes for a great warmup before you get to the dirt.

3.08- The paved road ends and the climbing continues on the wide fire road. The next 4 miles consists of fairly, well maintained road, and the grade is not too bad. There is a series of wide switchbacks as you make your way up the mountain, which makes the downhill a blast. Alternate riding off and on the saddle to keep circulation free in all the right areas.

7.3- You will have reached the intersection of Maple Road, Main Divide, and Harding Truck Trail at this point. It is a wide-open area for vehicles to park, or for people to take a quick breather. Take advantage of the rest stop, because the next 4 miles of this ride is the steepest and toughest. To your right, you will notice Harding Truck Trail, but continue climbing straight up for about 100 yards to hit Main Divide and head right towards the signal towers. If you opt to go left, it will take you into Corona and the Motorway. There are trail markers to let you know where you are riding.

The next mile or so quickly turns into road full of rocks, which makes the ride more challenging. In some sections, the rocks seem to be compacted into the road, so riding over them is not too bad, but your legs will be on fire! This section looks like it was improved since the last time we rode it, which was very loose at the time.

8.2- After you overcome this section, you will reach a saddle that will take you on a descent for the next mile or so. After all the climbing you have done so far, this is a welcome relief! Just remember that you will have to climb this area on the way back! Soon, the climbing resumes and it is time to climb all the way to Santiago Peak. At times, it seems like you will never reach it, but keep pedaling and you will eventually get there.

11.4- You have reached the top! Enjoy the views. You deserve it. Once you are ready, begin your descent the same way you came up, which can be grueling in itself due the length of the descent. Again, use caution going downhill to avoid running into cars, dirt bikes, and other mountain bikers!
23.9-Back to your car. What a welcome sight!

Garmin Info


The post Santiago Peak – Silverado Canyon appeared first on Mountain Bike Trails Southern California - Bike This Trail.


Vail Lake Trail – Temecula

Not long ago, we wrote about using different resources for discovering new places to ride. This featured loop, which has quickly become a favorite of ours, was recently spotlighted in the monthly publication that AAA (Auto Club of So Cal) sends to its Members. The article actually focused on the fun things to go do in the city of La Verne, and a short blurb on Marshall Canyon was mentioned. It described it as a lush and shade filled canyon for most of it's 5 miles, making it a great ride...

Ride Description

Vail Lake Resort is considered a top mountain biking destination, and with several endurance races throughout the year, we can understand why!  Vail Lake is located in the beautiful city of Temecula, and it offers over 8000 acres incredible biking and hiking terrain.  It is a family friendly resort with plenty of activities such as camping, swimming, hiking, miniature gold, horseshoe pits, and even basketball courts.   And if you are over 21 and like wine after a good ride, there are over 30 wineries in the Temecula Valley!

The resort offers a trail map, where you will see that there are 24 trails to choose from when riding or hiking.  Many of them intertwine with one another, but the main artery of this park is Ambulance trail, which is a nice, fire road climb to the summit.  The views from up there are incredible, with scenic mountain landscapes and the lake.  There are plenty of single-tracks to descend as well. Although the trail map that the park provides has trails by name, you will not see trail markers as you are traversing this park.  It is not difficult to navigate through if you stay in the general direction of the lake.  Mostly sun exposure so, ride early and watch out for the snakes

Entry fee : $5 per person

Difficulty

Beginner-Intermediate

Distance: 7.43 mi
Time: 1:39:35
Avg Speed: 4.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,299 ft
Calories: 592 C

Driving Directions

From the 15 frwy, Take the CA-79 S exit, EXIT 58, toward Indio, (East), about 11 miles on your left you will see the entrance.

Trail Directions

(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)

After paying and entering the park, drive straight ahead to the parking lot to your left.  The entrance to the trails lies directly in front of you, and there is a sign that directs you to the trails.  This is where you will enter to begin your loop.  The trail starts off as a single-track with a slight elevation gain.  You will notice trails to the left and right, but continue straight and descend to the fire road.

.52- Head right at bottom and then a quick left to begin climbing Ambulance trail. It is the fire road on your left and you will notice how it goes up.

1.88- You will reach a point where Ambulance trail goes either left or right at this summit.  You will enjoy beautiful views of the city of Temecula to your left.  The lake is to the right.  Obviously, you want to head right.

3.78- As I mentioned before, there are plenty of trails on the side to ascend/descend, which is what we chose to do on this loop.  Had we stayed on Ambulance, we would have arrived there in approximately 3 miles from the parking lot. There is a water tower at this summit and the views from here are incredible.  You can shoot straight down to the lake from here, or take the killer single-track descent a few yards down on your right as you begin making your way down the trail. This is the option we prefer.  The trail is fun and has a couple of rocky, semi technical descents, but nothing crazy. 

5.00- You reached the bottom of the trail which becomes a gravel road.  Head left towards the lake, which you will arrive to in approximately ½ mile.   Otherwise, go right and make your way back to the parking lot.  There are plenty of trails to ride as you make your way back, including a section that resembles a BMX park.  It’s a great place to practice your jumps.

7.60- back to the parking lot.

Garmin Info


The post Vail Lake Trail – Temecula appeared first on Mountain Bike Trails Southern California - Bike This Trail.


Turnbull Canyon – Whittier

Turnbull Canyon is a popular spot in the city of Whittier, lined with hikers and bikers, and its part of the Puente Hills Reserve. The parking on Turnbull Canyon is confined to a small dirt area so that can be a challenge, especially on the weekend. You need a resident permit to park in the local neighborhoods, so your next option is to park a few blocks away and ride up the street to the trail-head. This loop is a great combination of sun exposed, fire road climbing, with a shade filled...

Ride Description

Turnbull Canyon is a popular spot in the city of Whittier, lined with hikers and bikers, and its part of the Puente Hills Reserve. The parking on Turnbull Canyon is confined to a small dirt area so that can be a challenge, especially on the weekend. You need a resident permit to park in the local neighborhoods, so your next option is to park a few blocks away and ride up the street to the trail-head. This loop is a great combination of sun exposed, fire road climbing, with a shade filled loop when you get to Ahwingna. There are plenty of other trails to explore within Turnbull, with lots of additional climbing to be had, but this particular loop gives you a good idea of what you can expect within this park. It gives you views of the Hsi Lai Temple and Rose Hills Memorial park as you traverse your way up and down the park. There are a lot of stories pertaining to this park, in particular stories of hauntings. A lot of the locals will tell you that it is mostly urban legend, but it definitely adds to the mystique and history of the place.

Difficulty

Intermediate

Distance: 7.05 mi
Time: 1:08:25
Avg Speed: 6.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,424 ft
Calories: 659 C
Temperature: 71.2 °F

Driving Directions

-From the 605 frwy exit Beverly Blvd. and head East. Beverly Blvd. becomes Turnbull Canyon Road.
-From the 5 frwy exit Carmenita Road and head North. Carmenita becomes Painter Avenue. Stay on Painter Avenue. Turn right on Beverly Blvd. which becomes Turnbull Canyon Road.

Trail Directions

(hover over steps for images – some steps may not have images)

The loop starts with nice easy riding through Turnbull Canyon Rd.

.72 As soon as you pass Sumac trail, the elevation starts to increase. Climb for approximately ½ mile to the intersection of Rattlesnake trail.

1.34- You will arrive at a Y in the trail, with Rattlesnake trail on the left. Stay RIGHT, and head towards the water tower.

1.36- You will encounter a short, but steep climb ahead of you. This is actually the first of three short climbs to the graffiti covered water tower. The first one is the longest climb, and the next two are just a few yards. Or, you can take the easier route directly on the left of the steep hill, which also takes you up there. Since this is a short route, we elected to go with the tougher climb. When you get to the water tank, go behind it and take a quick descent to the trail. Follow it until you hit the fenced area. Head right towards the electric tower at the opening of the gate, which has a trail marker. Ahwingna is the name of the trail you are looking to enter. Begin a descent on nice open fire road.

2.47- As you are making your way down, keep your eyes open for a 2-legged wooden post on your left. You will be descending at a good rate so keep your eyes open for it and stop as soon as you see it. The single-track you want is directly to the left of the wooden posts. Although unmarked at the beginning, this is called the Native Oak trail. You will notice a trail marker later in the route as you make your way through. It is a fun and scenic descent, deep into the canyon, and it’s the highlight of our loop. The descent is a blast, you will also need to climb your way back up to get back on Ahwingna.

4.76- Native Oak will connect you back to Ahwingna and loops you right back to where you picked up the trail. Retrace the trail back to Turnbull, and head to the car.

Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon, Whittier, CA

Fullerton Loop Bike Trail Map


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