Lake Morena lowdown
So a group of us went out there today. The weather was gorgeous...short sleeves, no bugs, nice breeze.
Everything was great until turning onto Espinoza. Right away it was clear the trail had been diverted over much of the distance. In addition it was widened with tons of cut branches thick on what was left of the trail. Much of it was unrideable due to the branches twisting up into the spokes etc. What used to be a rocky swale is now a clearcut packed with fallen branch and debris.
Later a ranger told us it had been cut as a fire break during the Horse Fire. I don't know what, if any, rehab plans exist.
After getting to the fireroad, things were pretty typical. The road was dry but lots of ruts and things from prior deep mud.
We took the first turn onto doubletrack (? Serpentine) which is usually lots of fast swooping fun, but not this time. It was solid pockmarked as though by a hundred horse hooves (? some kind of machinery) which slowed it considerably, but also it was oddly loose in spots. Not nearly the usual level of fun. Regrouping at the main road, we opted for the road up to 4 corners...not anxious to do anymore rough dirt trail.
From 4 Corners, the Wrangler loop that is open was better, but surprisingly sandy for this early in the year. Similarly Keenan Cycle Trail was pretty smooth, but with plenty of sand.
The lack of rain is very noticeable. This trail was fun today but is already getting sketchy in sections.
So we won't be going back for a while. Too bad because at it's best, Lake Morena can be a real hoot.
Thanks for the update. I haven't been out there in a couple of years. I'm going to check it out next weekend even though one of my favorite climbs (Espinosa) is chewed up. Wrangler was closed South of Bobcat Meadows/Bronco Peak trail, right?
Yes. And judging from how Sycamore was after those fires, the areas actually involved in the fire (none of what we rode yesterday) may remain thick with ash for a year or more.
The trail down from the fireroad might get better quickly if some motorcycles and ATVs use it and knock down the lumps some.
I think what you referred to as serpintine is Spur. Used to be FAST an 100% rideable. Used to be my #1 favorite place to ride, now I guess I'll let it sit out until we get a good rain year to wash it up! Here is a pic form last season before the fire. This is at the begining of Spur looking west.
It is better
Last week was rough. This week was greatly improved. Maybe the bobcat ran over it?
Originally Posted by CEB
Next weekend maybe there will be 1000 riders there to pack it up and make a good groove up Espinosa and down Spur. Maybe only 10.
I do not remember the whoops/jumps from years back. FUN stuff!
Trail is great!
We rode last weekend, and the conditions were amazing! I can see how it will be a dusty summer, but there was still a little moisture left from earlier rains. Everything we hit was in good or great condition. Spur was turned into a fire-brake and is kinda loose in sections, but it gained a whole bunch a really fun bump/jumps all the way down.
Hit it before it's too hot!
I had to see this for myself. Hadn't been there since the "Nag fires".
Espinosa: O.K., sorta...... it would now rate as a FANTASTIC downhill run
Spur: Upper 2/3rd's Spur is SMOOTH and FAST, lower 1/3 mixed soft dirt, rocks and trail, still a real fun ride.
Wrangler: Fun until you get to the closed fenced off areas, could even get to lunch rock.
Kernan: FAST, smooth yet dusty as well.
Overall was a great ride, terrific weather. I think I'll wait for a while, perhaps let winter of 07-08 wash the place clean. Used to be the one of the BEST XC rides in my opinion.
Hey kids...... NO HORSE"M AROUND WITH MATCHES!!!!