29er for the Soul
El Prieto: Any serious problems with bikers coming down
I am out in El Sereno this morning for a few hours. I will be dropping off my son and then I can go riding. I am considering driving over to ride El Prieto by JPL.
I have never ridden El Prieto. Rather than take the fire road up and around, I figured I would just ride up El Prieto and then ride down.
Just wondering if a lot of riders coming down are going to have issues with me riding up. I normally ride in Cheseboro and Sycamore Cyn. and never have had any issues.
I've ridden El P probably close to 10 times and have never seen a biker coming up. Unless you're super fit, I think you'll find that you'll be walking up several spots, especially in some of the step-down switchbacks. You'll probably make better time riding the fire road, though I would imagine it'll be hot today.
I have, of course, seen several hikers coming up, most of which yield to bikers even though it should be the other way around. I would imagine you'd be fine if you really wanted to ride up, as long as you kept your head up.
It would be a serious exercise in frustration trying to ride up El Prieto on a Saturday morning. Too much downhill traffic on the trail, and it's much more narrow and challenging than pretty much any singletrack climb at Cheseboro or Sycamore. Best to loop it via the fireroad, which is more singletrack than fireroad these days. The loop takes less than an hour, so you might consider continuing up Brown FR to the upper saddle, head back down and descend El Prieto for a longer ride.
Yeah ride up Brown to the saddle instead. It's a nice climb and you can keep going up if you want more. I'm just going to say it's singletrack these days.
Btw don't be dismayed by the number of cars parked on the street. There always seem to be more cars than people up there on weekends (although you'll definitely see some).
EP is a traffic jam of riders and hikers on weekends so always be mentally prepared for that.
I've seen a couple guys climb up El P before, so it is very doable. I don't know what happened to El P but it had gotten really crowded. I rode it this morning, last time I rode it was summer last year and I don't remember it being that congested. Like what the others said you will not only deal with the technical climb but also foot and dh traffic.
29er for the Soul
Thanks everyone for your responses.
Originally Posted by JimN
Here's what happened. I had decided to go up Brown's road and then at the top, take El Prieto down. I figured I could do it in the time I had. That was the plan...
Coming up from the parking lot, which btw was very full. I saw the sign for Browns Road and El Prieto, but as you know, at the fork the road goes left and up to the dam area. My mistake was that I thought I was on Browns road, though part of me was starting to realize that I should be on a fire road and the gradient was too shallow from what I had read about Browns Road. After @ 2 miles, at a bridge, I caught up with a biker and asked if the trail hit El Prieto. Sure enough, it wasn't.
The time was ticking on the clock, so I came back down. The trail to the dam has some fun sections. Good beginner trail. Hikers were there, but they parted for me and I was patient in waiting.
I rode back down and decided to try to go up El Prieto just as far as I could in the 15 minutes I had left.
That trail is definately narrow and rocky, especially at the bottom. It would have helped to have dropped my psi from 30 down to 24 from last weekend's cyclavia ride. I was slipping out too much. 10 bikers came down in just those 15 minutes. I did have my head up and was anticipating and listening. I kept to the side of the hill every time. Every one was courteous.
Yep, it's a fun trail going down, even on a hardtail.
Now I know the route. Hope to be out there in @ one month to try again.
Cheers. BTW, is leg armor recommended for the descent?
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