San Juan Trail - Best way to turn at Cocktail Rocks?
I'm planning to be in SoCal over the Memorial Day weekend, and hope to ride up-and-down the San Juan Trail (if it's not too hot there). In the past, I've ridden that trail up only as far as "Cocktail Rocks", where the trail forks.
If I were to continue up the trail (so as to do an out-and-back), which is the best branch to take at this point? Left or right? Or doesn't it matter much? Ditto for coming back down?
funny you should ask. for I posted that same question here not to long ago.
Here is the link:
hope it helps,
I've only gone left, which to me was a total blast!!, but I here the same it true going the other way..of which I will try next time.
Six of one, half dozen the other,
To the left is fun, but I think it's far less technical. To the right is a good time, because the techy section is at a slight downhill grade, so it's much easier to clean, IMO. I think I'd like to start doing the lollypop from right to left.
we don't ride it CCW because i don't wanna have to climb the root section through the trees.
every tech obstacle CAN be cleaned going CW. i am pretty sure there are only two features on that trail that i have yet to clean (big nasty climb about a mile from cocktail and a rock section with a big step-up much later in the loop).
either way the ride should be a blast, some of the swooping sections that descend going CW over by viejo tie beg to be ridden CW.
Those were my same thoughts on the roots too. I didn't think I'd like to climb them. Heck, I might not! I've only gone down Old SJT, never up. I'm looking forward to trying it soon though.
Jus' Ridin' Along
First of all, get an early start on your ride. There's a section that overlooks Ortega highway that we affectionately call "The Blast Furnace"; you'll want to climb through that while it's still cool. Plus leaving early helps avoid the coast potatoes and shuttlecocks, a lower life form found in abundance in that biozone.
As far as left or right at Cocktail, it depends on how you want to ride. By taking a right, you will have most of the technical rocky stuff on the downhill, a little more fun IMHO. BUT, you will be climbing a kinda steep, rooted section of "old" San Juan Trail after you go through the meadow. I never thought I would care to climb it, but after having done it several times, it's not so bad. I can clean most of it on a geared 5" travel rig, and a friend does most of it on a 29er SS. Only the very top is so eroded that it's even a tough push, but only for about 25 yards.
Obviously, going left at Cocktail has you going down that section, but climbing the techy rocky stuff later on (which can be fun if you like technical climbing).
If it's a really hot day, add a couple of miles of fun single track and head up to Bluejay Campground to refill water bags/bottles.
If you decide to go right at Cocktail, most folks consider that the best way to add Viejo Tie Trail to the mix. Then you can go right at Chaquita adding a ride down to the Falls or go left at Chaquita will take you back up to SJT. When I do that, I usually make a left and head back to Cocktail ion the "clockwise" direction. That way I get to descend the rocky tech AND climb it. And I avoid the rooty climb and subsequent jelly legs...
There are all sorts of routes and loops, to find out more, check out geoladders or Vogel's "Mountain Biking orange County", a very helpful little book that makes an excellent souvenir for any fat tired visitor to "The OC"
If ya gotta good tool, build a shed over it
"The most blatant lies are told just after a fishing trip, during a war, and just before an election"
If you go clockwise...you can try your luck on the Matterhorn.
Either way is fun...flip a coin.
What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???
i just can't beat that demon. it haunts me. my attempts to clean that climb look alot like this -->
to be honest, i think most that have cleaned it are probably either super-human SSers or have a granny gear. i am in neither category, but still give that thing three tries every time we ride it.