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  1. #1
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    Mill Creek (Lake Isabella) Sat Dec. 3

    I'll be doing a loop that includes the Mill Creek Trail near Lake Isabella this Sat. and would welcome company. The whole loop is about 36 miles and 6000' climbing. The Mill Creek Trail itself is a 7 or 8 mile singletrack descent. The remainder is mostly fire roads, with 2-3 miles of pavement. Elevations range from 2200' to 6700', so there shouldn't be much if any snow out of the storm tonight. That area is forecast get about 1/2 inch of rain tonight and tomorrow; I'm guessing the trail will be fine on Sat. Jfsh, do you have an opinion on that?

    -Keith

  2. #2
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    Mill Creek

    It is Friday morning and it is still raining hard. It started raining here around midnight. I think we have had over an inch so far so the trail is going to be muddy for sure. The last time I rode Mill Creek was in the spring and the lower part was in good shape. I have not ridden the upper part in several years so I couldn't comment on its condition. There is no snow falling in those mountains because the storm is warm so snow will not be an issue. Something that might be an issue is stream crossings. There are several crossings that could be fast and deep since it is raining so high. It might be a good idea to drive to where Mill Creek goes under the road and check the flow. If it is OK to cross there it will be fine up higher. I hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    rain

    Quote Originally Posted by jfsh
    It is Friday morning and it is still raining hard. It started raining here around midnight. I think we have had over an inch so far so the trail is going to be muddy for sure. The last time I rode Mill Creek was in the spring and the lower part was in good shape. I have not ridden the upper part in several years so I couldn't comment on its condition. There is no snow falling in those mountains because the storm is warm so snow will not be an issue. Something that might be an issue is stream crossings. There are several crossings that could be fast and deep since it is raining so high. It might be a good idea to drive to where Mill Creek goes under the road and check the flow. If it is OK to cross there it will be fine up higher. I hope this helps.
    Thanks, yes it does help. As of 10am things were looking ok for Mill Cr. tomorrow - rain hadn't started at the weather station at Democrat until 5am or so, and by 10am they had gotten 1/2 of an inch and it seemed to be tailing off. But then it picked up again and they ended up getting over an inch total. I may take my road bike too, and decide between the Mill Cr. loop and a road ride over Alta Sierra to Glennville or Woody based on how muddy the very bottom of the Mill Cr. trail looks. Or else head east to the Panamints (we got no rain at all over here) and abuse myself on the Rogers Peak climb (from 1300' to 10,000' in 21 miles, with the last 5 miles averaging 12%), or maybe try the Pleasant Cyn./South Park Cyn. loop.

    -Keith

  4. #4
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    rain

    I work in Lake Isabella and it was raining almost all day. It was supossed to taper off in the afternoon but it really didn't. I agree with the info you got from the weather station. When I left work at 3:00 there was a lot of standing water everywhere. I think the trail would be sloppy. I think we might try to do something on Sunday.
    Those other rides you described just sound lovely. You do seem to have a problem with self abuse. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  5. #5
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    Mill Creek!

    Quote Originally Posted by jfsh
    I work in Lake Isabella and it was raining almost all day. It was supossed to taper off in the afternoon but it really didn't. I agree with the info you got from the weather station. When I left work at 3:00 there was a lot of standing water everywhere. I think the trail would be sloppy. I think we might try to do something on Sunday.
    Those other rides you described just sound lovely. You do seem to have a problem with self abuse. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    Man, I can't believe I almost slogged up 8700 feet of pavement and fireroad with no singletrack payback today. Luckily, in the end I decided to give Mill Creek a try despite the rain yesterday. Just about all the soil on the loop seemed to be very well drained - while it was wet, there was almost no mud and plenty of traction. I was surprised to find out that the soil type on Breckenridge Rd. was asphalt. Didn't realize it was paved. Not a problem though - it was a quiet (zero cars today), windy, narrow, scenic road. The Mill Creek Trail itself was very nice. Some impressive ruts; but none were very long. I highly recommend this trail to others. My route was: parked across from the fire station at the intersection of Old Kern Canyon Rd. and 178; 1.5 miles down 178 to turn left on Cow Flat Road (dirt); 15 miles on Cow Flat Rd. to turn left on Breckenridge Rd (paved); 13.5 miles on Breckenridge Rd. to Squirrel Meadow, then 7.5 miles down the Mill Cr. Tr. to Old Kern Canyon Rd. (paved), left 1.5 miles back to car. 39 miles. Tracing the route on Topo! gives 7600' of climbing, so it is probably somewhat less than this. The only thing that could have made the ride better is if I had brought the shoe covers instead of leaving them in the car; it was well below freezing up top. I'll attach some pictures to this message and another in the hopes of encouraging others to do this trail.

    -Keith
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    a few more pictures

    A further note on the Mill Cr. Trail. The specs are about like the Plunge on the Cannell Trail: 4400 foot descent in 7.5 miles.

    -Keith
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    wow man, look pretty technicolor from those pics...i need to get over there some more..i'm just in ridgecrest...
    "He can make even a global summit meeting seem like a kegger." M. Dowd, NY Times, 19 July 2006

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