Pinecrest Peak Downhill - TRAIL

Pinecrest Peak Downhill - Trail, Strawberry/Pinecrest, California

If you're going to climb 17 miles to the top you can try this. Park in the store in Strawberry. Start climbing up the Hwy 120 about a mile or so and look for the dirt road on the right side of the road. This cuts over to Forest Rd 4N12, keep climbing and soon (yeah soon) you'll get to the parking area for the trail to the gargoyles. Gargoyles parking is one place you can shuttle to if you want to cut out some of the climb. Follow the the signs to Herring Creek from 120. Stay right and go past the campground and keep climbing. Take another right to Pinecrest Peak and keep climbing. Hit the meadow and you're getting close ride straight through the intersection and the climbing is about done. At the top stay on the main rd (5N31) down to the end of the road and the start of the trail. Downhill: Most people start putting on body armor at this point and seats drop down a bit. Let er rip. About half way down the singletrack Y's.. stay right. The further down you go the more technical it is. At the bottom you cross the creek (big log when water is high). You end up back at Strawberry.

User Reviews (3)

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mdavenpo2000   Cross Country Rider [Sep 09, 2008]

40 mile epic ride (see route explanation below). Very moderate climbs that lead to physically demanding singletrack downhill. It's physically demanding because of all the rocks, stair steps, drops, ... etc. My upper body was working extra hard. The trails are raw but very rideable. It's expert only unless your intermediate riders have the good sense to walk down the intimidating parts. We had the place to ourselves.

Customer Service

OUr 40 mile route started at Pinecrest. . WE rode Hwy 108 to Herring Creek Road and climbed that until it turned to dirt (about 6-7 miles). We rode the 4N12 loop clockwise to the top of Herring Creek Trail and descended down to Herring Creek Reservoir. Eventually this dumped us back onto the 4N12 loop, which we then started climbing up in the counterclockwise direction. We followed the sign to Pinecrest Peak. We then rode to the top of the Pinecrest Peak Overlook, where the downhhill starts.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
bpressnall   Cross Country Rider [Aug 24, 2006]

I first rode this trail in the eighties, when it had countless trees down and major bushwacking. Since then all work done on this trail has been from hundreds of volunteer hours of work. The reason I bring this up is without the volunteers you wouldn't be riding this trail. And we ask very little in return: Please keep the rubber in the track and try not to slide. The upper sections of the trail have many open areas where one may be tempted to ride off trail and tear up the fragile vegetation and make unsightly tracks. You may be tempted to cut across some of those tight switchbacks. You will become a better rider if you try to stay on the track through some of these very technical spots. Ok nuff said, what's the frigging trail like! It's about 5.5 miles and 2700 vertical feet of mind blower singletrack. Top 8000', bottom 5300'. The entire trail is rideable and if you can ride it clean the whole way to the creek, you are the sh--! Before you get too cocky, wait till you get through some of the lower sections. Some folks might not like the roughness of the top section. If not you can take a road 4N27 to the midsection If you're not real knarly, there are a lot of nice cruisy, but narrow sections and you can walk the rockiest sections. One nice thing about this trail is that it is fairly narrow singletrack. Let's keep it that way!

Customer Service

The best place to park is probably the dirt area near the highway bridge in Strawberry or the end of Herring Creek Lane (not much space, don't block the gate) which is the road that goes right between the Strawberry Store and the Post Office. Either way, instead of riding up the highway as in the discription you can ride past above mentiooned gate and after a few minutes look to the left for a motorcycle or quad track climbing steeply up to the end of a dirt road. Follow this road to a junction, veer right and continue up and stay left at next junction. The road fades to singletrack for a short ways, then brings you to Herring Creek Road. Turn right. Pinecrest quadrangle 7.5 minute map shows all the rest of the roads, but not the trail, which starts at the end of road 5N31. Two spots to remember are at the first little pond you'll see a trail veering left to a view (300') The second is after you ride around the second small pond and climb for 30', turn right on unmarked trail that may be hard to see. This will lead past another large pond and down to the gate where you started.

Similar Products Used: Eagle Peak 4X4, Hamil Canyon, Willow Meadow. Eagle Creek, Coffin Hollow, Rock Creek, Bell Meadow, Crandall- Deer Creek
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
jakesdad   Cross Country Rider [Aug 24, 2006]

This is an incredible 90% single track ride that can actually be extended by parking up at Bloomer Lake. To do that you just stay on the forest service road that you take off the main highway. Bloomer Lake is approximately 8 miles from the turnoff. The upper part of the ride is gradually downward trending along Herring Creek (which stays mostly on your left). The first part is very technical but all ridable with some practice. When you get to the reservoir, you exit out on to a fire road past a primitive campground on your left. From there, you can start following the directions in the trail description up to the top of Pinecrest Peak and then head on down an extremely sweet, technical descent. We missed the turn off to Strawberry and ended up riding down the Catfish Lake trail to Pinecrest Lake and hitting the "no-bike" Pinecrest Lake Trail. If that happens, you are forced into a .75 hike a bike past lots of people until you get to the very steep, often unridable trail down to Strawberry that starts right before you get to the dam. The top part of our "mistake" was some of the funnest riding on the trail but the bottom was a bummer. Overall, one of the funnest rides I've ever done. You definitely need a good map for this ride. The guy who runs the bike shop at Pinecrest Resort is a great person to talk to about this and other trails in the area. The one downside is the long (30 minutes each way) shuttle. If you're staying at Pinecrest or Strawberry and can get someone to drop you off at Bloomer Lake, this ride goes from incredible to stellar.

Customer Service

shuttle to Bloomer Lake. Use fire roads to connect to top of Pinecrest Peak. Follow directions in trail description down to Strawberry after that. Note: the trail head at Bloomer Lake is hard to find. Best way to find it is to look for the little "dead end" to your left at approx. 8 miles from when you turn off the highway. The trailhead is basically directly across the road.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
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