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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Clyde S Dale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    TR: Holy Jim to Main Divide w/pictures

    On Saturday three of us parked where Trabuco Creek crosses Live Oak and rode in ~4.6 miles to the Holy Jim trailhead for our first time ride (well, for two of us pictured here) on this trail. Total ride was ~19.7 miles. You can cut ~9.2 miles off this by driving the rough road to the trailhead. I think its faster to ride it, especially on the way out.

    We left the cars at 7am and by 7:15 a warm breeze was already with us. The tree canopy on the first couple of miles of Holy Jim proper kept the temps down a bit but after several stream crossings we hit the sun proper in time for the switchbacks. I lost count of the switchbacks, but I think they numbered in the mid 'teens. For comparison's sake I'd say these switchbacks are easier than the ones on the San Juan Trail due to the lack of ruts at the apexes of the turns.

    About 3 miles up Holy Jim (7.5 miles from the cars) one member of our group bailed after he felt the onset of heatstroke. Even in the sun the temps didn't seem to rise too much more so our jaunt to Main Divide was uneventful--except for the flies. If you stopped for more than a minute at the upper elevations you'd just get swarmed. That was incentive enough to skip the peak. The return was fun, beginning with the steep, loose, rocky section right at Main Divide. Since this was my first time on this trail I can't comment on its condition compared to previous years, but there's a lot of growth crowding the trail (and lots of poison oak lower down). The trail surface itself was in great shape. Despite the heat it was a great ride with some beautifully diverse scenery. Lots of hikers on the return leg, though.

    Verm working the last, tough climb just before Main Divide. This sucker is steep.

    After the hikers passed I clipped in to descend. One of them said, "Oh I gotta see this." I think I disappointed them by NOT crashing.

    Verm and I working the switchbacks on the return.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Twas a great ride indeed. Can't wait to hook this up with some other action. Thanks for the pics!

  3. #3
    Just another FOCer
    Reputation: Winston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Nice pictures. You have to try the Holy Jim to Trabuco loop next time. Trabuco is a blast to descend.
    "I hope your gravity droppers all seize up....BASTIDS." - Aquaholic

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  4. #4
    Samsonite Tester
    Reputation: Evel Knievel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Nice pictures. You have to try the Holy Jim to Trabuco loop next time. Trabuco is a blast to descend.
    Yep Trabuco is the fun way down . Less chance of lollipoping the folks climbing HJ also.

    I love peoples first reaction to the main divide portion , " Fireroads are supposed to be easier than this".
    Yeah I gotta question. You got any excuses tonight Roy ? -Antonio Tarver

    There is room for it all, just ride what you like to on what you like to...that's freeriding. -rbn14

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Cool pics. We may be doing this ride (though turning left at Main Divide and climbing that to Joplin, to Santiago Truck Trail, to the Luge this coming weekend. That, or if the weather is anything like last weekend, going to Aliso

    I agree - the switchbacks are definitely easier than San Juan, but the trail seems a little steeper to me.

    Definitely check out Trabuco some time! It's a total blast to descend, and you usually don't run into people coming up (there are people that climb it, why I can't figure out). Though it is about a 10~ mile trek over. And by trek, yes that includes a lot more climbing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    For a little more effort and a big pay off

    next time take a right on the main divide, go a few grueling fire road miles to trabuco creek
    (on your right, it is well marked), for some single track heaven, were you will experience tunnels of trees, some fast technical sections, followed by shale and rock gardens, usually on your way down you will only see zero to 4 MTBrs going up this way.
    It will spill you back out on the fireroad just above the Holy Jim parking area.

    Trust me on this one, it is well worth the extra effort, maybe even the best loop O.C. has to offer.

  7. #7
    Glad to Be Alive
    Reputation: SHIVER ME TIMBERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    nice tech pics
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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