Hite Cove - TRAIL

Hite Cove - Trail, Yosemite / El Portal, California

It is best to park about 1 mile west of Cedar Lodge and then ride to Cedar Lodge on Hwy 140. Go into the complex and ride between the resturant(on left) and the check in office(on right) and then up and left to the last 2 story motel room units. Take a dirt road that goes between these 2 units and then up right, very steep, past some houses at Indian Flat. Ride quiet through here as the people may yell at you even though it is access to forest service land. At the top of the steep dirt road go left and then take your 2nd right @ a green gate, a forest service road. This is an old 4 wheel drive road, meaga steep for 2miles. At the top of the ridge you can see the South Fork of the Merced River and Hite Cove below. Drop down this steep fun old road for 2miles past mines to the river. Go down right from an old shack onto the Hite Cove Trail. Follow this outrageous up and down single track down river for 6 miles. You will come to the property of Savages Trading Post which is posted "NO BIKES, ETC" but we think there is public access through this 100 year old trail. Anyway go quiet as you come to the road so the old lady doesn't yell at you. Ride 1 mile back east on Hwy140 to your car.

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
John   Cross Country Rider [Sep 02, 2003]

The first 2 miles are,as described, "mega steep". Rideable the whole way but your legs will be burning. You'll swear your odometer must not be working because those 2 miles take a LONG time (approx. 45 minutes). The view from the top is amazing though. The descent to the river is fast and loose. More like a wide single track than a road. The single track along the river is very fun-vast majority is rideable and the views of the river below are spectacular. Wear bug spray! Anytime I was riding less than 5 mph I was plagued by gnats and mosquitos. Okay, maybe it was because I had just been camping for 3 days in Yosemite without a shower but,still... There's a "For Sale" sign on Savage's so maybe the new owners will be more bike friendly. I didn't see a single person on the trail. It appeared to be very lightly used. I'm not entirely sure if the singletrack is officially legal. The sign at Savage's indicates no bikes and there is a sign approx. .9 from Savages indicating the same. The climb behind the Cedar Lodge is definitely legal and there are no other signs other than the ones just mentioned(?) This is National Forest so it seems like it should be legal. Bottom line: this is a fun, beautiful ride but it will tax you.

Customer Service

same as above. Excellent description. Parking 1 mile west of Cedar Lodge shortens the road time at the end of the ride. Park by a good swimming hole. You'll definitely want to jump in.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Yoman   [Nov 23, 2000]

A most awesome trail!!!!!!!! A killer 2 mile steep technical uphill to a 2 mile downhill bomber run. Then the best part is the rolling single track along the river. Lots of technical up and down. Not for folks who are afraid of exposure as the single track climbs up the canyon wall maybe a couple of hundred feet above the river with a wicked dropoff below. Very beautiful along the river canyon wall. You can also start at Cedar Lodge and watch out for the old lady at Savages at the end of the ride.

Customer Service

The author left out one important fact. DO NOT RIDE this trail between March and August. The Hite Cove single track along the river is very narrow and fast in many sections with blind curves. Many famlies hike this trial during those months and it would be easy to hit someone. DO NOT ride between March and August!

Similar Products Used: Crane Flat Campground to Foresta to El Portal via Davis Cutoff. Tamarack Flat on old fire road to Crane Flat Campground to Foresta to El Portal. All down hill on old roads for 12 miles, from 8,000' to 2,000' on old fire roads.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Paul   [Nov 24, 2000]

This is truly a world class trail! Technical, narrow, scenic with exposure to the river below! Please, though just ride the legal part because if you ride the private property (though I agree it should be public access on a seasonal basis, HOWEVER IT IS NOT at this time) the rest of the awesome singletrack will likely be closed by the Forest Service. In addition, this trail is definitely best ridden in the winter, too many wildflower hikers come spring and that means trail use conflicts. Also, the trail is generally closed for fire danger early in the summer til it after fire season. The local who did the original write up is irresponsible for encouraging the public to go thru the "NO BIKES ETC" sign. Ride responsibly and respect these closures unless you want even more closures and even worse public opinion. I am a local and also wish to ride that last 1 mile, but it's not even the best part of the trail and certainly not worth the adverse legal and public relations ramifications to Mountain Biking advocacy.

Customer Service

As previously described is exactly correct however, PLEASE do not ride through the "NO BIKES ETC." sign to Savages Trading Post and Hwy 140! It is now private property and will adversely affect all MTBers and all trail access by using that approx. 1 mile. of albeit world class singletrack. Until that section of trail becomes legal, just turn around and ride back the same way you came. Anyway there's more miles (10 vs. 6) of singletrack riding this way, you just have to go back up that steep hill from Hite's Cove over to Indian Flat.

Similar Products Used: Briceburg, Midpines sorry not much singletrack but essentially deserted.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
George Crawford   [Dec 02, 2000]

I have to emphesise the the climb in and trail back down is not heavily used so it's overgrown in many spots. The fire road climb is loose in spots and as I rode it today, (dec 2nd) a little muddy and hard to climb. Again... it's steep.
The trail from the top down has it share of loose rocks. Also, it has lots of spots where the shrubs from the side are encroaching on the trail. My legs came out pretty scrapped up. My helmet and camelbak were snagged a few times and I was yanked back.
Once you hit Hite's Cove you have to either cross the river (when water is low) and ride the fireroad (scenic but not technical) or ride the singletrack down river.
I cannot recomend this trail to most MTBers. Most of the trail is not super technical, but most of the trail is exposed and on the edge of a virtual if not literal cliff. Penalties for screw ups are high.
Most people will find that you will have to stop and hike a bike every few hundred yards. This is not to say that the trail is not rideable. You just really have to realize that this is an advanced trail.
I've ridden and enjoyed lot's of technical trails, the stakes are a little to high on this trail to make it fun for me. There are so many more trails that are closer to me and more fun overal that I won't be going back and I won't be recomending it to my friends.
I might go back and hike it in the spring.

Customer Service

If you're going to do it, follow the directions above.

Similar Products Used: Drive to Bass Lake.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Santa Claus   [Dec 05, 2000]

George is right, don't ride this trail, it is to steep for you and the downhill and singletrack will make you cry. If you do ride it, make sure you let all the poison oak brush your arms and legs, it isn't very potent, I promise you won't get a rash. The lady at Savage's Trading Post is meaner than any Catholic school nun, she will grind your bones to dust and feed your eyeballs to her rabid dog. Stay home and watch TV instead.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
cf   [Dec 13, 2000]

I have ridden this trail about 20 times and if you are a rider like George who is squeamish of heights and afraid of bashing through some deer brush by all means do not ride this trail! The single track is pretty technical with some tough rock steps going both up and down. This is not a downhill trail. It is pure challenging cross country fun with about 95% rideable. There are some very steep drop offs into the river below as the trail climbs up and down from the river. One mistake could be very costly.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ben Montoya   [Mar 31, 2001]

I love this trail. Plain and simple.
Seriously, though-please don't come out at savage's. I don't want to see this beautiful trail closed for such a silly reason.
Other than that, enjoy.
Ben

Customer Service

Good description above (from cedar lodge)

Similar Products Used: Apperson mine road (from Jerseydale) to the vista point above the south fork and savage's (a few thousand feet up), with the beautiful view of el capitan.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
rad dude   [Oct 30, 2001]

as of 10/01 the road up and over from cedar lodge had been graded. NO MORE brush! it is clear and great riding with big berms.

Customer Service

same as above

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
granny   [Mar 11, 2002]

Please don't ride the single track by the river from March through the summer months. Many people love to hike this trail in the Spring in order to see the wildflowers and bikes on the trail would be a danger to everyone.

Customer Service

Hi there bike riders

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Green Phantom   [Jun 13, 2002]

While I prefer to lay low and comply with private property owner's wishes, I sometimes have to take a stand and resist or cajol their point of view through direct action. I ride the trail from Cedar Lodge until reaching the private property and from that point on portage (that's right you whining sissys-carry the bike) hoping they will see me and better yet, confront me. I do want to get along, never even go there except on foot from March to late June or July and ALWAYS defer to hikers from a safe distance, walking if need be. So far, no luck getting "caught" but after all I am Green Phantom. Share the trail, Have fun, Learn the flowers GF

Customer Service

Same as above

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 10  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.