chitose - TRAIL

chitose - Trail, Yamagata, Japan

i will rate this trail intermediate due to the climb's difficulty. but it is a SUPER-short trail and intended only for 2 kinds of ride/rider: 1) someone who is desperate to get on dirt but only has a 1/2 hour to do something or 2) an absolute mtb god who can climb like a goat.
as most of the readers of this will probably fall into category 1, i will be speaking to them for the most part.
from the marker on the map below, there is a very rough dirt "parking lot" (enough room for maybe 6 cars) on the left side of the road. you will see a trail heading up in the back left corner of said "lot." go up. almost immediately, you will see another trail branching even steeper up to the right. if you are in the aforementioned category 2, go for it. for the rest of us mortals, it is pretty much prohibitively steep. this climb is ridiculously short, only 4 switchbacks. but, ouch, they really do hurt. on the fourth swtchbck, the trail contiues straight and down as well as the left swtchbck, take the left as the straight just goes back to where you started. at the top of that final swtchback, you will see a trail sign and a bench in front of you (i think there is a squirrel on the sign). at this point, the trail continues up and to the right or straight/left (descending slightly). this is where category 1 and 2 split. i have gone up and to the right but it is truly unpleasant with moments of impossibility. generally, at this sign, we take the left and it is a gently descending trail to the main shrine on chitose. go in front of the shrine and continue on this kinda cute little trail. nothing technical, just easy rolling fun. after only maybe 1/2 kilometer of cross-cutting around the mountain, it descends rapidly to the street on the opposite side of chitoseyama from where you began.
[** NOTE: the 6 or so stairs at the end of that little descent should be walked as the concrete drainage ditch is covered by 2 very dodgy pavers with a perfectly sized gap for swallowing bike tires.]
like i said, not the greatest trail but maybe you can find other trails on chitose. it is a great hike but is a little steep to ride. ganbatte.



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