A couple of weekends ago, my good MTB Buds Bill and Jeff joined me for an excursion on The Palm Canyon Epic. SoCal was in the middle of some Grade A crappy weather and it was raining nearly the entire way out to Palm Springs. As we expected shortly before we peeled off of Interstate 10 onto highway 111, the sun came out as the San Jacinto Mountains blocked the storms from heading further east.
We decided to start from Pinyon Flats. It had been many moons since I had started from here and I managed to get slightly turned around at the beginning. It was readily apparent early on that we were being treated to some fantastic conditions. The trail had enough moisture to have great traction but fast. We could see the could spilling over the top of the mountains to the west and dissipating or breaking up into puffy clouds without the menacing look of rain.
Where the Pinyon Flats trail connected to the Palm Canyon trail there was plenty of running water in the wash which is not a particularly common sight. The “hero” dirt got pretty amazing beyond this point. Places where you would have to watch your speed due to loose corners were of little concern on this day. The classic desert flow had us simply giddy.
The weather really sucks on the other side of those mountains. Nothing but smiles on this side of the mountain. We were not trying to be in a hurry, but we found ourselves making really good time. We took note of the signage reflecting no bikes on the Indian Potrero. I bet that trail is in really great shape right now.
Once at the bottom of the Dry Wash we grabbed some snacks and prepared ourselves for what can be a brutal loose climb up to Dunn Road. No one should have to do that climb completely sober. We were prepared.
Turns out the climb was by far the “easiest” climb of the wash I have ever done. Typically you have to contend with long stretches of loose sand that can be both taxing and demoralizing. That was not the case today. While it was a climb, it was pretty well packed and made for consistent spin all the way up.
Jeff working the climb.
At the top of the Hahn Trail. Much downhill awesomeness occurred after this point.
After the Hahn trail we climbed the Cathedral Canyon trail and then worked our way over the Fern Canyon/Clare Burgess/Wild Horse Saddle. We then took the Wildhorse trail down into the Goat Trails and then onward to the trailhead where tasty beers were waiting.