Pisgah - is it worth traveling across the country to ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Pisgah - is it worth traveling across the country to ride?

    I hear great things about the riding in Pisgah/Asheville, NC. Is it as good as say, Moab? Is it worth traveling all the way from CA to ride?

  2. #2
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    Adventure...

    If I lived in Pisgah, I wouldn't travel to CA to ride. I did a four day trip last fall to Pisgah and had an incredible time. The climbing and trails were exceptional. I live in Chicago so I need to travel to see some Mtns anyway. I've traveled to CA to ride only because my brother lives in San Jose. I've also traveled to Tuscon, Phx, Sedona, Flagstaff, Moab, Fruita to ride but for reasons of Mtns and the timing of the season to ride.

    Therefore, I would only do it if there were other purposes with the trip. You will not be let down but that is an awful long way to travel if you can get some incredible riding in your backyard or nearby states.

  3. #3
    Slarts
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    Did just that, well kinda...

    Dropped in at Pisgah during a 4 month mtn bike odyssey starting from California. Place was good but didn't strike me as exceptional. Maybe if you found a local to show you around it would be worth the effort. Only worth it if on the way to somewhere else.

    During our trip we pretty much covered the whole country and can say that of all the places we rode Colorado would be worth major travel effort.

    Slarts

  4. #4
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    No good im a Pisgahnoin and i would not drive to CA to ride..

    Our riding is some of the best on the East coast, with Asheville being very similar in charactor to Sedona/ Sante Fe with lots of crystal wearing, chanting, hippie clad folk, which is very nice.
    Im sorry Slartibartfast didnt get a grand tour of the good stuff, but in reality im sure CO. is better , but is is a short riding season ( ours is 12 months ).
    I am doing a 24 hr drive to Taos/Sante fe/ Durango but i really can`t think of anywhere that i would be willing to drive over a 24 hr limit.
    So im saying that even though you would really like it and our riding is very good to exceptional it would not be worth that long in the car.

  5. #5
    Perpetually single track
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    Short riding season my ass!!!! I biked every month of 2003 here in CO. Granted...I had to choose my days and trails carefully during winter months.

  6. #6
    contains quinine
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    see the colorado front range board for some nice pics from this week...
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by erol
    I hear great things about the riding in Pisgah/Asheville, NC. Is it as good as say, Moab? Is it worth traveling all the way from CA to ride?
    The trails there are great and the town is lots of fun. Its not a mecca like Moab, but any great riding spot is worth visiting. You don't need a flashy place to have a great time.

    I would do some homework and get in touch with some local groups if you don't know anyone out there (or someone on this board) to give you the info on the great rides. Also, if you are driving, be sure to check out the great riding in TN (Occoee area) and North Georgia.

  8. #8
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    ... and if we just ... yep, nice pics...it`s actually drier than our side of the map

    i have had to miss three weeks this year though due to the slop....

  9. #9

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    Pisgah and the surrounding area is very nice riding. I've only ridden AZ outside of the southeast and I thoroughly enjoyed the riding, but it's tough to compare, Pisgah has it's own style. The rides are big (climbing) and rough (roots, drops, etc.). There is enough trail to keep you busy for a week. It would be very helpful if you had someone to show you around. I live in ATL and all the locals I have met in Pisgah are very friendly and always offer to lead group rides. Try contacting someone at the links below.

    Check out www.biowheels.com

    and

    http://www.wncmountaingoatepics.com/

  10. #10

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    I'd be out that way for another reason.. just trying to justify the 4+ hour drive to the mountains. I love climbing. The thing I can't stand is boring flat trails.

  11. #11
    I love Pisgah
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    4 hours is all? Well heck man, I'm 3.5-4 hours from Pisgah here in N Ga. I can say its WELL worth the drive, and we have lot of killer stuff here as well. Climbing is the name of the game in Pisgah. We only have 6600'+ mtns, but our low areas are around 1500-2000'. Roots, rocks, etc. Anything anyone could want if you like a challenge, its there. NO santiized trails here. No sir-ry. The best all day epic stuff in the SE at least. I've talked to more the one, that have said "personally", they liked Pisgah better then Moab. I can't say cause I've never been there. Just the messenger is all.

    Heck, we can even ride some with ya.

    Duck

  12. #12
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    no. pisgah sucks.

    and it's nothing like moab.
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  13. #13
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    i live in Tulsa with excellent MTB locally and in Ark. i went to Pisqah a few Thanksgivings ago and the riding is good but for me it is about the same drive to Crested Butte or Durango, wich i feel is better. But you can't do much riding in CO around thanksgiving. it is technical with long climbs. i like to ride in as many places that i can and have found that there is great MTB in alot of places all over the USA. I say go, sounds like a great adventure. The bike shop right outside the part "Sycamore Cycles" was a great help pointing out good trails.

  14. #14
    I love Pisgah
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    Yes, I 2nd that shop waaaay over the bigger one across the street. The dudes at Sycamore will talk to you. Over there, you can forget it. No matter how much $$ your spending.

    Duck

  15. #15
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    Pisgah is pretty incredible, and really nothing like the trails over there. I live just over an hour from pisgah, and we ride there all the time. You really have to know where you are going to find the good stuff in pisgah, but the trails are exceptional. I havent been to moab, but I dont really think you can compare the desert with the woods. also, I 2nd the thing about sycamore cycles, that shop is the best in the area. A specialized DH pro actually works there too, so they know their stuff. You wont be dissappointed in Pisgah, it would be a great trip. I went to CA to ride, and I live over here.

  16. #16
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    You may want to avoid summer...

    Summer in NC can be very nasty. I'll caveat that with the fact that i spent my summers in the central (flat and sea level) part of the state. Up in the mountains will be cooler, but in NC the heat and humidity can get nasty. I was in LA last summer when they had a some bad heat and humidity. It was basically a warm and humid later spring/early summer day in NC.

    Just a heads up. It would be good of a pisgah local could comment on the weather vs the other parts of the state.

    As for riding, its different than the riding in did in S.Cal. Rockier, rootier, often more technical, and often less maintained (more rain, less TM means more things in the trail to avoid/deal with). I'm from CT so the riding in Pisgah is just like home, only much bigger. I prefer it vs california's riding. Much different than the stuff you get in Utah. I like the two about the same but its not fair to compare the two.

  17. #17
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    Riding around here is always a gamble... rain on one side, dry on the other. Killer no-see-ums one day and nary a gnat the next. We had snow storms this week and today is going to be 50+ degrees. Though the trails will be out of the question for acouple of days - there are miles of old double track to stretch your legs on.

    Can't say I would make a specific trip across country to ride here, but if I was just a few hours away - I'd certianly be interested in exploring the possibilities of experiencing a good biking area.


  18. #18
    I love Pisgah
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    Ha! Have been looking at that camera view for 2-3 years(when it works that is). Was looking at it a few minutes ago, and then came here and....

    Camped on that summit many times. Mot much there once you get up there tho. I aways say..."once your there, you'll look back at Shining Rock and wonder why your not still there(you have to pass thru it to get to this summit of Cold Mtn)". The Boy Scouts have really worn it out since they use it weekly over the Summer for a Badge hike/camp from nearby Boone Scout camp just to its western side. They build lots of fires as well, even tho its illegal. Saw this eastern slope burn 4-5yrs ago one early Fall day.

  19. #19
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    I wonder how Pisgah will be by next Sunday

    A bunch of us Knoxville MTB'ers will be heading over next Sunday. Does anyone know how much snow the Mills River/Trace Ridge/Laurel Mtn. area got? I really hope the weather doesn't turn sour. I have been looking forward to this ride for quite sometime.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    Summer in NC can be very nasty. I'll caveat that with the fact that i spent my summers in the central (flat and sea level) part of the state. Up in the mountains will be cooler, but in NC the heat and humidity can get nasty. I was in LA last summer when they had a some bad heat and humidity. It was basically a warm and humid later spring/early summer day in NC.
    WNC is my favorite place to go in the summer. I'm from florida, so we know about heat. Those mountains say so much cooler in the summer it's great.

  21. #21
    I love Pisgah
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    The thing about Pisgah

    ...and most any other mtns...is its a crap shoot anytime but mid summer really. 5 yrs ago, I did a 50 mile loop(backpacking) starting at Davidson River down near Brevard on the Art Loeb, up to the BRParkway where the Loab and the Mtn to Sea Trail overlap..along the MST back down across 276 down to the Cradle of Forestry...back up the Black Mtn trail...and back down to Davidson again. 5 days. The 1st week of March was the time, which is like...now really.

    First day it was HOT and humid(unseasonably hot was all), with no leaves to block the sun. Sleeveless and shorts...terrible with a then full pack and going up the whole time. 2nd day was HOT..as I summited Pilot (5600' alt) with my own private nucleolus of swarming black flies(biting knats to most)around my head. That night I camped at 6000' along the Parkway and it was 19* that morning(YES! no Gnats). Rained the entire next day at 38* or so, fun city..not! Wokeup to snow the next morning on the summit of Green Knob(the one on the MST just above 276 and the Parkway, as theres 2 Green knobs..the other in nearby Middle Prong wilderness)and was all giddy as I hiked in the snow down to a side trip to the Craddle of forestry(which was closed that time of year, but neat to walk thru). The next morning, I wokeup on the summit of Black mtn(just past Clawhammer)to temps in the single digits. 6 miles down and it was already in the 40s at Davidson.

    Point is..."I" can never plan farther then a few days in advance concerning the weather, and I know the area better then most. I have to carry gear for temps from pure summer to pure winter as well.

    Last Oct I think on the "then closed BRParkway" not far from where I camped that trip...



    Go figure.

    Duck

  22. #22
    I love Pisgah
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    Some more pics from last Fall in Pisgah...


    Along the Loab/MST overlap.



    At the intersection of Little Sam Knob and the MST trail. Note the 2 Bibler tents down below. My bud and riding partner Wayne.

    Next Fall I could be looking for my shorts, and not be surprised.



  23. #23
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    It is worth the distance

    I only live about an hour from Pisgah so we ride there a lot. I think it would be worth the trip to come here and ride from CA. There are trails like you will not find anywhere else and riding somewhere different is always good.

    We went to Canada this past summer to ride for a week and it was a blast but I liked Pisgah more. We will be heading to Tahoe this fall for a week just to ride something different and visit some friends. Can't wait to do Spooner to Kingsberry and back again.

    If there are good trails to ride, it is worth any distance.

  24. #24
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    pisgah was the first place i did "real" mtn biking. it's what i use to measure how i've progressed and it's really beautiful as well. some people prefer dupont and some like tsali better, but for me pisgah is probably the best technical riding in the southeast. definately worth the trip.

  25. #25
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    Its going to be wet....

    I was in the woods over that way today, anything not covered with snow is soup. Yhey got allot more snow than we did in Ktown. Its supposed to rain on and off all week. Were you going with the Harpers crew? I was wondering what their ride was going to be next week.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321
    WNC is my favorite place to go in the summer. I'm from florida, so we know about heat. Those mountains say so much cooler in the summer it's great.
    Yeah, the weather is sort of hard to predict around here, but that's what happens in the mountains. Any mountains. I'm not sure about other places, but here in Boone, over 80 in the summer is a hot day, but I don't really think you need to worry about snow in the middle of summer.

    As for pisgah: You won't be disappointed if you come here. There are different style trails all over. Tsali, nearby, is flat, non-technical RIPPING fast singletrack with pretty views. Southern pisgah offers everything from brutal, jackhammer tight & twisty trails with ridiculous amounts of water bars and some decent boulder drops, to beginner stuff. Northern pisgah has some wide-fast XXL singletrack, my personal fave trail being a 20 mile slog that hits with 2 heartbreaking climbs (each gaining >1500 feet elev) and pays off in berms, speed, killer rock gardens and whoopdedoos. There's a scene of built-up shore style stunts and such around here, but I don't know much about it as it isn't my thing. There are also places that offer lift-served downhilling, but again, I'm not too sure about the details.

    Your enjoyment of the area, however, rests on knowing what to expect. If you try to ride tsali when its really muddy, it will suck. And suck hard. But, within 3 hours of asheville in several directions there are so many trails and types of rides that if you can't find something to float your boat, its likely not the area that's the problem. Use the locals, that's why we're here! Before you commit to a trip, I'd take a look into "mountain biking north carolina" by timm muth. Its in the falcon series of guidbooks and it offers spot-on summaries of lots of highlight rides in the area. If you read up on the WNC rides and they don't sound intriguing, don't bother.

    The pic is from some local guys who go by the name of the hick hucksters, you can find a bunch of their pics from diff pisgah spotshere And those are just in the north tip of pisgah.
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    Last edited by Archdukeferdinand; 02-28-2004 at 11:06 PM.

  27. #27
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    Here are some links to my pictures from recent pisgah trips. I go up there probably two times a month, maybe more.

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...isgah+pictures

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...isgah+pictures

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...isgah+pictures

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...isgah+pictures


    check those out, I have more that I dont care to search for right now, but those are from some cool trails in pisgah.

  28. #28

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    Heat? What heat?

    I lived in TX for eight years. Now CA. I laugh when people complain about the heat. I routinely mtn biked in 90+ temps. One time I went riding in 109 deg heat and one water bottle which was stupid - I didn't know just how hot it was until later. Needless to say, it was a short ride and who wants to drink hot water.



    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    Summer in NC can be very nasty. I'll caveat that with the fact that i spent my summers in the central (flat and sea level) part of the state. Up in the mountains will be cooler, but in NC the heat and humidity can get nasty. I was in LA last summer when they had a some bad heat and humidity. It was basically a warm and humid later spring/early summer day in NC.

    Just a heads up. It would be good of a pisgah local could comment on the weather vs the other parts of the state.

    As for riding, its different than the riding in did in S.Cal. Rockier, rootier, often more technical, and often less maintained (more rain, less TM means more things in the trail to avoid/deal with). I'm from CT so the riding in Pisgah is just like home, only much bigger. I prefer it vs california's riding. Much different than the stuff you get in Utah. I like the two about the same but its not fair to compare the two.

  29. #29
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    one word....acclimatization....

    if ya can't stand the heat, stay outta the kitchen...
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    Summer in NC can be very nasty. I'll caveat that with the fact that i spent my summers in the central (flat and sea level) part of the state. Up in the mountains will be cooler, but in NC the heat and humidity can get nasty. I was in LA last summer when they had a some bad heat and humidity. It was basically a warm and humid later spring/early summer day in NC.

    Just a heads up. It would be good of a pisgah local could comment on the weather vs the other parts of the state.

    As for riding, its different than the riding in did in S.Cal. Rockier, rootier, often more technical, and often less maintained (more rain, less TM means more things in the trail to avoid/deal with). I'm from CT so the riding in Pisgah is just like home, only much bigger. I prefer it vs california's riding. Much different than the stuff you get in Utah. I like the two about the same but its not fair to compare the two.

  30. #30
    Do It Yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    and it's nothing like moab.

    Move those three turdballs and the view would improve.

  31. #31
    i worship Mr T
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    i'll say

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    Move those three turdballs and the view would improve.
    look at that improvement.

    rt
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  32. #32
    I love Pisgah
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    May-June

    The rodos bloom in May-June, depending on the altitude me thinks.

    In early August, the blue berries up high are amazing. I can pick a ziplock full marble size in 10 minutes. Mmmmmm.......

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