Last week on my way up to Mammoth Mountain for some chairlift-assisted mountain biking I met up with Dave and Michael for a run down the Lower Rock Creek trail on my way into town. We met up at the lower trailhead and then made our way to the top for some great riding back down the trail. I had so much fun that I did not take any pictures. You will have to take a look at last year’s post for some pictures. Michael did snap a few pictures and one of those is below. I was however running a video camera. A fire came through this area back on August 5th that burned 122 acres. Now wildfires are pretty common but the cause of this one was interesting. The USFS has determined that fire was caused by a mountain bike pedal strike against a rock. I’m not one to argue on this one, plenty of pedals have steel bits that can create a spark if struck against the right stuff in the right way. Whatever your thoughts here is a clip of us rolling through the burn area.
Here are a few links to articles and forum post on this fire.
This past Saturday I went out to the Cuyamaca mountains to check out the new(ish)ly rerouted Cold Springs Trail. I started out at the Sweetwater trailhead/parking lot and took the West Side singletrack up to the connector to the Park Vistor Center. From there I turned from usual route and took the Cold Stream Trail north.
The trail was pretty featureless but pretty through here until it got to a big oak tree on the edge of the meadow right at the junction with the singletrack connector trail over to the Green Valley Fireroad.
The meadow must be the typical “tour” turn around point from the visitor center as the Cold Stream trail immediately became must more narrow and interesting beyond that point.
I had not been on this section of the Cold Stream trail before and I have to say this was a nice bit of trail.
While stopping to check out this little spot.
I had some locals come through. There was somewhere between two and four of them. It was hard to tell with them zipping in and out.
Shortly after this spot I went by several junction. The first was the connector over to the West Mesa parking area and the second was the junction of the Cold Stream Trail and the Cold Springs Trail. The Cold Stream trail north of her was marked “No Bikes” but the route for today was the Cold Springs trail. Pictured above is some the trail goodness along the Cold Springs trail.
The original Cold Springs Trail was 1.2 miles, not open to bikes and was a pretty heinous hike. The new trail is 2.25 miles long and connects with much further up the Stonewall Creek fire road than its predecessor. This is a most excellent replacement/reroute of the old trail. I climbed the last bit of Stonewall Creek fire road and the at the junction with Soapstone Grade fire road I hung a right (east). Just before I would have to drop down the grade into Green Valley I hung a left (north) onto the California Riding and Hiking Trail.
That Oak tree in the middle of the picture on he meadow ridgeline was my destination for the day.
I refer to this group of trees as “The Napping Oaks” because you take a break here, you may find yourself doing just that.
A wider view of today’s turn around spot.
While kicking back here I heard some thunder and looking over my shoulder I see that some storm clouds had developed or moved in just on the other side of the ridgeline. Rain was not on agenda today so I thought it was pretty cool to have a little bit of weather with me on the ride. No rain ever materialized but it was not long before got rolling again. I pretty much retraced my path back the way I came all the way to the West Mesa parking lot connector where I crossed the road and picked up the West Side trail and took it south back to the Sweetwater parking lot. I was a great day to be out enjoying some trails. I spent the rest of the day doing some recon work with the truck for some of the beleaguered and neglected sections of the CRHT out in this area of the county. But that is another story…
It was mighty nice to get back up in the mountains near Big Bear again. Outside of the my recent ride in Flagstaff, it has been months since I had been out for a decent ride. This was just what the doctor ordered.
Ali, Bill and I started off on the Sugarloaf Trail and I was quickly reminded that the main muscle that I had been working out as of late has been my beer drinking arm. 9,000 feet of elevation and loose semi-chunky climbing soon found me gasping on the side of the trail barely able to see let alone breath. That kind of punishment was exactly what I needed. I had been a bad bad lard ass and I deserved to be punished. While it was not that far, it seemed like a long way before we hooked up with the loose chunky Sugarloaf connector down to the Wildhorse Trail.
Ali rolling through the ferns at the upper end of the Wildhorse trail.
Looking down along a part of the Santa Ana River watershed area from the Wildhorse trail.
Bill zipping by
Ali cruising through
Besides a bit of Where’s Waldo action, you can see a good bit of the impact of last year’s Lake Fire that came through the area. After finishing off the Wildhorse trail we did a bit of road cruising to the South Fork campground and hooked up with the Santa Ana River Trail for some more single track goodness. The SART was in just about as good of a shape as I can remember for this time of year.
Clowning around on the SART.
As usual good post-ride refreshments, grub and general shat talking ensued at the bottom. A great day to be out in the dirt!