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  1. #1
    Rockfish
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    Sweetwater Reservoir, San Diego

    Rode Sweetwater yesterday from the Steele Canyon bridge, south side to the horse gate, single track climb to the south, continuation of clockwise loop to the lower gazebo, back to the horse gate via the fenceline xc, back to the bridge on the north side. Here are some pictures. A firefighter crew was working on the south side and vehicles were re-grading the fire roads.

    I called both Sweetwater Authority and the Sweetwater Summit Park ranger prior to the ride to see if Sweetwater was open for recreational use. Both people I talked to said "yes." HOWEVER, someone told me yesterday that the trail on the south side of the river to the west of the bridge is under the jursidiction of some wildlife preserve agency within the CA Department of Fish and Game; and that this agency has placed the south side of the river in a CLOSED TO RECREATIONAL USE status and signs will be put up soon. I haven't been able to confirm this because I couldn't get the name of the agency or a POC phone number. Just be aware that this is a possibility.

  2. #2
    Rockfish
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    oops

    This time with pics
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  3. #3
    Rockfish
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    again

    more pics
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  4. #4
    Rockfish
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    last pics

    and five more
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  5. #5
    BMF
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    What a shame. Living in the city, Sweetwater is one of my staples. I guess I'll be riding Mission Trails more. Funny how it seems lately one or the other is burnt! Here's to Sweetwater making a quick comeback!

  6. #6
    Glad to Be Alive
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    I could understand if it was an accident, but arsonist should be shot on site
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  7. #7
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    WOW. I've been wondering what it looks like out there since the Harris Fire changed direction near my house and headed up and over Mount Miguel. Thanks for the pics.

  8. #8
    just along for the ride
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    One of the fires was started by a kid soooo maybe not shootem'all. It will come back we got erased in the early 1990's, its all ready way overhead brush. Here's to gentle rains this winter.... so next spring it will be sooo green it will hurt the eyes

  9. #9
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    Great pics!

    It's amazing how fire can change the landscape. But don't despair about riding there - after the initial shock, I found it interesting to ride in my local mountains after they burned a few years back. You see things you never could see before, and it's interesting to watch the succession as the plants come back. The wildflowers are never better than shortly after a fire. Agreed about the wish for gentle rains this winter, though - some of our streams got buried in a foot or more of sediment from erosion the first winter after the fire.

  10. #10
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    Breaks my heart to see those pics. Before running away to Colorado I rode Sweetwater regularly. Considering that was what could qualify around SD as a wooded area, it is just crazy to see it burned out.

    Because it sat at the base of Mount Miguel that trail has always been one to get massive run-off. Now is probably the time to start adding rock armor to some of the more famous rut forming sections, because with no vegetation there will be nothing slowly the water and debris if and when rains do come.

    I feel for everyone who has had to live through this kind of hell twice. I really can't believe it happened again.

  11. #11
    Geritol Power
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    Nice Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Poster Nutbag
    Breaks my heart to see those pics.
    I live a mile from the iron bridge. The blackened terrain doesn't break my heart as it will be renewed and fresh again... soon.

    It's the homes and lives that were lost and the thought of the Feds (National Wildlife Refuge) telling me I can't ride MY FRICKEN SINGLETRACK!

    Now that hurts There's absolutely no logical reason to keep people on foot, on horses or on bikes out of that area.

    Chris

  12. #12
    I <3 Dirt
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    Thanks for the great documentation of the fire damage. Very thorough and sad to see all of the damage to such familiar trails.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the pictures, I haven't seen that side of the park, it looks just as bad as the Bonita side. Lets hope they don't close it.

  14. #14
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    Stay on trails!!!

    Just rode sweetwater for the first time since the fires this morning, very weird. Anyway, lots of little side trails off of the main trails. Please people, stay on the trails, now is not the time to blaze a new path. This just gives us mtn bikers a bad image.

  15. #15
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    Bringing this back from the dead.

    I just visiting this area this afternoon for the first time, and didn't venture into the burn areas today, but plan to soon.

    Do y'all have some pre-fire pictures to share so I can see what I'm missing?

  16. #16
    BMF
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    I went a couple weekends ago and Sweetwater is looking pretty good. The brush will take a little longer to come back, but there were plenty of small plants already growing, and a lot of grass. It's amazing what a little rain can do - so green out there. Would have been perfect if a bunch of equestrians hadn't been out too soon after a rain.

    Has anyone climbed up Mother Miguel or San Miguel? Just curious as I usually drop down after climbing the single-track from the east end of the reservoir up the saddle along the north side of Mother Miguel (the trail that takes you by the little pond). I am wondering if it's worthwhile climbing up any of the peaks around there or if it's just fire-roads all the way down - always looking for some good long, epic rides.

  17. #17
    Geritol Power
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    My home turf

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristatos
    Has anyone climbed up Mother Miguel or San Miguel?
    Yup

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristatos
    I am wondering if it's worthwhile climbing up any of the peaks around there or if it's just fire-roads all the way down - always looking for some good long, epic rides.
    Plenty worthwhile Always an adventure if you look and enjoy.

  18. #18
    BMF
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    Cool - I'll give it a shot next time and have a look around. I agree for the views alone it is probably worthwhile, but I am hoping there is some good fun on the downhill too. Probably even just the climb would be fun in a way since I like climbing - there I said it.

  19. #19
    Geritol Power
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    xc/am is all that's there

    It's mostly hardcore XC stuff with interconnecting fire roads. Some dudes with big legs made miles of single track up there. Makes me cry some days (and cramp later) but I like it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duzitall
    It's mostly hardcore XC stuff with interconnecting fire roads. Some dudes with big legs made miles of single track up there. Makes me cry some days (and cramp later) but I like it.

    Now's the time to check it out too. Those trails may not be as easy to find again in our lifetime, so find them now to remember for after the brush grows back.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    I'll have to check it out next weekend.

  22. #22
    Trail Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristatos
    I went a couple weekends ago and Sweetwater is looking pretty good. The brush will take a little longer to come back, but there were plenty of small plants already growing, and a lot of grass. It's amazing what a little rain can do - so green out there. Would have been perfect if a bunch of equestrians hadn't been out too soon after a rain.

    Has anyone climbed up Mother Miguel or San Miguel? Just curious as I usually drop down after climbing the single-track from the east end of the reservoir up the saddle along the north side of Mother Miguel (the trail that takes you by the little pond). I am wondering if it's worthwhile climbing up any of the peaks around there or if it's just fire-roads all the way down - always looking for some good long, epic rides.
    I start from the bridge end. As you are heading west, you come to a gate/fence that is locked up (old land bridge). To the south, there is a double track that went up the hill toward the fire road. It is closed now, so access to the upper end would be via fire road, or back at the pond area. I used to take the double track up and then ride along the power lines and then down near the camp ground area. The ride along the fire road by the power lines has some great views. I believe there is a connector trail up there that heads toward East Lake. I saw some type of water tower up there many years ago. It looked like access from the south.I ran into some riders that come over the mountain and ride the trail. One rider mentioned a golf course as the access route. There is an opportunity for exploring up there, if you don't mind climbing. I haven't seen the old bobcat or any deer since the fire. I used to run into the bobcat quite often near the river early in the morning. At first, he would run away. As time went on, I would stop, and he would stop and sit in the middle of the fire road and watch me. If I rode toward him, he would walk away until I stopped again. He was a beautiful animal.
    [size=4]Don[/size]

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    someone should GPS it.

  24. #24
    ISO Gems...
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalenduro
    someone should GPS it.


    Good stuff up there but whether some of it's legit or not is questionable - prolly not a wise decision to plaster the info all over emptybeer.

    D

  25. #25
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    Sweetwater is wild!!!!

    I rode there a couple of weeks ago and ran into a huge buck!!!!! I was descending from the lower tiki hut along the fast single track along the fence line heading to the horse gate. The buck was on the other side of the fence, we were side by side for a moment until it passed me up. The buck took a leap over the fence and went up a ridge. It stopped and looked back at me. That was truly a treat to watch this beautiful animal in its natural environment.

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