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Thread: San Juan Trail

  1. #1
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    San Juan Trail

    I'm new to SoCal and want to check out the San Juan Trail. What's the skinny? I've heard somany conflicting stories. Do you ride up a fire road and down single track? Or up and down single track? Shuttle? Lot's of climbing I've heard. No matter as long as there is some killer single track descents.

  2. #2
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    I have shuttle it and it was a blast! It was 4yrs ago if I remeber right I think it was 12 miles of down hill I would never pass up a chance to shuttle it. It has a little bit of everthing. In fact I will try to shuttle it this summer.

  3. #3
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    Here's the skinny:

    Ride up the trail, then back down the trail. 100% singletrack.

    Yes, there is a ton of climbing. It all pays off with some of the sweetest downhills you will have ever ridden. There are options to make it easier or harder, depending on your desires. Stay left at the Rock for the easy way (then turn left at the rutted four-way intersection), or turn right (and then right, and then left, then right, then straight) for the more demanding route.


    miles

    PS here's the start of the climb:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's 7:09 California time

  4. #4
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    Hmm............

    Shuttle or not to shuttle?

    Unfortunately, my trail guide is gonna want to ride to the top. So shuttle is out this time. At least I'll get a good lay of the land.

    Thanks for the pic!

  5. #5
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    ... and if we just ...

    Some people shuttle with cars to the top via Highway 74 but I think you should earn the downhill. Heading east on Highway 74 make a left at the first fire station you see on the left side. Follow that primitive road about a half mile or so then park when you get to the tree covered dirt area with a USFS toilet. The trail starts from the road on the right and the parking is on the left. Be forwarned you have to have a Forest service Adventure pass. They charge you about 30 dollars for a year if I recall. I like to climb untill you get to the rock that mike spoke of and continue left. When you get to the rutted 4 way intersection if you turn right it will take you back to the big rock. You then go back down the way you came up. It is about an 18 mile loop with epic downhill and switch backs. Enjoy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slomo33
    Some people shuttle with cars to the top via Highway 74 but I think you should earn the downhill. Heading east on Highway 74 make a left at the first fire station you see on the left side. Follow that primitive road about a half mile or so then park when you get to the tree covered dirt area with a USFS toilet. The trail starts from the road on the right and the parking is on the left. Be forwarned you have to have a Forest service Adventure pass. They charge you about 30 dollars for a year if I recall. I like to climb untill you get to the rock that mike spoke of and continue left. When you get to the rutted 4 way intersection if you turn right it will take you back to the big rock. You then go back down the way you came up. It is about an 18 mile loop with epic downhill and switch backs. Enjoy.
    I agree with slomo, I think you should earn the downhill and climb the sucker, Climb it all the way to Blue Jay. Don't forget Chiquita and Viejo Tie.

    Regarding the Adventure Pass, I've never bought one. The program was a Fee Demo project that is currently ending and the tickets were never tickets. I must have collected a dozen over the last three years. I've always thrown them away. Don't be a sucker!
    Check the link and decide for yourself.

    To some this may seem over the top. Discuss.
    http://freeourforests.org/whywrong.htm
    Last edited by mtbski; 03-30-2004 at 05:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    ride up then ride down

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle1
    I'm new to SoCal and want to check out the San Juan Trail. What's the skinny? I've heard somany conflicting stories. Do you ride up a fire road and down single track? Or up and down single track? Shuttle? Lot's of climbing I've heard. No matter as long as there is some killer single track descents.
    <a href="http://www.s92441708.onlinehome.us/San%20Juan%20Trail/sjt.htm:>videos here</a>

    lots of fun. can be very hot in the summer though. water is available at the top if you go all the way to the campground.

    YR

  8. #8
    "Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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    Wtf?

    <p><a href="http://www.s92441708.onlinehome.us/San%20Juan%20Trail/sjt.htm:>videos here</a></p>

    lots of fun. can be very hot in the summer though. water is available at the top if you go all the way to the campground.

    YR

  9. #9
    "Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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    last try

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle1
    I'm new to SoCal and want to check out the San Juan Trail. What's the skinny? I've heard somany conflicting stories. Do you ride up a fire road and down single track? Or up and down single track? Shuttle? Lot's of climbing I've heard. No matter as long as there is some killer single track descents.
    my message won't show up in the other responses.

    videos here: http://www.s92441708.onlinehome.us/S...0Trail/sjt.htm

  10. #10
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    Dude, wtf?


    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider
    <p><a href="http://www.s92441708.onlinehome.us/San%20Juan%20Trail/sjt.htm:>videos here</a></p>

    lots of fun. can be very hot in the summer though. water is available at the top if you go all the way to the campground.

    YR

  11. #11
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    Here's a hot tip:

    Get started up the trail early. The shuttle monkeys don't usually roll out of bed until they've slept off the hangover from the binge the night before, so if you get to the top by noon odds are you won't see any of them at all.

    miles

    Here's another shot:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's 7:09 California time

  12. #12
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    New question here.

    Okay, I climb to the Rock, and take the left fork for the easier climb on my SS. I got that.

    THEN, I get to the 4-way trail intersection. "Right" gives me the loop back to the rock? Where does "Left" go? What about "straight"?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Okay, I climb to the Rock, and take the left fork for the easier climb on my SS. I got that.

    THEN, I get to the 4-way trail intersection. "Right" gives me the loop back to the rock? Where does "Left" go? What about "straight"?
    If you go left it'll take you to Blue Jay campground. Straight is short hike a bike(may be rideable by some) connects back to trail that goes to Blue Jay.

  14. #14
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    If you can make it to the rock on your SS

    then you shouldn't be afraid to go right and ride the fun stuff.

    miles
    It's 7:09 California time

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    GO right at rocks!

    Second that opinion... I have not gone left forever and I never will go left again. Right is where all the fun stuff is. Repeat the same section on the way back!

  16. #16
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    On the way back I usually

    skip Chiquito and Viejas. The bummer/fun ratio is nowhere near as good as it is in the climbing (away from the Rock) direction. I just stick to NSJT from the four=way stop all the way back to the rock.

    miles
    It's 7:09 California time

  17. #17
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    can you bring me some banana's

    Quote Originally Posted by miles
    Get started up the trail early. The shuttle monkeys don't usually roll out of bed until they've slept off the hangover from the binge the night before, so if you get to the top by noon odds are you won't see any of them at all.

    miles

    Here's another shot:
    Dont ride on Sunday early this shuttle Monkey and friends are going. we could ride up but we have more fun doing 2-3 shuttle rides with the four miles of xc getting to the top.
    happy trails.

  18. #18
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    Good job!

    If you go right at the intersection the Blue Jay campground doesn't have much unless you are a creative trials rider. I have never been straight so I couldn't tell you. The right I spoke of earlier starts and ends at the rock. It ads about 4 miles to the ride by adding a loop to the single track up and backtracking. By the way, excellent picture of the trail Miles.
    See you on the trail.

  19. #19
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    I'm going this Saturday early, probably around 8am. I may bring the video camera, or maybe not.

  20. #20
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    Excellent pic? Which one?

    The color, or the B/W?

    miles
    It's 7:09 California time

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    What's wrong with the shuttle?

    It blows lugging a DH bike up that trail. I don't think earn has anything to do with it really. A couple of shuttle runs or one gruelling up-and-back--either one is a damn good time. The trail has a pretty diverse offering of terrain and surface and it's a decent distance. If you are shuttling, however, try look well ahead and keep your ears open for riders coming UP the trail. The right-of-way seems strange because you're going so much faster on the downhill, but it's a lot more difficult for a person grinding uphill to get back into their rhythm than it is for a dude charging with the benefit of gravity. The XC types get stoked when a DH guy pulls over to let them pass on the uphill. This will also help to keep people from bumming out on DH/FR riding in general.

    In any case, that's a great trail. If you haven't ridden yet, then get your keister out there and start crankin'.

    Have fun. Hope to see some people out there.

    B

  22. #22
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    Why a DH bike?

    Why would you need or want a big DH rig on a trail like San Juan?

  23. #23
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    Get started early

    I think the first time I rode this trail was 7 or 8 years ago - at that time I only went up to the rock and back down (I didn't realize getting to the rock was the hardest part!). Anyway, I wanted to make the point that since that time there has been an ever increasing number of people on this trail. The last time I did the ride I shuttled up to Blue Jay and I must've passed 30 riders - most of 'em riding near the bottom half. The parking space at the end of the trail was PACKED - it was crazy! So, I suggest you get out there early - especially if it's a Saturday ride. Have fun - this trail has been ranked among some of the best the SouthWest over the years.

  24. #24
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    It does not matter, what type of rig you ride, also what type of riding your like to do, like shuttling or xc-ing it. It comes down to courtesy on the trails. I have also seen a lot of xc'ers fly down hill without any regard for their life or any other living animal out on the trials.

    1. If you are coming down the hill slow or stop for the pep's going up! thats all it not hard.

    This topic is like the snowboarder and the skier that can not get along. it just comes down to courtesy out on the trails!!

  25. #25
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    Because it's fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Bart
    Why would you need or want a big DH rig on a trail like San Juan?
    Why do people ride motorcycles like an R1 on normal roadways? Why not just ride a scooter or a moped? It's not because they're going to open the thing up and go 180 down the freeway (well maybe occasionally). It's not because they're stupid. It's because it's fun to ride different bikes. Likewise, long travel bikes (FR/DH) are fun to ride. They just happen to be a bit heavier than XC or trailbikes. As a result they're a drag to climb.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Bart
    Why would you need or want a big DH rig on a trail like San Juan?
    I used to drag my 40lb Bullit up there all the time and shuttle. However, I have since realized that this is way overkill for San Juan. Except for a few of the rock gardens up near Bluejay, the rest perfect for a short travel bike. Hell I rode the damn thing on my ridig singlespeed a few weeks back. No complaints here.

    mtnbikej

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclypse_805
    It does not matter, what type of rig you ride, also what type of riding your like to do, like shuttling or xc-ing it. It comes down to courtesy on the trails. I have also seen a lot of xc'ers fly down hill without any regard for their life or any other living animal out on the trials.

    1. If you are coming down the hill slow or stop for the pep's going up! thats all it not hard.

    This topic is like the snowboarder and the skier that can not get along. it just comes down to courtesy out on the trails!!
    I agree it reminds me all to vividly of the clashes between skiers and snowboarders in the early 90's. This conflict between XC and DH/FR is seriously lame. Not only does it come down to courtesy but tolerance as well, on both sides. People have different riding styles, we can't all be the same, and who would want to be. Though most don't want to believe it there is room for every style. BTW I DH, sometimes I shuttle, sometimes I ride up, depends on how I'm feeling, so don't hassel people cause you don't know their stories.

  28. #28
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    Oh Yeagh!

    Park one car at "The Lazy W Ranch", drive up to "Blue Jay camp grounds", and hit it! It's only about a twelve mile ride (about 8 of it down hill) but, emmmm ... fun! There is some hike'n bike sections out there but, you'll have fun.

    PS. bring a buddy to drive the other car, lol!
    GOD made DIRT & DIRT don't hurt!!!

  29. #29
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    You got it...

    Quote Originally Posted by burninator
    I agree it reminds me all to vividly of the clashes between skiers and snowboarders in the early 90's. This conflict between XC and DH/FR is seriously lame. Not only does it come down to courtesy but tolerance as well, on both sides. People have different riding styles, we can't all be the same, and who would want to be. Though most don't want to believe it there is room for every style. BTW I DH, sometimes I shuttle, sometimes I ride up, depends on how I'm feeling, so don't hassel people cause you don't know their stories.
    Totally reminds of the skier / snowboarder deal. I never skied and didn't understand why I was getting grief for riding a snowboard. Fact of the matter is that snowboarding helped snow sports and DH / FR helps mountain biking in the same way. It just comes down to tolerance, consideration, and courtesy--things which are all too often in short supply.

  30. #30
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    Skier Vs Snowboarder?

    As a skier, I can explain some of the animosity towards boarders. Basically, it comes down to the fact that the two use the snow and the terrain differently, and what boarders enjoy screws up the skiing.
    This is most obvious on woods trails. Boarders make the trails into a series of jumps (cool for them) but because skis are so much longer, it becomes a series of pits that you can't ski into and out of, totally ruining the trail for skis.
    Moguls are a similar story- board scrape the snow off the tops, making them a lot less fun for the skiers.
    There may be counterexamples, but I can't think of any.

    Now, all this said, I don't mind boarders all that much (except when they screw up my favorite trails). As long as everybody is having a good time, it's all good.

    miles

  31. #31
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    To paraphrase Ben Franklin, we must all hang together or surely we will all hang seperately. I ride XC AND DH, and I don't think I'm a rarity. About 95% of the people I meet riding, whether XC or DH are great folks. There is the 5% a$$hole contingent in both groups, and those are the guys who cause the big problem.

    Remember, there are forces hard at work in the Sierra Club, etc with the goal of having NO mountain bikes of any kind on trails. All of us, XC/DH/FR need to work together to defeat that common enemy.

    Work to eliminate the division amongst the different catagories of MTB'ers by being curteous to one another on the trails, and be polite to hikers, horseback riders, etc as well so that we have a good image with the public.

    Otherwise, we're all screwed--just ask the dirt bike guys how that one works.

  32. #32
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    Did the ride on Saturday and didn't see a soul out there...I was suprised too - we did the ride later in the day. Anyway, fun as ever - near the top we (inadvertently) took "Old San Juan Trail" which headed straight down as opposed to "San Juan Trail" which sort of meanders. Anyway, steep trail, loose rock and 12 inch ruts were my demise. I always hate hitting the ground early in the ride. Ah well - still had tons of fun.

  33. #33
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    Yup...

    YUP, those rutts and baby heads really suck. My buddy and I made the mistake of taking our kids with us a few weeks back. Kicked the crap outta the kids ... and me, lol.
    I think the bad rutts are good training though. They make you decide on which line you have to take really quick.
    I'm gathering about 5 or 6 guys to go take that trail in a couple of weeks. Were all ganna meet and shuttle up and leave some trucks down below. Should be lots of fun. Just a casual ride ...
    We might meet up at like Denny's on Ortega and go from there. On the way back, we can stop at Hells Kitchen or that Denny's if they serve beer and have a couple.
    Anyone who want's to come and have a blast is more than welcome.
    Email me at trailthumper@cox.net .
    I just got my arm outta my cast so, it's ganna be like two weeks from now.
    GOD made DIRT & DIRT don't hurt!!!

  34. #34
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    Ps.

    PS.

    Their will be some beginners there to. So it will be either frutraitng or fun for you, LOL. Were ganna slow down a little for some photo opps and what not. HeHe, and more than likely ... some crashes.
    GOD made DIRT & DIRT don't hurt!!!

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