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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, I haven't done this, and don't know exactly how hard, but I think this would be awesome! I'll try and do it during spring, but if some people who are really in shape now want to give it a try, great. This could be an 'Epic Coe-Headquarters Ride'. And of course lots of the really really good stuff is hidden near Mississippi Lake, this ride is admittedly close to headquarters, gets a bit South is all. There are probably a ton of large linkages around here. I've done a few myself, but back in the day wayyyy before Garmin, so its all foggy memory, but I've had 7k feet and once what we thought at the time was a 10k day here (but we weren't 100% sure, we were counting topo contours), many of them returning by deep moonlight. Before the lightweight filters, I used to carry a massive Katadyn.

Anyway, as is usual for me I follow the 'fire road up and singletrack down' philosophy. Some like singletrack up - this route is plenty hard enough.

Here it is:

Coe Headquarters
Hobbs Road
Middle Ridge Trail
China Hole
Mahoney Ridge
Cross Canyon Trail (straight from Kelly)
Mahoney Ridge
Blue Ridge (briefly)
Jackass
Poverty Flat Road
Coe Headquarters



Of course the one thing that strikes me looking at this route is to go straight to China Hole, follow the route and instead of Jackass go all the way to that massive drop in the north, Hobbs Road down Mt Sizer, then do Middle Ridge and back to park hdqrts.

But what I wanted to do here was to link Middle Ridge with China Hole directly as one massive downhill. And you keep Jackass, which is a short but incredible downhill.

What do people think?

If the route is done as specified, you could go in the Coyote Creek Entrance the days before, and leave water at the easily-reached Coit Road / Mahoney Ridge. Or filter at Mohoney pond (I've done that a bunch) or Kelly Lake.

I'm going to go do the first half tomorrow, I hope.
 

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Don't climb up Poverty Flat Rd. You'll be hiking and hating. Especially on a single speed. On your return, it's better to go back down China Hole and up the nice switch backs with great views. If you really want to do Jackass, do it from the bottom of Middle Ridge. It'll save a lot of hike a bike along the stream as well.

Filtering water is good at Kelly Lake, I've done it there many times with my Katadyne Hiker filter. There's a stream leaking off that's usually clean and easy to access. It'll be easier to filter at the lake than leave water in the days before.

Hobbs Road past Middle Ridge going up to Blue Ridge and Mt. Sizer is one of the steepest nastiest climbs in the world. Sure, do it on a single speed. :rolleyes:

I've done a similar route once on May By The Bay ride, starting at HQ and going out to Kelly Lake and back via Cross Canyon. I even included Domino and some of Jackson, but not Middle Ridge on the way down. Turned out to be around 28 miles and 5000' of climb IIRC. It was a long day. I remember being in knee-high water all through Cross Canyon, with Aussie Bob as my partner.

Sounds like you've got a true Henry Coe killer epic planned. Go for it. Bail to Hunting Hollow if you need. You got friends joining, emergency beacon, or something to help you in case of trouble? Your idea of building up to it by doing shorter loops is wise. It'll keep you alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, once I did a 9-day bike-camping trip in Coe, so we had to bike out of Poverty Flat road with 40 lbs on our bikes! That was hard. Some of the people couldn't do it, so I took 4 bungee cords and attached them to my bike and theirs (2 long and doubled for strength) and helped one person climb out. In my little riding group, that feat is one of our inside jokes/stories that has never gone away. I've read about the detour you mention and will try it. I read that it sometimes isn't rideable and that dismayed me, plus having done the big hill a bunch of times, but I'm very open to doing it and can try it on the shorter ride, see what happens.

Lets see - Jackass - yeah, what you say is exactly what I mean to refer to. I've ridden up it and man is that dumb! That was in the middle of a 7k epic out there. So, for the route, I mean to say taking the connector thingy (very last part of Poverty Flat Road?) on the map to Middle Ridge and then down Jackass.

What I was referring to - to your 3rd paragraph - is going *down* that way as a possible alternate ending to the ride. Going up that is crazy, but I have done that too. A friend wanted a tough sendoff before leaving the area and asked me kick his butt, so in 103 degree heat we hiked there and climbed it. I've biked it up and down too - and biking down it once after one of our crazy epic days, we were probably descending it at 2 AM, and this is back in hardtail day (half of us didn't have front susp forks either, and those that did were at 63 mm), one guy was so tired he kept going off the edge. We weren't using lights, the rest of us could see pretty well, but he kept going off when there were turns - he probably went over the side 5 times! If it weren't so horrible it was very funny to the rest of us. No injuries to speak of, just rolling around in tall grass kind of stuff.

I'm actually thinking of getting a Spot-something that makes your IPhone a satellite phone, but other than that I'm pretty good at this stuff. I've come out of Henry Coe after midnight many a time... And tons of places around the Sierras and elsewhere as well... For some reason I like the long tough stuff! Others just do Braille over and over again... Also fun...
 

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That's all singlespeedable if you skip Jackass and Poverty Flat Rd on the way out. I'm not sure I could ride much of the China Hole climb after the rest, and I usually walk some of the Cross Cyn climb on SS.

Here's another great SS ride: park at the concept store, ride up to HQ, down Middle Ridge or just China Hole Tr, up to Mahoney Meadows, over to Domino Pond, Cattle Duster, Grapevine and Anza Tr, out Gilroy Hot Springs Rd and Roop Rd to Harvey Bear Ranch, through and down the big hill (there's one SCC-width singletrack) and back to town. It's about 40 miles.

No matter where you ride in Coe, if you drink beer, stop at El Toro Brewpub and try a Yo! or a Deuce; the chili's great as are the Kobe burgers on the appetizer menu, the garlic fries and the onion rings.

Oh, hey, the new Jim Donnely Tr will be singlespeedable. Get out there and do some trailwork with the crew:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=686403&highlight=coe+trail+work
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, for me personally, not much of a singlespeeder. But more power to anyone who gets up hard hills and all day rides!

That said, I'm pretty sure a singlespeeder could get down Jackass just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you been up Poverty Flat Road after it makes the left with the junction with Mahoney Meadows Road? That is what the route above would take, then the "Blue Ridge Road (briefly)" to Jackass down. I've not gone up that part of Poverty Flat Road yet to see what the uphill is like that is required to take Jackass down. Wasn't sure exactly how to describe in initial description, so I put 'short' by Blue Ridge as you'd only be on it for 1/2 of a mile or less, but what I am saying here is what I intended to say. I adjusted a phrase in the 2nd post above to hopefully make it more clear - the map says 'road', but it is Poverty Flat Road, the connector part. The words on the map aren't near eachother so I wasn't sure what was going on there.
 

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LightMiner said:
Have you been up Poverty Flat Road after it makes the left with the junction with Mahoney Meadows Road? That is what the route above would take, then the "Blue Ridge Road (briefly)" to Jackass down. I've not gone up that part of Poverty Flat Road yet to see what the uphill is like that is required to take Jackass down. Wasn't sure exactly how to describe in initial description, so I put 'short' by Blue Ridge as you'd only be on it for 1/2 of a mile or less, but what I am saying here is what I intended to say. I adjusted a phrase in the 2nd post above to hopefully make it more clear - the map says 'road', but it is Poverty Flat Road, the connector part. The words on the map aren't near eachother so I wasn't sure what was going on there.
I have ridden Coe a bunch...I don't even use a map any more. Reading your route descriptions is painful, I can't even tell where your going half the time. Just go out there and have fun...which seems to mean getting back in the dark for you.:)
 

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My favorite Coe Head quarters ride follows, Middle ridge, Rock house ridge and china hole are some of the best downhill single tracks in the park.

You'll need to fill in the blanks looking at a map

Flat Frog - Middle Ridge - Poverty Flat - Jackass - Black Oak Springs - Rock House Ridge - narrows - Lost Spring Trail -
China Hole - Manzita Point - Headquarters
 

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LightMiner said:
... so we had to bike out of Poverty Flat road with 40 lbs on our bikes! That was hard. Some of the people couldn't do it, so I took 4 bungee cords and attached them to my bike and theirs (2 long and doubled for strength) and helped one person climb out. ...
OK, you can actually ride up Poverty Flat ---- on a singlespeed --- with 40 lbs on your bike ---- and with a bungee hauling up your friends too...:eekster:

Forget about anything I said. You can ride anywhere in Henry Coe. Have fun - you and your motor.

BTW, riding solo, it's always prudent to leave your route and expected time of arrival with a friend. It just makes the search easier for others in case of unexpected.

As I ride solo a lot, I also carry a SPOT 2 satellite beacon. Works great in Henry Coe and nice for sending OK messages to the wife, and of course essential for potential problems too. The Henry Coe rangers once told me they love the SPOT locater. They found two people in two years that otherwise would have otherwise been very long searches, and maybe not successful otherwise. With the SPOT, they went right to the victims in less than two hours (one biker fell down a hill into a creek breaking his leg, the other a camper with sudden acute appendicitis).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Looking at a map I think it helps to see the route. Basically, just focusing on downhills it takes the easiest fireroad access to these downhills in order:

Middle Ridge
China Hole
Cross Canyon Trail
Jackass

That is it!

Hey, no singlespeed for me. I never mentioned singlespeeds :).

So - with that carrying up people - I definitely did do that, but I weigh a lot more now :). That was in my 'golden years' so to speak, so it will be a challenge. We'll see how it goes. What is funny is I'm going to do the first half with my wife, I may have to bring the bungees out of retirement....


Okay - so another question I have about Cross Canyon Trail - can anyone comment on the difference between getting to it via Kelly Lake directly, or going over the Coit and taking it from there. What is the best singletrack dowhnill experience? I'd rather not go all the way over to Coit if I don't have to.

Another thing I can't figure out is if Frog Trail is worth it. I think not on a ride like this, but people say it is really fun. I figure the ride is so hard we need to make super good time on the flat or uphill parts, keep a decent average speed somewhere.

Tahoe - I'll check out Rock House Ridge - thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't know if this will help, but here is a bit more info:

Coe Headquarters
Hobbs Road (north, up)
Middle Ridge Trail (south, down)
China Hole (down, then up)
Mahoney Ridge (south to Kelly Lake)
Cross Canyon Trail (north)
Mahoney Ridge (north to Poverty Flat Road)
Poverty Flat to Blue Ridge (roundabout that gets you to top of Jackass on fireroad, very very short)
Jackass (down)
Poverty Flat Road (west, up)
Coe Headquarters
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Found Rock House Ridge - I guess I could add that in if at the top of Jackass we went up to Sizer and went down Rock House Ridge, then down Jackass... Man, that might be the straw that broke the camels back :). I'll have to see how the rest of the ride shapes up and what percent it takes from me in a single go, if it is a great downhill and can be added I'd have to change the name from Epic Coe Hdqrts Ride to Ultimate Coe Hdqrts Ride...
 

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LightMiner said:
Hey, no singlespeed for me. I never mentioned singlespeeds :).
So what did you mean by your comment on your original post "Anyway, ss is usual for me..."
LightMiner said:
Okay - so another question I have about Cross Canyon Trail - can anyone comment on the difference between getting to it via Kelly Lake directly, or going over the Coit and taking it from there. What is the best singletrack dowhnill experience? I'd rather not go all the way over to Coit if I don't have to
The [EDIT] Kelly Cabin Canyon trail to Cross Canyon from Kelly Lake was just cleared a couple years ago. It's somewhat level but still a lot of stream side hike-a-bike in sections. But hey, you'll get that for the next mile anyway where you'll often be up to your shins in cold water stumbling over big rocks in the stream called the trail. The climb up to Coit Lake isn't that bad, only a couple hundred feet, and the downhill singletrack into Cross Canyon from Coit Lake is one of my favorites. In other words, either way is fine, but if you like downhill singletrack, go up and have a look at Coit Lake. It's not far and pretty nice.

LightMiner said:
Another thing I can't figure out is if Frog Trail is worth it. I think not on a ride like this, but people say it is really fun. I figure the ride is so hard we need to make super good time on the flat or uphill parts, keep a decent average speed somewhere.
Flat Frog is one of the nicest singletracks at Henry Coe. Don't miss it. It's nearly flat, twisty, and fast. My first Henry Coe ride, I made the mistake of going over the hill on the steep Hobbs Roadinstead. I saw a nice Henry Coe monument, but it didn't justify the nasty climb. Only the first half of Flat Frog is bike legal, but the second half of the trip on Hobbs isn't too bad.
 

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BigLarry said:
So what did you mean by your comment on your original post "Anyway, ss is usual for me..."
change the typo to "as is usual for me" and the rest of that sentence makes more sense :thumbsup:
 

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LightMiner said:
Found Rock House Ridge - I guess I could add that in if at the top of Jackass we went up to Sizer and went down Rock House Ridge, then down Jackass... Man, that might be the straw that broke the camels back :). I'll have to see how the rest of the ride shapes up and what percent it takes from me in a single go, if it is a great downhill and can be added I'd have to change the name from Epic Coe Hdqrts Ride to Ultimate Coe Hdqrts Ride...
One of my favorite rides is called the Four Ridge ride:
Down Middle Ridge
Up Blue Ridge (via Poverty Flat)
Down Rock House Ridge
Up Lost Springs trail to China Hole
Up to HQ from China Hole via Manzanita Springs.

That ride was around 5800' of climbing and ~23 miles, just on it's own.
If you go up Blue Ridge and down Rock House Ridge, then skip Cross Canyon.
See pictures of that ride on my picture server. Click the Henry Coe Four Ridges icon. (Don't use the browser back button, hit the back icon on the upper left. Keep clicking a picture to get higher resolution.)

The Henry Coe Middle Ridge icon also shows pictures of the stream side hike from the bottom of Middle Ridge to China Hole that you say you've never done.
 

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LightMiner said:
I don't know if this will help, but here is a bit more info:

Coe Headquarters
Hobbs Road (north, up)
Middle Ridge Trail (south, down)
China Hole (down, then up)
Mahoney Ridge (south to Kelly Lake)
Cross Canyon Trail (north)
Mahoney Ridge (north to Poverty Flat Road)
Poverty Flat to Blue Ridge (roundabout that gets you to top of Jackass on fireroad, very very short)
Jackass (down)
Poverty Flat Road (west, up)
Coe Headquarters
No matter what route you take, you really want to go back up to HQ via China Hole trail through Manzanita rather than Poverty Flat Rd. The climb up from China Hole to HQ is very nicely switch backed and very scenic with views of the three streams joining down below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Big Larry - thanks - Flat Frog it is. And, yeah, Cross Canyon from Coit - that sounds like what I'm looking for.

I can see the value of the '4 Ridges' ride - that makes a lot of sense. We'll see how the season progresses, I might give that a try before my big route. Going all the way to Coit from the other stuff I have may be a bit of a stretch - the 4 Ridges stays in a more compact area. Obviously the point of the ride is to get all the great downhills into one ride, but it still has to make sense.

Do you prefer China Hole from Mahoney Ridge or from Poverty Flat? I've only done it in one direction - perhaps they are pretty similar on each side?
 

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LightMiner said:
Do you prefer China Hole from Mahoney Ridge or from Poverty Flat? I've only done it in one direction - perhaps they are pretty similar on each side?
Three ways into the China Hole:
China Hole Trail to HQ
China Hole Trail to Mahoney Meadows Rd.
Hike-a-bike down the stream from Poverty Flats at the bottom of Middle Ridge (or stream side hike from the intersecting Narrows stream that I've also done.)

The China Hole singletrack trail is about the same steep on both sides, which quickly becomes switchbacks. The China Hole trial up to HQ is a little nicer IMO, both with easier nicer trails and better views.
 
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