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  1. #1
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    Sunset Trail - Angeles NF

    Rode the Sunset Trail from start to finish this afternoon. A few thoughts:
    1) People need to learn how to brake. Just like with a vehicle, it's far less effective to slide when braking than using controlled braking. I noticed most of the turns now have good sized ruts going into turns in the upper part of the trail. Be respectful of the trails out there folks.

    2) Towards the middle of the trail it frigen crazy rocky. It seems has if the rocks have been put there purposefully. I wonder if they are they to discourage bikers like was reported on the Middle Merrill? I hope it's just erosion from all the rain.

    3) There is tons of poison oak out there! The stuff is all over the place. Good luck out there people.

  2. #2
    tep
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    Rode Sunset after finding out...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    Rode the Sunset Trail from start to finish this afternoon. A few thoughts:
    1) People need to learn how to brake. Just like with a vehicle, it's far less effective to slide when braking than using controlled braking. I noticed most of the turns now have good sized ruts going into turns in the upper part of the trail. Be respectful of the trails out there folks.

    2) Towards the middle of the trail it frigen crazy rocky. It seems has if the rocks have been put there purposefully. I wonder if they are they to discourage bikers like was reported on the Middle Merrill? I hope it's just erosion from all the rain.

    3) There is tons of poison oak out there! The stuff is all over the place. Good luck out there people.
    ...that Hwy 2 is closed just past Red Box.

    Me and a couple of friends drove all the way up to Red Box before finding out Angeles Crest Hwy is closed through to Chilao. So we opted to come back down the mountain since we didn't have time to do Strawberry Peak. Also, the parking lot at Switzer's was completely packed. Cars were overflowing onto Hwy 2. On the way down we decided to do Lwr Merrill/Sunset instead.

    My hat is off to all the people who helped maintain the trail on Lower Merrill. I was under the impression that there were just a couple of little landsildes and it wasn't a big deal. Boy was I wrong. There were a lot of landslides and bigger than I could've imagined. The trail work to fix them looks like is was quite a bit of work. Thank you to all the people that put the time in. Though the middle portion of Lwr Merrill is very, very loose and sucked a lot of energy out of me.

    I have always loved riding Sunset Ridge and today was no different. From the get-go there are ledges to flow off of and rocks to roll over. You don't really have to wait for the middel section to encounter these, but the rocks are a lot more prevelant in the middle section than compared to the rest of the trail. Me and my Chameleon were bouncing around quite a bit... and loving it And let's not forget to mention a lot of the corners/turns that just spit you out with more speed then what you went into it!! Those are the fun flowy corners you look for in a trail. Sunset is in the best shape (if you enjoy that kind of riding) that I can remember. Though it's true a lot of the flat upper switchbacks are very loose and washed out with a rutt going into it. Oh well!! Ride on!!

    Running out of time we bailed out before Millard down the fireroad/doubletrack to the esquestrian center.

    Good times,
    Hopefully next time we'll have time to get up to Insp. Pt. and squeeze in Mid. Merrill too,
    tep

  3. #3
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
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    Detour

    tep,

    You can still access Chilao via a detour. Turn left onto Angeles Forest Highway towards Palmdale at Clear Creek Station. Then turn right on Upper or Big Tajunga Canyon Rd. When I was there two weekends ago there was a detour sign. This will put you back onto Angeles Crest Highway around Shortcut Canyon. Due to the closeure Chilao should be even quiter than normal, even though it's usually pretty quite.

    From your description it sounds like the big slides on Lower Merrill are now clear and rideable? If so that's cool. I was up there shortly after the rains and it was hard to hike those things. I need to start training for my Whitney day hike in September.

  4. #4
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    Yeeargh the poison oak. I was there Saturday, thought I made it through ok...but now I am in poison oak city! actually it's not that bad, just some patches on my arm.

  5. #5
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    PO Proof

    I decided to be very diligent about poision oak this spring but not spend a ton of money on specialized products. Before my ride I spray my arms and legs with Windex. In my bag I carry two small travel sized spray bottle of citrus cleaner I got at Target for under $2.00. If I know I went through some PO during my ride I will spray the area with the cleaner and rinse off with some stream water (but try not to get the cleaner in the water) or water from my blatter. After my ride will use the cleaner again and some water to break down the oils and wash them off my body. Plus I like to change after my ride into some clean cloths. I like to store the cloths in my vehicle inside out as not to get the PO oils on everything.

    We'll see how well it works. So far no itching from this weekends ride, though it's a bit soon to tell for sure.

  6. #6
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Why stop there-

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    I decided to be very diligent about poision oak this spring but not spend a ton of money on specialized products. Before my ride I spray my arms and legs with Windex. In my bag I carry two small travel sized spray bottle of citrus cleaner I got at Target for under $2.00. If I know I went through some PO during my ride I will spray the area with the cleaner and rinse off with some stream water (but try not to get the cleaner in the water) or water from my blatter. After my ride will use the cleaner again and some water to break down the oils and wash them off my body. Plus I like to change after my ride into some clean cloths. I like to store the cloths in my vehicle inside out as not to get the PO oils on everything.

    We'll see how well it works. So far no itching from this weekends ride, though it's a bit soon to tell for sure.
    Try using some steel wool on the area for 30 secs - it's sure to clear up any residual PO...

  7. #7
    tep
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    detour confusion??

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend

    You can still access Chilao via a detour. Turn left onto Angeles Forest Highway towards Palmdale at Clear Creek Station. Then turn right on Upper or Big Tajunga Canyon Rd. When I was there two weekends ago there was a detour sign. This will put you back onto Angeles Crest Highway around Shortcut Canyon. Due to the closeure Chilao should be even quiter than normal, even though it's usually pretty quite.



    Fiend thanks for the info, though I am a little confused. I don't have a map of the area and not very familiar with anything outside of Hwy 2.

    Are saying I should turn on either one...either upper Tujunga or Big Tujunga? meaning it doesn't matter which one I take they'll both get to Hwy 2?

    or are you unsure which canyon to turn on, as in "it's either Upper Tujunga? or it's Big Tujunga? whichever one has the detour sign"

    Reading back over my reply, I sure sound rude; but don't know how else to ask it. Sorry for the implecation, it's not intended. I just don't want to waste my time on roads I'm not familiar with.

    Also, once I get back on Hwy 2, do I make a right to backtrack down Hwy 2 to get to Chilao?, or will the detour drop me off before Chilao? Which will mean I need to take a left to get there.

    Thanks for the help,
    I will be sure to pick up a map of the area as well,
    tep

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    Rode the Sunset Trail from start to finish this afternoon. A few thoughts:
    1) People need to learn how to brake. Just like with a vehicle, it's far less effective to slide when braking than using controlled braking. I noticed most of the turns now have good sized ruts going into turns in the upper part of the trail. Be respectful of the trails out there folks.

    2) Towards the middle of the trail it frigen crazy rocky. It seems has if the rocks have been put there purposefully. I wonder if they are they to discourage bikers like was reported on the Middle Merrill? I hope it's just erosion from all the rain.

    3) There is tons of poison oak out there! The stuff is all over the place. Good luck out there people.
    1 - Yep. That's one of my major gripes with people riding that, or any, trail. When they skid around a corner, that water during a rain just keeps going down the trail and ruining the trail. Also put a bell on your bike!

    2 - Not on Sunset. Those are rocks that have fallen on the trail from all the rains this season. I don't think any bikers have bothered to move them because it makes the trail more interesting.

    3 - Yep, especially and the end of sunset. Keep clear of it!

  9. #9
    JMH
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    Riding up Lower Merrill

    A few of us rode up Lower Merrill on the SS about 3 weeks ago. As you know it is quite demanding aerobically, but it was clear of debris. Some of the uphil switchbacks were too steep and/or rutted and loose for me to clean while puking from the climb, but I don't remember many spots that were unridable.

    There had obviously been much work done, and we stopped and talked with a ranger who was working on a slide area.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    tep,

    From your description it sounds like the big slides on Lower Merrill are now clear and rideable? If so that's cool. I was up there shortly after the rains and it was hard to hike those things. I need to start training for my Whitney day hike in September.

  10. #10
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    Okay, looked it up on Yahoo! Maps (Sorry I want to support Google but I'm just so comfortable with Yahoo!)

    Turn left on Angeles Forest Highway and then right on Upper Big Tujunga, then left on Angeles Crest Highway to get to Chilao. This may all be a moot point by now if the detour is gone. In case that should get you there.

  11. #11
    tep
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    How long does it take to get there with the detour?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    Okay, looked it up on Yahoo! Maps (Sorry I want to support Google but I'm just so comfortable with Yahoo!)

    Turn left on Angeles Forest Highway and then right on Upper Big Tujunga, then left on Angeles Crest Highway to get to Chilao. This may all be a moot point by now if the detour is gone. In case that should get you there.

    Again a thank you for the info. I went to the book store today to pick up a couple of bike mags. While I was there I peeked in the Thomas Bros. guide and wrote down the same directions.

    It will be nice if the detour is fixed, though I'm not crossing my fingers.

    How long did the detour take to get to Chilao?
    tep

  12. #12
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    Don't Know

    I have no idea. I don't think it will be quick though. I was surprised how long it took to get from Angeles Crest Highway to Upper Tujunga Canyon. I guess it wasn't that long, just longer than I thougt. Upper Tujunga Canyon is somewhat long plus its a narrow road.

    Over The Bars group road Chilao a few weekends ago. Someone from that group would know how long it took. MTBSKI rides with them. He might know.

  13. #13
    Just another Homer
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    Last weekend

    We rode it.But we included a lot more riding then just Chilao.I'd say it adds twenty minutes more in time taken to get there. The conditions are excellent,but we ran into some snow getting there. I'd guess it's a lot easier now with another week of warm weather. We talked to a ranger/engineer who was marking the fireroad from the other side of Chilao and he told us that the 2 was going to be closed a while longer.
    I like the way Sunset is now.Not really anymore difficult,but it will make you pay more attention.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    2) Towards the middle of the trail it frigen crazy rocky. It seems has if the rocks have been put there purposefully. I wonder if they are they to discourage bikers like was reported on the Middle Merrill? I hope it's just erosion from all the rain.
    That's when I thought it got fun!
    Buy a bell, help the trails....

    http://www.corbamtb.com/store/store.shtml

    where are we eating?

  15. #15
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    You're Right, Except...

    The time before last I rode Sunset I actually enjoyed the rocky section and was able to ride all of it or almost all of it. Problem with this most recent trip, I came around a switch back and tried to roll over this rocky section too slow and got through over the bars. Luckily I had my leg protection on because my knee landed on a rock really hard. I think my knee was the first thing to impact the ground. This little incedent totally through off my condifence and was a bit painful. You should have seen me riding through the rocks, I was like a timid little girl. Oh well, better luck next time.

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