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  1. #1
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    Best trails for after a rain

    I did some searches but didn't see any good compilation of norcal trails and how they handle rain. I'll rank a few of my trails and hopefully others will follow suit. Feel free to disagree.
    Ranking: 1-5 stars
    1 star= total slop for weeks after a drizzle
    3 stars= wont be fun for 2-3 days or so after
    5 stars= could ride with confidence after a monsoon

    Skeggs: 1 star on BB, SM, and Resolution, maybe 2 for the fire roads
    Russian ridge: 3 stars with a few 1 star sections hawk and ancient oaks,
    Water dog lake: 2 stars
    Montara mtn: 3 stars, fire road 5 stars
    Tamarancho: 2- 3 stars
    China Camp: 5 stars

    Saratoga gap: ?
    Annadel: ?
    Henry Coe: ?
    Last edited by Dpca10; 12-02-2012 at 07:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Oat Mine-Calistoga - 5
    Annadel - 3 on average
    Boggs - 4

    some trails in Annadel can handle a good amount of rain and traffic, but in no way can it soak up rain like Santa Cruz trails and not as consistently rocky like Tamarancho. it gets worse later in the seaon when soil is saturated.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dpca10 View Post
    I did some searches bud didn't see any good compilation of norcal trails and how they handle rain. I'll rank a few of my trails and hopefully others will follow suit. Feel free to disagree.
    Ranking: 1-5 stars
    1 star= total slop for weeks after a drizzle
    3 stars= wont be fun for 2-3 days or so after
    5 stars= could ride with confidence after a monsoon

    Skeggs: 1 star on BB, SM, and Resolution, maybe 2 for the fire roads
    Russian ridge: 3 stars with a few 1 star sections hawk and ancient oaks,
    Water dog lake: 2 stars
    Montara mtn: 3 stars, fire road 5 stars
    Tamarancho: 2- 3 stars
    China Camp: 5 stars

    Saratoga gap: ?
    Annadel: ?
    Henry Coe: ?
    Disagree on China Camp as the lower section can be muddy, prolly more a 3 or 4.

    Russian Ridge is dead on.
    St Joes/Los Gatos Creek Trail - 4
    Saratoga Gap is open but muddy, Long Ridge/Peters Creek singletrack is closed for the season.
    Arastradero singletrack is closed after the rains, pretty much for the winter.
    Big Basin is supposed to be a 5
    Ft. Ord is a 4/5 depending on which trails you ride.
    Wilder backcountry gets closed after a good soaking, but that place can be a mess after the rains.
    Rockville is 4/5 I think, but someone else can confirm
    Santa Teresa and Fremont Older become clay, so zero (0).
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  4. #4
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    That's funny. Skeggs is near the top of my list for fun biking that handles rain well. I've ridden there during downpours during long wet sections of the winter. Sandstone soil and nearly no real mud. Only problem is the creek crossing on Methuselah.

    Coe is not great after rain - not to mention that the singletracks are closed for 48 hrs after 0.5" of rain - and the fireroads are way muddier than the trails.

  5. #5
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    Wow great responses... In my experience

    China camp backside 4-5, frontside 3-4
    Maybe I should give Skeggs another shot, but it's my go to trail so I'm used to riding it fast, slick conditions are extra frustrating then

    How is Demo? Muddy I'd guess
    Last edited by Dpca10; 11-29-2012 at 09:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    Mission peak stanford side = 4.5
    Kennedy = 3.5 to 4
    St Joes = 3.9 to 4.5

    This is subjective though. Some people define muddy riding as ridable. For me, mission peak is one of few places that your bike comes back mostly clean after a ride with rain the day before.

  7. #7
    ask
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    Here's my list:

    Kennedy - 5 (I ride here in the rain if I just need to get out... not very fun, but still good to ride)
    El Sereno - 5 (similar to Kennedy)
    Overgrown - 4-5 (most is rocky enough to handle rain... top section gets soft)
    Gap - 3-4 (Really not worth it though if Peter's Creek is closed)
    Skeggs - 2-3 (some trails are better than others after rain)
    Quicksilver - 1 (closed often when it rains)
    Demo - ?

  8. #8
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    Demo: 1. Please, Just don't ride there after a good rain. Riding those trails soon after a rain will completely blow it out. Once saturated, it gets loose, rutty, muddy, and slick. (Yes, fun but bad for trail). A rain like this one will take a week of dry to be rideable again.

    SC: 1. same thing.

    Mission Peak is pretty good but for the back side which I recall being horrible after a good soak.
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  9. #9
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    Marin Headlands fire roads seem to handle the rain well, but they're not technical in the least.
    Annadel is a 3 with some really sloppy spots that get worse as the season goes on. They bypassed the gnarly one on ridge.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Demo: 1. Please, Just don't ride there after a good rain. Riding those trails soon after a rain will completely blow it out. Once saturated, it gets loose, rutty, muddy, and slick. (Yes, fun but bad for trail). A rain like this one will take a week of dry to be rideable again.

    SC: 1. same thing.

    Mission Peak is pretty good but for the back side which I recall being horrible after a good soak.
    Mission Peak is rideable only to the outhouse because of the gravel. Anything further up will be slick as snot. MP from the Ohlone side has a couple sections that turn in complete mud pits. One can always go up Mill Creek Road and hop the fence onto the gravel road to the outhouse.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  11. #11
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    Big Basin/Butano - 4/5
    Nisene Marks (Aptos FR) - 4/5
    Purisima fire roads - Harkins Ridge - 4, Borden Hatch - 4, Grabtown Gulch - 3, Purisima Creek - 2
    Boggs fireroads - 2 Boggs singletrack - 4
    Montara Mtn fireroads - 5 Boy Scout - 1
    Santa Cruz singletrack - 1
    Demo - 1

    I have ridden Big Basin/Butano after/during big downpours. It's not so much the wetness that gets you (or your drivetrain) as the freshly fallen duff, branches and fallen trees from the wind.

    Boggs is also one of the closest places you can try your (frozen) hand at snow biking. If you can get there and have a warm place to stay.
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  12. #12
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    The road...

  13. #13
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    Little Bald hills-5
    Ossagon-4
    Paradise Royal-N/A
    Jackson Demo-5
    Lake Mendocino-1
    Boggs-4
    Oat Hill-5
    Angwen/Los Posadas-3

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Big Basin/Butano - 4/5
    Nisene Marks (Aptos FR) - 4/5
    Purisima fire roads - Harkins Ridge - 4, Borden Hatch - 4, Grabtown Gulch - 3, Purisima Creek - 2
    Boggs fireroads - 2 Boggs singletrack - 4
    Montara Mtn fireroads - 5 Boy Scout - 1
    Santa Cruz singletrack - 1
    Demo - 1

    I have ridden Big Basin/Butano after/during big downpours. It's not so much the wetness that gets you (or your drivetrain) as the freshly fallen duff, branches and fallen trees from the wind.

    Boggs is also one of the closest places you can try your (frozen) hand at snow biking. If you can get there and have a warm place to stay.
    Purisima Creek singletrack is usually closed after rain right?
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  15. #15
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    Montara mountain

    Crack:5
    Mile:5
    Fire Roads: um who cares...
    Everything else: 1
    if the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will

  16. #16
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    Really

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb View Post
    Little Bald hills-5
    Ossagon-4
    Paradise Royal-N/A
    Jackson Demo-5
    Lake Mendocino-1
    Boggs-4
    Oat Hill-5
    Angwen/Los Posadas-3
    Shouldn't Boggs be a 1 or 2? For self preservation reasons of course....
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  17. #17
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    Skeggs has two faces. Pre-winter and post-winter (or before and after it gets 6 inches). Before it gets 6 inches of rain (usually January) it is generally fine. It can rain here and there but give it a day to soak and it will be fine.

    But after it gets 6 inches, it gets waterlogged. Then it's just a soupy mess after rain and it lasts for months, usually Jan-April.

    fc

  18. #18
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    Patty did a fantastic writeup 4 (!) years ago about bay area soil types and why some trails drain better than others. Worth a read..

    Part 1
    Part 2

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Purisima Creek singletrack is usually closed after rain right?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Big Basin/Butano - 4/5
    I've not ridden this. What type of riding? I've camped at Butano, and some of the fireroads are OK. I've never been to Big Basin.


    Ft. Ord, how would this rank? I think it's about a 3-4, Mission Peak is better but also less interesting.
    Last edited by IAmHolland; 11-29-2012 at 09:48 AM.

  20. #20
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    Any thoughts on Grant Ranch? I know it's all fireroads, but I'd take fire roads over paved roads.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Shouldn't Boggs be a 1 or 2? For self preservation reasons of course....
    The fire roads in Boggs definitely 1or2, but the trails drain really well thanks to all the pine needles.

  22. #22
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    Bring on the Freeze!

    With all the moisture, I am looking forward to the freezing temps. In NC, we use to hit the frozen trails early (before any thaw) and they made for good riding...just don't get caught in the thaw.
    Now that I am in Auburn, I am curious about a couple trails that seem like they should be pretty solid wet (a 4 or 5): Stagecoach and Quarry. I would rather slowly grind out some miles there rather than hit the road. Any opinions on how these would be to ride during/after rain?

  23. #23
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    You Bay Area blokes need to come out to the Placer county and El Dorado county area. Lots of decomposed granite in the dirt out here so it drains pretty quickly. Folsom Lake SRA and Auburn ride pretty well in rain and right afterward.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  24. #24
    NedwannaB
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    Uuuh uhhm....

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb View Post
    The fire roads in Boggs definitely 1or2, but the trails drain really well thanks to all the pine needles.
    By self preservation, I ment low rating so everyone wouldn't "flood the area" pardon the pun, and come ride there after the rain.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ask View Post
    Here's my list:

    Kennedy - 5 (I ride here in the rain if I just need to get out... not very fun, but still good to ride)
    El Sereno - 5 (similar to Kennedy)
    Overgrown - 4-5 (most is rocky enough to handle rain... top section gets soft)
    Gap - 3-4 (Really not worth it though if Peter's Creek is closed)
    Skeggs - 2-3 (some trails are better than others after rain)
    Quicksilver - 1 (closed often when it rains)
    Demo - ?

    Totally agree with that list.

    I stay away from Demo or USCS after heavy rain.
    -eric-

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