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sftrydr
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I've been there, it's a great spot. I never had a mountain bike, but it's always a stop over either coming or going to So Cal. Cute little cabins, nice individual style tubs, so you don't have to soak in someone else's bath water. I remember following some trail double track out behind the cabins, It is a strange eco-system, no trees, just miles of barren hills, must have been overgrazed. definitely worth it.
 

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middle ring single track
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Calling Sorcerer...

Anyone been?

Being closely situated to BLM land (only 3 miles away) provides some of the best mountain bike trails around California. The San Luis Reservoir is only a 7 mile ride and is a beautiful picnic spot as well!
I know Sorcerer and Ms Sorcerer have been there lately (Knobs also if I remember correctly) so they should be able to give full report when they see this.

I haven't done the hot springs proper but have thoroughly traipsed the neighborhood eons ago. Yes BLM land (Panoche) right across the street, very barren (think sheep grazing) Not too far from Tumey Hills (even more barren), New Idria, Clear Creek and beyond.

No effin' way San Luis Reservoir is a 7 mile ride; 20 miles as a crow flies and about 40 by road. Little Panoche Reservoir is about 7 paved miles away maybe there's a parallel dirt road to it? Little Panoche Reservoir a nice picnic spot???---not how I remember it:confused:
 

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Custom User Title
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Been in Panoche Hills in January (Get Lost!! Running, Racing) for an 8 hour orienteering run. Going through all the drainages and little trails - all perfectly legal to ride - it was on the steep and loose side, but perfectly ridable if in mostly downhill direction. Was a bit loose to climb.

I thought it would be a nice place to design an off road bike race - with fireroads to climb, and going back downhill off trail. I am thinking on organizing a "community" (no fee, no responsibility, just a sequence of checkpoints to visit) adventure race there. Will probably go for a scouting trip later in this month. (Time to go is probably now, and in late autumn)
 

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A friend/colleague has been going out there for years for the tubs and stargazing and likes it quite a bit.

I've never been.

I prefer my hot spring fulfillment happening in the eastern Sierras and high dessert.
 

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Car camped there back in the fall. The springs only allow nudity in a very limited area, behind a fence. Management is strict. Had my MTB with me, but used it only a little. The Panoche Hills BLM land, very close by, had lotsa folks target shooting, so I stuck close to the vehicle. Clear Creek, above New Idria, had lotsa dusty motorcycles (officially closed, but this entrance is widely used and not patrolled) . Mercey Hot Springs and New Idria ? 25 miles from a phone signal! | AlphaRoaming
 

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DSCN0758.jpg
Clear Creek is good on a mountain bike and outstanding on motorcycle. Unfortunately it is patrolled and as of last week many of the gates are locked (not hard to get around on 2 wheels). There's miles of smooth single track and it's very rare to see anyone out especially on the weekdays but it's illegal to be there and I know several who have been cited ($170 fine and mandatory court appearance for one guy). The stated reason for the closure is naturally occurring asbestos so it's good to be the fastest rider if you go with someone else.
 

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Medium?
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I know a great DH run on fireroad in Panoche that could then be shuttled back. It could make a good grass-roots Dh race. The whole place closes to anything other than hiking around now until the first rains.
 

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We built a pretty sick shuttle DH course about 20 miles south of Los Banos off 5...I'll try to locate a video. Problem with the course is that it ****ing far, it's super desolate so if you get hurt..., it's only open a few months out of the year, and the dirt has asbestos in it.

Other than that, it's pretty rad.
 

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Snowjnky McDreamy
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going down there this weekend ...might have to bring my bike :)
 

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Snowjnky McDreamy
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this weekend you are gonna need to watch out for these yahoos over anything ECVmtbr.jpg ecv1850.jpg
 

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Have fun, but watch out for these guys.
I talked to one of the New Idria "locals" who does alot of motorcycling in the "closed" asbestos area. He laughs because the same Rangers have been patrolling the area for 20 years, every day, and are still alive... #DontDoAsIDoDoAsISay
 

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BLM land a little south of Mercey. I've camped out there, and it still looks like it would be a blast to ride even without hitting all those boosters if you have a 6" bike.

 

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loopy counter
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The hot springs is nice. Worth an overnighter.
Panoche Hills, um, bring your high caliber weapon. And I don't mean downhill bike. There are signs essentially saying "Pick up your shells" and it must be optional since it is hard to tell which shells are actually yours. Joking aside, it's just a so-so place to ride.

Tumey Hills is a trip though. That video gives a good idea of the terrain, vegetation, and wildlife. (E.g. Rolling, none or limited grasses, and cows.) I actually like the riding here, featuring steep rolling fireroad and one amazing unmarked descent. The soil has an interesting story too, which makes for some curious features. You can read online about it. The pictures below are from Tumey Hills:









 
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