Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be making an attempt to do something I've wanted to do for a while but wanted to find out if anyone out there had tried this.

I'm going to be heading up Trabuco, up Holy Jim and over the Main Divide to Blue Jay campground with some friends. From there, they'll be dropping San Juan and heading back around while I break off to the group in an attempt to get to Murrieta over the top of the mountains.

I've followed to the path along on Google Earth and it appears as though it's pretty much just fireroad from the time you turn off from Bluejay all the way across Ortega and then over until you hit a section near Elsinore Peak. Once you hit that little section it looks like there's a singletrack out there that drops in behind some kind of grove (orange probably) and then heads out to Grand Ave where I'll just be doing the last couple of miles on the road.

All total it will be about a 50 mile jaunt but I'm just curious as to whether anyone else on here has ever made the trek from Ortega over to Clinton Keith Road and, if so, is there anything I should know before heading out.

Thanks.
 
G

·
From the bottom of SJT you would take Sitton Peak Truck Trail and connect it up with Tenaja Truck Trail. TTT goes onto Santa Rosa Plateau. From there you would go down Clinton Keith.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mechmann_mtb said:
From the bottom of SJT you would take Sitton Peak Truck Trail and connect it up with Tenaja Truck Trail. TTT goes onto Santa Rosa Plateau. From there you would go down Clinton Keith.
I'll be at the top of SJT. If I had more time I'd try that one out but I'm guessing that would add about 20-25 miles to my journey and I'm not sure I have the time or the energy for that one on Saturday...especially not as a solo jaunt.

Thanks for the info though, I might hit you up some time in a couple of months to see if you might be interested in showing me that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,126 Posts
CalEpic said:
I'm not 100% sure on this but I believe once you go past the OHV area on the other side of Ortega it's Wilderness area (no bikes).
It's been years since I was out in that area, but I thought the Wilderness area was bounded on the eastern edge by a fire road that runs between the Tenaja guard station and Ortega Highway.
 
G

·
wilderness area eh?

well, i have to say that if it is a wilderness area then there won't be anybody out there to witness me riding through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looking at the area on Google Earth I'd be very surprised if it turned out to be a designated wilderness area. The fireroad appears to be very well traveled and it heads into an area that looks like it might be a mountain top community (Deliverance anyone?). The only part I'm really worried about is the section coming from Elsinore Peak (actually, just below/past it) running down the valley and over to Grand Ave. It looks like there's a trail there but it could just be a big runoff that I'm seeing. I guess I'll find out Saturday! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
We use to take the fireroad on the otherside of the 74 over to another road that dropped down into Santa Rosa Plateau. It was a fireroad we were told and I didn't hear or know of it being wilderness.
 

·
Don't be a sheep
Joined
·
3,445 Posts
mechmann_mtb said:
From the bottom of SJT you would take Sitton Peak Truck Trail and connect it up with Tenaja Truck Trail. TTT goes onto Santa Rosa Plateau. From there you would go down Clinton Keith.
That whole area you described is wilderness.......not saying don't ride there (wink), just keep a heads up. I know nothing about riding in those areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,126 Posts
What I did find wasn't definitive, but it appears that the Main Divide Truck Trail continues on south of Highway 74 (Ortega HIghway) from El Cariso, and, as I noted above, is outside and to the east of the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. Is the Blue Jay campground located near El Cariso?

So I've gotten really curious about this. Anybody got a suggestion as to a good map link? I looked at both google earth and terrasever, plus some random stuff, but couldn't come up with anything definitive. The Forest Service web pages I found didn't have anything useful.; they don't even map the campgrounds. :rolleyes:

Mtn bike bill has a write up on his web site about riding the extreme southern end of the Main Divide Truck Trail. My recollection is that his write up is about the stretch from De Luz up towards Tenaja, so that doesn't answer the question of what's between Tenaja and El Cariso.

Kinda off topic, but San Mateo Creek is the big drainage that comes out to the coast at the northern boundary of Camp Pendleton, between San Onofre and San Clemente. It would be pretty amazing to be able to hike or backpack all the way to the coast from the main divide, but I think the USMC would take a dim view of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
HarryCallahan said:
What I did find wasn't definitive, but it appears that the Main Divide Truck Trail continues on south of Highway 74 (Ortega HIghway) from El Cariso, and, as I noted above, is outside and to the east of the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. Is the Blue Jay campground located near El Cariso?

So I've gotten really curious about this. Anybody got a suggestion as to a good map link? I looked at both google earth and terrasever, plus some random stuff, but couldn't come up with anything definitive. The Forest Service web pages I found didn't have anything useful.; they don't even map the campgrounds. :rolleyes:

Mtn bike bill has a write up on his web site about riding the extreme southern end of the Main Divide Truck Trail. My recollection is that his write up is about the stretch from De Luz up towards Tenaja, so that doesn't answer the question of what's between Tenaja and El Cariso.

Kinda off topic, but San Mateo Creek is the big drainage that comes out to the coast at the northern boundary of Camp Pendleton, between San Onofre and San Clemente. It would be pretty amazing to be able to hike or backpack all the way to the coast from the main divide, but I think the USMC would take a dim view of that.
Most of the maps are pretty useless when it comes to figuring out what is and is not wilderness area and/or private property. Sometimes you just have to go exploring and, if you come upon a sign that essentially says "stay the F out" then you go another direction and keep exploring.

As for that last part, I was actually talking to a friend of mine this morning who may have done what you're talking about by accident several years ago. He wound up deep into Camp Pendelton before finally realizing where he (and his friend) was.

He said there was some pretty good riding back there but you really don't want to be taking backroads onto a military base at this juncture of history; you're likely to find your butt stuck in a military jail for a day or two on principal alone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
I took a look at my Franko's map and you can ride the paved South Main Divide road (6S07) and skirt the San Mateo Wilderness that is to the south. Head past Elsinore Peak, once at the Wildomar OHV trailhead it appears there is a fireroad that heads down towards the 15. My map ends at this point so I can't tell for sure if that would take you to Santa Rosa Plateau. You've peaked my interest in this area. Be sure to post your findings.

C
 

·
Don't be a sheep
Joined
·
3,445 Posts
HarryCallahan said:
What I did find wasn't definitive, but it appears that the Main Divide Truck Trail continues on south of Highway 74 (Ortega HIghway) from El Cariso, and, as I noted above, is outside and to the east of the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. Is the Blue Jay campground located near El Cariso?

So I've gotten really curious about this. Anybody got a suggestion as to a good map link? I looked at both google earth and terrasever, plus some random stuff, but couldn't come up with anything definitive. The Forest Service web pages I found didn't have anything useful.; they don't even map the campgrounds. :rolleyes:

Mtn bike bill has a write up on his web site about riding the extreme southern end of the Main Divide Truck Trail. My recollection is that his write up is about the stretch from De Luz up towards Tenaja, so that doesn't answer the question of what's between Tenaja and El Cariso.

Kinda off topic, but San Mateo Creek is the big drainage that comes out to the coast at the northern boundary of Camp Pendleton, between San Onofre and San Clemente. It would be pretty amazing to be able to hike or backpack all the way to the coast from the main divide, but I think the USMC would take a dim view of that.
I've ridden from the parking area at San Juan trail across Ortega up Sitton peak and down to the beach where I lived in San Clemente. We stopped halfway in the ranch house development out there for water. Only the last few miles were on Camp Pendleton (at least the inhabited part) and we just rode by military vehicles without a problem, of course this was before 9-11. Got in my car and drove back out to get my buddies car. Interesting bit of trivia, I actually did this ride with Floyd Landis....yep, that Floyd Landis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
CalEpic said:
I took a look at my Franko's map and you can ride the paved South Main Divide road (6S07) and skirt the San Mateo Wilderness that is to the south. Head past Elsinore Peak, once at the Wildomar OHV trailhead it appears there is a fireroad that heads down towards the 15. My map ends at this point so I can't tell for sure if that would take you to Santa Rosa Plateau. You've peaked my interest in this area. Be sure to post your findings.

C
I'll be taking some picks and will have everything mapped out on GeoLadders and Google Earth. I'll definitely let you guys know how it goes.

As an FYI, I know that I won't be dropping into Santa Rosa Plateau this time unless I make an egregious navigation error as the SRP is well west of where I want to go on Saturday and would probably add a couple of hours of ride time. Since my wife already thinks I'm an idiot for doing what I'm doing by myself, I'd probably be pushing things a bit too far if I were to try to hit SRP.

After this ride however, I would like to do another one that does go the SRP when I can find a partner. Anyone interested in what will likely be a 60+ mile ride of pain?
:devil:
 

·
Over the Hill
Joined
·
1,769 Posts
I have looked at my USGS maps from 1997, which is probibly the lastest out there. The Main Divide, East of Ortega Highway is called Killen Road and is paved. From Ortega Highway to past Elisnore Peak it is way to steep to have a trail or road down. Past Elisnore Peak at the 180 degree switched back Main Divide/Killen Rd. turns to dirt and heads down the hill to Wildomar and Killen Road changes names to Wildomar Road and continues to the OTV Area.

Here is a screen shot form my Topo Program you may not be able to read it because I had to shrink and degrade it to post it. I can send you a better resolution image if you PM me your e-mail address.

PS, just because it is on the map does not mean that it is passable.

Dean
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
dstepper said:
I have looked at my USGS maps from 1997, which is probibly the lastest out there. The Main Divide, East of Ortega Highway is called Killen Road and is paved. From Ortega Highway to past Elisnore Peak it is way to steep to have a trail or road down. Past Elisnore Peak at the 180 degree switched back Main Divide/Killen Rd. turns to dirt and heads down the hill to Wildomar and Killen Road changes names to Wildomar Road and continues to the OTV Area.

Here is a screen shot form my Topo Program you may not be able to read it because I had to shrink and degrade it to post it. I can send you a better resolution image if you PM me your e-mail address.

PS, just because it is on the map does not mean that it is passable.

Dean
I've taken a pretty long, hard look at it on Google Earth on the highest resolution setting it has (it makes the program run really slow BTW) and it appears as though it's a fireroad that runs from Killen down into Wildomar which is where I'm planning on dropping in. I've printed out several satellite images of the area and have copied the GPS coordinates so, if I wind up significantly off course, I can navigate my way back.

Unfortunately, I think this is going to be much more of a "nothing" ride than I had originally hoped. Yes, it will be long, but the fact that Killen Trail a.k.a. South Main Divide (apparently there's some debate about that...the residents apparently been trying to change the name to SMD ever since Samantha Runnions body was found there back in 2002) is paved and the drop into Widomar is fireroad means it'll just be a long day in the saddle without a big "fun factor."

Who cares though, the fun of it will be in making the trek actually happen; something I've wanted to do for a couple of years now.
:thumbsup:
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top