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  1. #1
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    A new trail in a new monument

    There is a new trail open in the Cache Creek area of the Beryessa to Snow Mountain National Monument. I rode part of it late in a long ridge trail ride yesterday and I'm going to ride the loop it makes with the South East end of the Cache Creek ridge trail tomorrow.

    The trail begins (or ends) on the road from lynch canyon to the Cache Creek Ridge Trail just a few hundred yards short of the bulldozer. It then seems to drop into Brophy Canyon and wind around until it hits the Ridge Trail about 1/2 mile from the beginning (end) at Highway 16. This trailhead is right where Cache Creek intersects with Bear Creek. I will walk up Bear Creek about 100 to 200 yards, cross, then climb the bank. The Ridge trail is obvious climbing forever on the west side of the valley. From Google Earth, it looks like the ridge trail climbs steeply for about 1/4 mile (500 verticle feet) before leveling out somewhat and meeting the new trail at a switchback.

    I'm always excited about new trails near Yolo county, especially where horse access is limited and horse damage to the trails is consequently light. This new loop could be ridden alone from the above trailhead or combined with other rides from the Cowboy Camp or Lynch Canyon trailheads. Note that, true to California mountain biking, nothing is flat for long and this loop has a huge climb in the beginning.

    I'll post tomorrow if I get to do the ride. Checking later with my somewhat neglected spouse.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  2. #2
    R38
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    There is a new trail open in the Cache Creek area of the Beryessa to Snow Mountain National Monument. I rode part of it late in a long ridge trail ride yesterday and I'm going to ride the loop it makes with the South East end of the Cache Creek ridge trail tomorrow.

    The trail begins (or ends) on the road from lynch canyon to the Cache Creek Ridge Trail just a few hundred yards short of the bulldozer. It then seems to drop into Brophy Canyon and wind around until it hits the Ridge Trail about 1/2 mile from the beginning (end) at Highway 16. This trailhead is right where Cache Creek intersects with Bear Creek. I will walk up Bear Creek about 100 to 200 yards, cross, then climb the bank. The Ridge trail is obvious climbing forever on the west side of the valley. From Google Earth, it looks like the ridge trail climbs steeply for about 1/4 mile (500 verticle feet) before leveling out somewhat and meeting the new trail at a switchback.

    I'm always excited about new trails near Yolo county, especially where horse access is limited and horse damage to the trails is consequently light. This new loop could be ridden alone from the above trailhead or combined with other rides from the Cowboy Camp or Lynch Canyon trailheads. Note that, true to California mountain biking, nothing is flat for long and this loop has a huge climb in the beginning.

    I'll post tomorrow if I get to do the ride. Checking later with my somewhat neglected spouse.

    If its not a legal trail please do not post about it.

  3. #3
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    All the trails in the non-wilderness parts of the monument are multi-access. Trails in the Cache Creek Wilderness are, of course, not legal for bikes. Everything inside the arc of the cache creek ridge trail is not wilderness.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  4. #4
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    I've done a bit of riding in the area.
    Looking forward to the report.

  5. #5
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    For a moment my mind went crazy and I thought you meant the real Snow Mountain, wild dreams had me and I was thinking of the epic ride from Cache Creek to Snow, then around St. John's Mtn and back. Spend the night on St.John, or an all-nighter on the bike. I'll take the nap personally.

    Either way this is good news, I used to ride to Berryessa Peak on 78a and a lot of the stuff behind it, that's fun stuff to explore.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  6. #6
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    The Skinny

    I rode the new trail from end to end and back on Thursday. In spite of cold cloudy weather in the valley, the weather in the Cache Creek Canyon was gorgeous sunshine and low 60's - perfect hiking, biking, and hike-the-biking weather.

    The trail is superb. It is clearly the best trail in the entire complex of trails inside the area bounded by the Cache Creek Ridge Trail and highways 16 and 20. The surface is almost entirely dirt with some rocky sections. About the first half is two years old and the bottom half was completed last year. It is a 3 foot trail machine wide in most places but is quickly becoming narrower. The surface will improve greatly with more use but it is pretty good right now. As the dirt improves, erosion will create some nicely techy spots in the rockier areas. Right now, there are about four burnt trees to go around but my saw is itching for a piece of them.

    I would rate this ride as an intermediate ride. The actual riding is middle to low intermediate other than some sharp gullies but the climbing makes the ride physically more demanding, like all the other rides in this BLM recreation area. The BLM has not yet added this trail to their maps so I don't know it's name, if it has one. For now, "new trail" will have to do.

    The new trail wends through oak grassland and burnt chaparral up above the Brophy Canyon drainage. I would estimate the trail to be about 5.5 to 6.5 miles long with an overall downhill of about 1,000 feet and a bit of climb/descend along the way. It has seen use mainly by deer and elk and there is little evidence of bike, horse, or foot use. It is not a good place for horses given the need to cross Bear Creek at the beginning so I hope that the horsey people will mostly avoid this trail and the poop and horse damage found on the other area trails.

    The scenery on this ride is as good as the inner coast range gets. There are great views of the Cache Creek canyon from the ridge trail with the blue ridge fading to the south on the other side. On the new trail itself, the view of Brophy canyon is good but the views of Cortina Ridge across highway 16 and the northern end of the blue ridge are spectacular.

    Avoid these trails when wet given their propensity towards glue mud and don't try to ride in the hot weather. There are few trail signs anywhere in this area and none here so follow my directions and it will be hard to go wrong.

    There are two different ways to ride this new gem of a trail.

    1. "Short" loop. Park at one of the turnouts on highway 16 just below the confluence of Cache Creek and Highway 16. Ride to the access at the confluence and cross Bear Creek right away. Do not cross at high water! Also, do not ride across because the rock bottom is slippery as grease.

    Climb out of the stream bed and follow the track in the meadow north along bear creek about 200 yards until you see the southern terminus of the Cache Creek Ridge trail climbing on the left. Follow the ridge trail for about 4 miles on a brutal climb then an up and down ride on the ridge until you reach the road junction at the bulldozer. I'm sure that there are some riders that can clean this entire climb, but it ain't me babe. Trust me, you'll have to be sleeping to miss the bulldozer. Climb up on it and ooh and ahh at the shear size of this thing. It made all the roads and trails on this huge BLM recreation area back when it was a private ranch. This is the first road junction off the ridge trail going north.

    Turn right off the ridge trail and ride about 200 - 300 yards north from the tee intersection. A trail will be visible on the right - that is the new trail. Ride this trail 5 or 6 miles down until you again meet the Cache Creek Ridge trail. Turn left on the ridge trail and ride about 1 mile back to the creek. That mile is a serious brake test with about 600 feet of steep descent on the last half mile. I would strongly suggest riding up the ridge trail and down the new trail (clockwise).

    2. The long loop: Start from the Lynch Canyon trailhead (at a horseshoe bend on highway 20 about 2 miles from highway 16 going west and about 2 miles from the Judge Davis trail head (with the concrete toilet building) going east. Ride either the road past the roadkill cafe, the intermediate ridge, all the way out to the bulldozer or take one of the trails from the roadkill valley to the Cache Creek Ridge trail, then ride the ridge trail to the bulldozer. From the bulldozer, find the new trail as above and ride to the ridge trail. Then, ride back up the ridge trail to the bulldozer, turn right, and ride the road back to the trailhead. This is a long ride for fit riders but is a very good introduction to the Cache Creek recreational lands.

    Lower down on the trail looking towards the bottom:

    A new trail in a new monument-lower-trail.jpg

    Burnt Chaparral and fresh trail machine scars:

    A new trail in a new monument-burnt-chapparel-fresh-trail-machine-scars.jpg

    Some single trackish trail:

    A new trail in a new monument-single-track.jpg

    Oak grassland and trail machine tracks:

    A new trail in a new monument-chaparral-grassland.jpg
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  7. #7
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    Trail Map

    I rode the entire loop today in cool sunny weather. I mapped the route which can be found below. The ride is great but the first climb up from Highway 16 to Cache Creek Ridge is brutal. The route is 9.75 miles and has 2200 feet of elevation gain.

    Given the remoteness of the location and the lack of anyone else, the trail is not only good riding, great views, but is also a great adventure ride.


    Trail Map:

    A new trail in a new monument-brophy-canyon-loop-small.jpg

    The Elevation Profile:

    Name:  Location Map.JPG
Views: 343
Size:  46.5 KB

    Trailhead location:

    A new trail in a new monument-elevation-profile.jpg
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  8. #8
    Hella Olde
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    Do you pack a fixed blade knife or anything back there?

  9. #9
    more skier than biker
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    Thanks for this beta and report telemike! Always great to learn about new stuff. Your directions and such above are great, but I don't suppose you have a GPS track?

  10. #10
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    Yes I do. I downloaded it from Strava after some kind posters on the General Discussion suggested Strava for mapping. Note that I forgot to turn strava back on for about 1/2 mile after eating lunch at the bulldozer so the track shows as a straight line. I corrected it in the map.

    Please ride this trail and get others to also. I'd really like to get lots of mountain bike use in this entire area as the planning for the monument's future gets planned.

    Brophy_Canyon_loop.gpx
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  11. #11
    more skier than biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    Yes I do. I downloaded it from Strava after some kind posters on the General Discussion suggested Strava for mapping. Note that I forgot to turn strava back on for about 1/2 mile after eating lunch at the bulldozer so the track shows as a straight line. I corrected it in the map.

    Please ride this trail and get others to also. I'd really like to get lots of mountain bike use in this entire area as the planning for the monument's future gets planned.

    Brophy_Canyon_loop.gpx
    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Do you pack a fixed blade knife or anything back there?
    I ride alone most of the time now because my biking (and skiing) friends are mostly playing golf and watching other people play sports on the TV. The pair of dogs that ran alongside the bike for years are now 11 years old and couldn't keep up for more than a mile or so.

    I carry a can of Counter Assault bear pepper spray and a small folding knife (great for cutting up apples, pretty useless for a mountain lion attack). I've had a lion encounter on the ridge trail and had nothing for self defense. Likewise, I've had a close bear encounter on the McLoed river trail so I put a small cow bell on each bike to let critters know I'm coming. I'm pretty used to the clanging, but it drives others nuts.

    Someday, I'm going to buy a lightweight 9mm polymer frame pistol to carry in an exposed holster. I haven't yet because I'm not that crazy about everyone carrying guns. But I'm also not to crazy about being supper for a big kitty.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  13. #13
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    Beautiful trail reports. This beckons me.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Proud lame eBiker
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    UNICROWN!!!! YOU'RE ALIVE!!!

    Need to call you but dang it I never know WHICH number works....

    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    For a moment my mind went crazy and I thought you meant the real Snow Mountain, wild dreams had me and I was thinking of the epic ride from Cache Creek to Snow, then around St. John's Mtn and back. Spend the night on St.John, or an all-nighter on the bike. I'll take the nap personally.

    Either way this is good news, I used to ride to Berryessa Peak on 78a and a lot of the stuff behind it, that's fun stuff to explore.
    www.velocitybicycles.comWhere customers become friends, not simply a dollar sign.

  15. #15
    Spin-stabilized
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    Thanks for the info. I've riden CCR many years ago. It's a very scenic area. I'll be revisiting that area when the trail conditions permit.
    I too would like more people riding, or just hiking, out there. As much as I like the solitude, it's a bad place to be alone if you run into trouble.
    I'm currently rehabbing the fiske creek to fisk peak loop on blue ridge. Rode it twice last month and there's miles and miles of trail that is barely rideable due to overgrowth. Shoot me a PM if you'd like to join me. I could use some help. The local trail advocacy group has no scheduled trail days to deal with that area for the foreseable future. That loop is a killer, technical backcountry loop. It's my favorite among all the zones up there.

  16. #16
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    Nice!

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