A riding buddy of mine was picking up a new bike and meeting the seller near Castle Rock. We decided to make a road trip out of it and check the trails in that area.
First we hit up the little "skills" park right there in Castle Rock, just off I-5. What a great use of a chunk of land that wasn't being used for anything. It has bridges, skinnies, rock piles and pipes to roll over, a very cool pumptrack, and a couple jumplines and some drops and that. It was 28 degrees and most the stuff was icy so it limited what we could try, but it was still a lot of fun to play around on.
After checking the bike park out, we then headed up to Growler's Gulch. It is about 15 minutes from the Freeway, and maybe 10 minutes from the bike park.
None of us have ever been there, so we got some advice from "Jim in CR", and went exploring. Not knowing anything about the area beyond a few youtube videos, I expected a Banner Forest like place. Boy was I wrong! There is a lot of elevation to be had out there, and it was more like a cross between Black Diamond and the Tokul trails. Thick conifer forest, with trails all over the place. Some rolling trails, and some steep ripping downhill trails and everything in between. Pretty much something for everyone. Some of the ravines looked just like what you see at Tokul East, with a few very cool trails that took advantage of them. All the trails seem to end at a logging road, so you have easy climbs back up if you want, but a lot of places had singletrack you could climb if you chose.
We spend nearly 3 hours out there just exploring and I don't think we repeated any trails. I do know we barely scratched the surface of the area and we got in 15 miles of riding. I'd love to go back there sometime with a guide and see what else the area has to offer.
When we left (around noon) there were a good 25 cars lined up down the hill near the parking area, but we only saw a few riders on the trails (helpful locals that helped point out where to go).
I shot a lot of video of both place we stopped at so I'll post up a little bit soon. It was a 2 hour drive each way, and for me it's the kind of place I'd swing by on my way to Portland for a fun ride. With a guide I could see it being worth a dedicated trip though.
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