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  1. #1
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    Are we going to lose Dirt Alpine?

    I haven't ridden there in a couple months due to all the rain, but Dirt Alpine has been my twice-a-week ride-from-home-to-dirt go-to for the past 3.5 years. Two years ago, heavy rains led to erosion of the "unauthorized" (but very fun) singletrack, and the single track got fenced off and closed down. Now the heavy rains of this December have led to a big washout about 2/3 of the way from the bottom of Dirt Alpine. There are new orange signs (posted into the ground) at the lower and upper trailheads that read "Road Closed - No public access", with folding signs/barricades next to the gates. And there is a big metal barricade at the washout, with ribbons. Are they going to shut this down permanently? They don't seem to be much for maintaining or repairing that trail, and who knows if there is money to do so. I am going to be so bummed if this closes. It would leave me with only Arastradero and Windy Hill within riding distance of my home.

  2. #2
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    MROSD manages the section x Coal Creek OSP.
    Openspace.org - Your Preserves - Coal Creek

    SM Co supposedly manages the graveled section above the 1st bypass through Coal Creek OSP..

    Whose signs were posted(signs should be marked by agency that placed them), should be one of the previous agencies mentioned.
    Best recourse is to contact these entities directly+inquire as to what the plan(if any) is.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    I loved coming down that single track section. Definitely miss that loop. Hope they open it back up...including single track.
    -eric-

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  5. #5
    Wēk Sôs
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    That's a bummer. I only rode it once this past summer, with the reroute. It was fun, and would be nice to do it again.

  6. #6
    SOG
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    I hope they reopen Alpine. It was a good way to connect to White Oak.

  7. #7
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    I just spoke to a guy in the San Mateo County Roads department, and he said the plan is to eventually close down and barricade just the newly washed-out portion on Alpine Road, and have trail users bypass it via the the Cloud's Rest and Meadow trails. He said they will try to have this finished, weather permitting, in the next few weeks. Though there are signs posted at the top and bottom gates of Dirt Alpine right now that read "Road Closed - No public access", it sounds like they will be removed once the bypass routing is finished. Fairly good news!

  8. #8
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    Could be worse. Thanks for the update!
    -eric-

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  9. #9
    More pie please
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    …have trail users bypass it via the the Cloud's Rest and Meadow trails…
    Hmmmm, if they are talking the full existing trails, that would not be a trivial bypass. And those stay pretty saturated in the Winter.

    Thanks much for all the information in this thread!
    ///Charlie

  10. #10
    Axe
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    I wish the bypass is restored. It was fun, and it was not eroding - compared with the road itself.

    Singletrack all the way up would be very fine with me. Not a huge fan of climbing Cloud's rest while it is still wet.
    Last edited by Axe; 01-15-2013 at 09:59 PM.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, that is what it sounded like. Definitely not ideal, because you are right - that steep fire road (Cloud's Rest) stays wet for a long time in the winter. It would be great if they could actually create a new singletrack bypass for the new washout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35 View Post
    Hmmmm, if they are talking the full existing trails, that would not be a trivial bypass. And those stay pretty saturated in the Winter.

    Thanks much for all the information in this thread!
    ///Charlie

  12. #12
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    Yeah, that is what it sounded like. Definitely not ideal, because you are right - that steep fire road (Cloud's Rest) stays wet for a long time in the winter. It would be great if they could actually create a new singletrack bypass for the new washout.
    Would a small bridge there work? $$$ obviously. Hard to see that happen.

  13. #13
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    It would be much easier if they'd just allow us to build a ramp and a landing ...

  14. #14
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by erisch View Post
    It would be much easier if they'd just allow us to build a ramp and a landing ...
    Uphill? Damn... man.

  15. #15
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    Yeah, seems like now we have a solution to make trails directional ...

  16. #16
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    Pictures from my ride today





    Last edited by Dopaminer_09; 01-16-2013 at 03:55 PM.

  17. #17
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post




    You need to use an actual image URL or upload it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are we going to lose Dirt Alpine?-photo4_zps057ce1ed.jpg  

    Are we going to lose Dirt Alpine?-photo2_zps2c8b11b0.jpg  

    Are we going to lose Dirt Alpine?-photo3_zps769947e7.jpg  


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    You need to use an actual image URL or upload it.
    How do you upload directly from your computer hard drive to Mtbr?

  19. #19
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    How do you upload directly from your computer hard drive to Mtbr?
    There is a button "upload image" below the advanced editing box. You may choose an option of also adding it to your "gallery", or just linking in the post.

    I have uploaded your pictures from direct URLs in your photobucket, but you can do it from the local disk.

  20. #20
    More pie please
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    I went out there today too, and took the same photos as Dopaminer so no need for me to post mine.

    Looks more like a sink-hole than a wash-out.

    You can see that folks are simply going to the left of the hole:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post

    This is located midway between Meadow Trail & Alpine and Cloud's Rest fireroad & Alpine.

    ///Charlie

  21. #21
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    How blocked off is the single track?
    -eric-

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    I just spoke to a guy in the San Mateo County Roads department, and he said the plan is to eventually close down and barricade just the newly washed-out portion on Alpine Road, and have trail users bypass it via the the Cloud's Rest and Meadow trails. He said they will try to have this finished, weather permitting, in the next few weeks. Though there are signs posted at the top and bottom gates of Dirt Alpine right now that read "Road Closed - No public access", it sounds like they will be removed once the bypass routing is finished. Fairly good news!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    Yeah, that is what it sounded like. Definitely not ideal, because you are right - that steep fire road (Cloud's Rest) stays wet for a long time in the winter. It would be great if they could actually create a new singletrack bypass for the new washout.
    I agree that this would not be ideal. Meadow to Cloud's Rest would be a steep and long detour to go around that sinkhole/slipout.

    The SM Co. roads vs. MROSD maintenance seems to result in no long term plan to keep this important bicycle route open. Re-routing people on an 1.3 mile detour with 300-400 feet of (steep) elevation gain does not seem like a good alternate route to me.

    At least Crazy Pete's is still open...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    I just spoke to a guy in the San Mateo County Roads department, and he said the plan is to eventually close down and barricade just the newly washed-out portion on Alpine Road, and have trail users bypass it via the the Cloud's Rest and Meadow trails. He said they will try to have this finished, weather permitting, in the next few weeks.
    I rode down Dirt Alpine today and found this barricade across Alpine at the intersection with Meadow Trail:



    So I had to go up Meadow Trail and as expected, it was a muddy mess :-( That was enough for me, I didn't check the other end of Dirt Alpine.

    ///Charlie

  24. #24
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    I have contacted San Mateo County Roads asking if this is a temporary or a permanent closure (I sure hope it's temporary), and if they will work with MROSD to develop a single-track by-pass (similar to the one lower down on Alpine) that doesn't require such an extensive detour.

    I'm hoping for a positive response...

  25. #25
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    I heard back from the roads manager at SMCO and it sounds like this section will be closed at least until this summer. It also sounds like the county would repair the road section if emergency funding becomes available (that's a pretty big IF nowadays). Without funding, the county will likely perform minimal repairs to address drainage and erosion issues at the road failure location. It is unclear if the more limited repair will also make that section passable for bikers and hikers.

    For now it's closed, but I am hopeful that even the more limited repair will allow that section to be re-opened to bicycle/hiker traffic.

  26. #26
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    The closure notices at the upper end (Page Mill Road) have disappeared. I hope this is good news for those of you who ride old Alpine. (I pass the point daily on my road bike...)

    Best wishes.

  27. #27
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    How much money would it take? Maybe we should get a donation fund going...


    Quote Originally Posted by r3r3r View Post
    I heard back from the roads manager at SMCO and it sounds like this section will be closed at least until this summer. It also sounds like the county would repair the road section if emergency funding becomes available (that's a pretty big IF nowadays). Without funding, the county will likely perform minimal repairs to address drainage and erosion issues at the road failure location. It is unclear if the more limited repair will also make that section passable for bikers and hikers.

    For now it's closed, but I am hopeful that even the more limited repair will allow that section to be re-opened to bicycle/hiker traffic.

  28. #28
    More pie please
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    This bubbled up on the ROMP list today:

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vbJN1S4Ia80" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  29. #29
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    Great video! I just rode it today, with the detour, and was taking note again of how long it takes for that steep (and ugly) fire road to dry out.

    How do we let the San Mateo County Roads department know that we highly value dirt Alpine - call them, email them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35 View Post
    This bubbled up on the ROMP list today:

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vbJN1S4Ia80" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  30. #30
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    How much money would it take? Maybe we should get a donation fund going...
    I rode past the fences and the sinkhole when I was late getting down. It is easy to ride by that hole, but that is one big frigging hole. Not sure if it is easy to repair - the ridable edge of the road will likely erode after a few more rains.

    A single track to replace the fireroad (maybe going along the edge of the forested area to meet Meadow trail midway?) would be great. But it will probably take 10 to 15 years to plan and approve.

  31. #31
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    Can the single track they closed prior to the road wash out get you up still? If you're going to hop the barricade, might as well go all in.
    -eric-

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  32. #32
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    Can the single track they closed prior to the road wash out get you up still? If you're going to hop the barricade, might as well go all in.
    Different area.

    We should restore that community maintained trail near the bottom. It was nice.

  33. #33
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    I was up on Dirt Alpine yesterday and bummed to discover the "road" closure at Clouds Rest intersection, mostly because I road bike dirt alpine (been doing so for ~25yrs; it's one of my favorite climbs to get up to skyline (beautiful, no cars, challenging, etc)). So anyway, I managed to climb parts of Clouds Rest, and walked the parts where I couldn't (probably could've ridden almost all with (much) lower gearing). The mud is drying out, but there's still some. Having the non-muddy surface being damp seemed to give road tires better traction than when it's totally dry and dusty -- less rear wheel slippage when out of the saddle.

    I /really/ hope we can keep dirt alpine open in at least the shape its been in the past 15 yrs. The present lower "single-track" bypass isn't too bad, there's only about four sections I have to walk. but having another steepish mtn-bike-gearing-required-to-ride-the-entire-thing bypass would be unfortunate, although not the end of the world.

    Dirt Alpine has really deteriorated since the mid-ninety's washout that necessitated using that present "lower" bypass. Before that it was much less overgrown throughout and seemed to be more-or-less maintained. It wasn't as much as a "trail" as it is now, it was more of a "dirt road". The rumor, back when I was first introduced to the route, was that it was maintained more-or-less as a fire road and/or escape route for the residents up at the top. Dunno about veracity of that rumor. A noticeable improvement though in the past decade or so has been the spreading of the coarse gravel -- i don't recall as much back in the "way old days" and it wasn't nearly as passable after rains.

  34. #34
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobileuser View Post
    I was up on Dirt Alpine yesterday and bummed to discover the "road" closure at Clouds Rest intersection, mostly because I road bike dirt alpine (been doing so for ~25yrs; it's one of my favorite climbs to get up to skyline (beautiful, no cars, challenging, etc)).
    Was it you walking up the bypass? (I was coming down on a blue bike).

    I am doing this climb as a training ride for almost 20 years now, bummer it is deteriorating. Double bummer those idiot bureaucrats sabotaged a couple of community singletrack bypasses as well. They have no time or resources to maintain it, but enough to create barricades and destroy trails.

    But.. Too Crazy Pete up instead, and got to Borel hill through Ridge trail. Longer ride and I like it more, I think.

  35. #35
    SOG
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    It is a bummer about this trail. I used to enjoy the lower single-track that has been covered up. I do still like Alpine as an after work ride and over to White Oak.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    How blocked off is the single track?
    It's really well blocked off. About 15 feet of branches and logs. Definitely not something you can get through easily.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Was it you walking up the bypass?
    Nope, I didn't see anyone coming down as I was going up, until when I emerged on Skyline (as a result of the new detour) near the viewpoint just north of the intersection with Page.

  38. #38
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    I am not sure if my memory is completely accurate, but I seem to remember that 5-6 years ago, that little trail was fenced off, and that at some point access was restored. It was quite a fun descent, and a great challenge to climb in one particularly steep part. I loved that trail, the way it was 3 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Different area.

    We should restore that community maintained trail near the bottom. It was nice.

  39. #39
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobileuser View Post
    Nope, I didn't see anyone coming down as I was going up, until when I emerged on Skyline (as a result of the new detour) near the viewpoint just north of the intersection with Page.
    It looks like it is quite popular with road biking folks. I have met two guys (I guessed you could have been the polite gentleman on the bypass trail. ) on road/cross bikes going up.

    I hope roadies lobby for Alpine road as well, (given how dangerous it is to take the Page Mill uphill)

  40. #40
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    There is now a petition on Change.org(not mine) to get Alpine reopened. I'm not sure how effective it would be, but I'd urge everyone to sign it. (I'd post the link, but don't have enough posts to do so).

  41. #41
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by syount View Post
    There is now a petition on Change.org(not mine) to get Alpine reopened. I'm not sure how effective it would be, but I'd urge everyone to sign it. (I'd post the link, but don't have enough posts to do so).
    https://www.change.org/petitions/ple...-trail-segment

  42. #42
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    Thanks for posting the link. Much appreciated.

  43. #43
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    Signed

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourgasm View Post
    Signed
    Ditto...
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

  45. #45
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    Done

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    A single track to replace the fireroad (maybe going along the edge of the forested area to meet Meadow trail midway?) would be great. But it will probably take 10 to 15 years to plan and approve.
    A citizen built singletrack could be built on a weekend afternoon with one person and some hand tools. Too bad the bureaucratic tools override common sense and hand tools.
    "It's just that nobody likes Cornfish." francois

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornfish View Post
    A citizen built singletrack could be built on a weekend afternoon with one person and some hand tools. Too bad the bureaucratic tools override common sense and hand tools.
    But what about brown legged spotted butterfly snakes? Ten bikes a day could disturb them.

    ..if that citizen clears up the old one, it would be much appreciated.

  48. #48
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    A friend forwarded this update to me:

    Quote:

    Progress on Dirt Alpine Repairs?

    Last week we received the following words from Joe LoCoco, the County's man in charge of Alpine Road's trail segment, above and to the south of Portola Valley:

    "The Mid Peninsula Open Space District has been authorized to excavate around the failed pipe in an effort to reestablish drainage underneath the road. We anticipate this work to occur in the coming weeks and that we will have a better sense, during this effort, of whether reestablishing the drainage is in fact viable.

    Any additional strategies for the site will be largely be dependent on the findings and success of this effort, as having a workable drainage system is a critical component of any plan, since without a functioning drainage system, the remainder of the road will wash out."

    Many thanks to MidPen for this work and thanks also to anyone that wrote a letter encouraging a resolution to this trail closure.

    Charlie Krenz
    COPAR PV | Concerned Outdoorspeople for the Preservation of Alpine Road ? Portola Valley

  49. #49
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    Alpine Road: Repaired!

    On Friday a deft Midpeninsula Regional Opens Space District crew completed work on repairs to the damaged section of “Dirt Alpine”. The road has not as yet reopened, but it seems as if this should happen shortly.

    Big thanks to San Mateo County and MidPen for banging out this project in few days of work: This put a stop to a severe erosion problem, stabilized the roadbed and prevented a need to “wait out the winter” to affect repairs next summer. Bravo, well done!

    Charlie Krenz
    COPAR PV | Concerned Outdoorspeople for the Preservation of Alpine Road ? Portola Valley

  50. #50
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    Wow. That was a much quicker resolution than I expected.

    Kudos!
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

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