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  1. #1
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    CA MTB Road Trip: trail recommendations/suggestions

    in early May, a friend and I and are planning on going a little mtb excursion up and down california. we will be starting in san diego and are going far north as san francisco over a span of 5-7 days. as of right now, our only confirmed destinations are the Santa Ynez Valley Classic in Santa Barbara and riding in Morrow Bay (I think it's up north, near San Fran).

    can anyone suggest some other trails to check out, or maybe want to meet up for a ride? we're into cross country/all mountain riding and would like each ride to be around 20 miles. to give you a better idea, some of our favorite local rides are San Juan Trail, Noble Canyon, Anderson Truck Trail, and the Luge.

    thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by xDennisLuix
    can anyone suggest some other trails to check out, or maybe want to meet up for a ride? we're into cross country/all mountain riding and would like each ride to be around 20 miles. to give you a better idea, some of our favorite local rides are San Juan Trail, Noble Canyon, Anderson Truck Trail, and the Luge.
    In the LA area, it sounds like Chumash/Johnson Road/Hummingbird in Simi Valley would be a good ride for you. It's got some nice long climbs and great rocky/technical downhills. I like to start at the Kuehner exit off of the Simi Freeway (118) and head over the Chumash first.

    Another possibility would be Sycamore Canyon - including Guadalasco and Backbone. Depending on where you start and how you loop around (we usually start at the top), it's 2 to 3 hours.

  3. #3
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    Mt. Wilson in LA (RedBox, Strawberry Peak, frontside, Sturtevant maybe), Noble in SD, Little Pine in SB, Hazard Peak/East Boundary in SLO/MDO, Cannell Plunge in Kernville/Lake Isabella, Downieville up north of Tahoe, Flume trail in Tahoe or Mr. Toads.

    Any combination of those should keep you quite busy.
    805

  4. #4
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    It's Morro Bay, and just a couple hours north of Santa Barbara. There's a state park called Montana de Oro.

  5. #5
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    Yes - just as you head into SF area, there are a number of spots around Santa Cruz. Depending on your skills/fitness/desires you have some options: Soquel Demo Forest is a bit more remote, but offers some more technical riding. There are a few stunts, and some steeper, rocky descents with drops, if you want that. There will be a fair amount of climbing involved to hit the trails from the car, and to get back to the car though. Also, this area has had hits of car break-ins, so that is something to consider if all your sh!t is in your car for the road trip. Another good spot is just 3 miles up Hwy 9 from Santa Cruz. Park on the right side of the road in a big clearing and ride back the way you came 100 yards or so, and ride up into Pogonip. This is the UCSC forest area, and it is laced with singletrack. Kinda tight and twisty, semi-technical and really fun. About a mile and a half up on the UConn trail, after you climb 1/4 mile of dirt road off the first single track that sort of parallels Hwy 9 heading south. When you hit the sign at the top of UConn, make a right onto the single track. Basically follow the trails, and if you hit a dirt road, look for the first trail on the other side, or make a right on the road and look for another trail soon on the right. It's a maze. If you go all the way over to the top, you can cross Empire Grade road and go into Wilder Ranch State Park. Also some good trails in here, but a fair amount of fire road - some recently graveled. You can also get into Wilder from the Hwy 1 side, about 1-1/2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast. Hard to miss. Park on the Hwy or drive inside and pay about $4 to park. (Though you'll probably have some car protection as the ranger kiosk is within sight of the parking area/bathrooms... May be worth it if you're traveling).

    North of there on Hwy 35 is the Skeggs point - Mid-Peninsular parks. Been a little rainy here the last few days and that area seems to stay wet for a while - by May it could be perfect. North of SF is Marin, and Mt Tam, Tamarancho, China Camp, and a few other places are very fun (good if it's been raining). Another 45 - 60 minutes up 101 will get you to Santa Rosa and Annadel State Park (really nice - very bike-friendly single track galore). Less than an hour from there, but more North and more remote is Boggs Mtn. Very Laguna-like at a few thousand feet less elevation. I used to run O.R.C.A down in San Diego years ago, and still remember most of, if not all the old trails! If you like the steeper, rockier sections in Mission Trails and on Noble, you'll probably like Soquel DF. Very different ground and rocks up here though - not better or worse, just different. No desert conditions nor old ocean-bottom stuff, more like the Lagunas with some roots and dampness. Road trips are a blast - have fun!

  6. #6
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    I just came back from Sea Otter, up in Monteray this weekend. Apparently the course is open year round (you just can't get onto the Laguana Seca part.) The locals say the Spring is the best time to go. (It's too wet in the winter, and too sandy in the summer.) Plus the scenery is absolutely amazing! :-) I got to chase sheep!. :-) (There were about 200+ of them on the hills.) The actual course is about 18-20 miles, I think. Plus there are other areas to explore as well. I do a lot of Old Camp riding myself, and I loved this course! There's single track through the trees, then there's the rolling hills that look like Scotland, and then there's a section that reminds me of a less steep San Juan trail ride. MOnteray is about 6 hours from Orange County, and then another 2 hours from San Francisco. If you're on a budget, I recommend the hostel in Monteray. Also, I second the opinion of the guy recommending Marin. Check out the NorCal forum for more suggestions. It's absolutely amazing! OH... and if you're still on a budget, the hostel in San Franciso, right by the San Francisco bridge is amazing. It has a view of the water, and you can just ride accross the bridge to Marin. Of course, I"m not sure how far you would have to ride from there to get to the trail riding. OH... and one last recommendation: if you're in San Francisco, visit The Stinking Rose restraunt. (The're only 2 of the restruants: one in LA and one in San Francisco. Oh... I should warn you: it's famous for its garlic... so be prepared to stink! Just think...at least the bus won't want you... not that there are many bugs up there in the first place. Ok... I'm rambling. I miss the roadtrip days. Oh... and sometime you should make it over to Kernville for the Cannell Plunge. But I'd wait until all the snow has cleared up. Plus, you need to coordinate a group for the shuttle. (even though it's a shuttle... you still get a workout... trust me!)... I'd stick to doing all your riding up north (MOnteray and Marin) and then make a Kernville weekend roadtrip over the summer. HaVE FUN! :-) OH.... and you should make it out to the Sea Otter Classics next year. YOu won't be dissapointed.

  7. #7
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    hey guys/gals, thanks for the responses. we are still in the process of deciding which city we will be in on each particular day, but a lot of these trails sound promising and i am sure we will hit some of them!!

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