Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking about heading to Fort Bragg/Mendocino area for a couple days of riding next week. Is it worth it to go out of your way from the Bay area and which trails? Other alternative (further) is Tahoe. Thanks for any tips.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
Depends on what you're looking for. Lots of loam and redwoods. Cool weather. Beautiful.

More xc than enduro style riding but I always enjoy myself o er that direction.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Mendo is in good shape right now.

Mendo is in good shape right now. Temps should be in the 60's next week, good riding weather. No need to waste a day or more to aclimamatize. ;-). There is way more riding in Tahoe. My wife and I like both... It looks like temps in the mid 70's. to 80's in Tahoe.

It all depends on what you are looking for Mendo is a lot of XC and winding through the woods. The only issue with Mendo is that its hard to find your way around. Cal Fire won't let us put up signs on the trails. There are club rides on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday that you can hook up with to help get the lay of the land.

Mendo and Fort Bragg are much calmer than South Lake Tahoe. If you do come up its worth it to go to the Salmon Barbeque on the 6th. Get tickets in advance. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4227370. It goes for a good cause.

PM me if you need more specifics on trails up here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
The only issue with Mendo is that its hard to find your way around. Cal Fire won't let us put up signs on the trails. There are club rides on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday that you can hook up with to help get the lay of the land.

PM me if you need more specifics on trails up here.
This part is so true of the area. It's incredibly easy to get lost out there w/o local knowledge
 

·
singletrack bound
Joined
·
3,107 Posts
Great, so everyone who visits there from out of town ends up with a "getting lost" experience?
Several years ago my 3hr. planned loop turned into over a 7hr. adventure. After dark the wife called the bike shop telling them I was still out in the forest. They called Cal Fire and they said they were too busy with a drowning down on the beach to go looking for me. Lucky for me I popped out on a paved rd. about 12 mi. from where I thought I should be and made it back down to Hwy1 in the dark. Close call......I would have been banned for sure.
So yeah, I can vouch for that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Guidebook and map

Great, so everyone who visits there from out of town ends up with a "getting lost" experience?
Not everyone who rides here gets a visit by S&R. Many folks can use Trailforks.com to navigate. Although, signals can be sketchy with all those damn tall Redwoods. Trails are for the most part easier to find when using the Guidebook "Mountain Biking the Mendocino Coast and Beyond" as well as a map from Catch-A-Canoe. The book is sold there too. Books are sold at Gallery Bookstore, Out of This Worlds in Mendo and in Fort Bragg at the Outdoor Store. Don't go to FTB Cyclery as they will not carry the book.

Trails are not signed by JDSF as it would be extremely costly for them to do so. Our bike club has offered to expense signage, but JDSF only wants Carsonite signs which ay [email protected] is out of our budget. The trails in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park are well marked.

One thing is for sure; the trails are in great shape and not too populated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
To say that everyone who visits there "gets lost" is a gross exaggeration. Yes, the trails are not signed but they are well built and if you have decent navigation skills with a map or use Trailforks you can find them. You can buy a trail map at Catch a Canoe and Bicycles Too, then take photos of different sections where you will ride which you can then access on your phone. Roo's guidebook is also very helpful. It's really not that hard to ride there and you don't have to have a guide.

The riding up there is fantastic but is mostly XC type of riding which won't appeal to everyone.

Advantages over Tahoe: Shorter drive from the Bay Area and a more pleasant drive (less highway, less traffic). Far fewer trail users so it will sometimes feel like you have it all to yourself. The town itself is far smaller than Tahoe and doesn't turn into the zoo that Tahoe can in the summer. There are a few places you can stay (camp, AirBNB, VRBO, hotel) where you can ride only a short distance to get to trails. Otherwise, it's maybe a 10 min drive from town to get to trails. In Tahoe, trails are more spread around. Weather in the summer is almost always good - never too hot, no thunderstorms. Other recreation options are kayaking or canoeing the river, beach combing, hiking the bluffs outside town, etc.

Disadvantages: no shuttles, so if you hate to climb this isn't the place for you. Climbs in Mendo are not terrible at all, tho. Very little chunk if that is your thing. No epically long descents (5-10 min depending on ability).

If you've been to Tahoe before, then I'd say give Mendo a look. I don't know anyone who has been disappointed.

Great, so everyone who visits there from out of town ends up with a "getting lost" experience?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Primitive experience

Calfire doesn't want signs because they want a "wilderness" experience.....
You are actually pretty spot on here. Today, I got a chance to ride with the now retired JDSF manager (who has become one hell of a MTBer) and asked her why no signage. She said it was to preserve a "Primitive" feel to the forest. Signs seem to diminish this quality. I did want to ask her about the poor guy who died of a heart attack on Manley Gulch several years ago and S&R could not find him for an hour and a half. Some time it takes a disaster to put things right. A sign was finally posted at the top of Forest History with one also to Manly Gulch. I do hope in the future they reconsider more extensive signage.
 
G

·
^^^I believe Calfire are the ones who removed the original signage that was in place. I’ll dig up pics of the old signs...they were awesome :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Not everyone who rides here gets a visit by S&R. Many folks can use Trailforks.com to navigate. Although, signals can be sketchy with all those damn tall Redwoods. Trails are for the most part easier to find when using the Guidebook "Mountain Biking the Mendocino Coast and Beyond" as well as a map from Catch-A-Canoe. The book is sold there too. Books are sold at Gallery Bookstore, Out of This Worlds in Mendo and in Fort Bragg at the Outdoor Store. Don't go to FTB Cyclery as they will not carry the book.

Trails are not signed by JDSF as it would be extremely costly for them to do so. Our bike club has offered to expense signage, but JDSF only wants Carsonite signs which ay [email protected] is out of our budget. The trails in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park are well marked.

One thing is for sure; the trails are in great shape and not too populated.
I carried my copy of the guidebook religiously until I got to know the place. Download an offline copy of the google map, and the trailforks maps on your phone will get you around pretty good. It's true GPS can be spotty in the thick woods, but it's mostly serviceable , and it's less of a problem once you get to a fire road. ProTip: Paper maps never run out of battery.

JDSF has some of my favorite trails to ride, and I still love the place even though a sneaky log ripped my derailleur off last weekend and stuffed it in my spokes. ;-) The trails are great for high mileage all day adventures, or a short couple hour escape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Roo's guidebook is also very helpful. It's really not that hard to ride there and you don't have to have a guide.

Dave,

One of the advantages of the guidebook is; all the rides are still many of the locals favorite loops. Picking a ride loop just from Trailforks.com can be daunting. With the book riders can use TF.com to back them up. Maybe this helps take the guess work out of the first experiences of riding here.
 
1 - 20 of 34 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