Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Mcgideon
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

I booked a shuttle up Mt. Wilson with a few buddies for this weekend. What recommendations do you have for the best trail to take down? First time to Mt. Wilson. I am considering Sturtevant, Mt. Wilson trail, and Winter Creek. I’m sure all three have their merits, but which one is the best mix of flow and tech. Based on the info in Trailforks, I’m leaning towards Sturtevant, but there is not a lot of info I have been able to find on these trails from google searches.

Our shuttle leaves from Alta Dena.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Looking forward to an epic ride. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
The standard route for that shuttle is: Middle Sam Merril to Mt Lowe East to Sunset to Upper Horse to Lower Horse.

For easily accessible extra credit, I like to traverse over to El Prieto using lower sunset ridge and millard canyon.

The Darkside trails are a different beast entirely. Accessing those is a bit difficult right now because of the road closure due to the wash out. You can use this particular shuttle to kick start an epic day of riding... but you better be ready for it. There really isn't a way to drop into the dark side without signing up for 3,500-4k worth of a day.

The standard route I listed above will be tiring for all but advanced riders considering the total numbers involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Me thinks Mr Prime is slightly confused. The "standard" route that he described is considered the FRONTSIDE and you get dropped off at Eaton Saddle. After riding thru the tunnel, you can go to up and to your left across Mt Lowe (legitimize black trails) to Middle Merrill or down the road (boring, don't do it). The rest of his directions are correct. Definitely take El Prieto to finish.

The DARKSIDE is not the area that's blocked off due to the road closure. The Darkside is accessed up the same road as the Eaton Saddle drop and you'll be dropped off at the top of Mt Wilson. We took Sturtevant to the Zion Trail to Winter Creek and then jumped on the road at the Chantry parking lot and rode down into town to get picked up for the next shuttle. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BELL and be prepared for HUNDREDS of hikers on the lower portions of that ride. We even ran into some hikers way up on Sturtevant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,181 Posts
The standard route for that shuttle is: Middle Sam Merril to Mt Lowe East to Sunset to Upper Horse to Lower Horse.

For easily accessible extra credit, I like to traverse over to El Prieto using lower sunset ridge and millard canyon.

The Darkside trails are a different beast entirely. Accessing those is a bit difficult right now because of the road closure due to the wash out. You can use this particular shuttle to kick start an epic day of riding... but you better be ready for it. There really isn't a way to drop into the dark side without signing up for 3,500-4k worth of a day.

The standard route I listed above will be tiring for all but advanced riders considering the total numbers involved.
I've done a darkside shuttle with maybe around 1k elev. Are you saying Angeles Crest is closed? I'd imagine that'd be a problem with any shuttle if so...

OP- Darkside is great, but be prepared for a lack luster finish. Climbing out to Chantry from the best trails (IMO) is kick to the junk finish, and riding the road down is quite forgettable which is probably why most do standard front. If you park at JPL the ride back over would be something to consider (not doing). I'd park one shuttle car at Chantry or Sierra Madre, or book a darkside shuttle

Wilson Trail: Exposure galore. Not my favorite. Definitely some technical sections. Overall not flowy. With the rains this year there are probably some washed out sections. A brake burner, and not really in a good way. It's an adventure.

Wintercreek: Meh. It's probably fun but we do it as a climb to get to Sturtevant from Chantry. NOT and easy climb is worth mentioning.

Sturtevant: Fun mix of tech and flow. My preferred Wilson trail as opposed to the hoards that seem to love standard frontside.

There are are a few other trails like Rim that are lesser traveled and a bit of an adventure... but they'd require some research on your part.
 

·
GONE
Joined
·
27,014 Posts
Riding the darkside trails and popping out at Chantry Flats is best done on a week day. It's an absolute zoo with hikers on weekends, as others have stated. I would avoid riding that on weekends if you want to let'r rip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
I rode the front side back in March. Awesome ride! I screwed up though and didn't book my shuttle in advance enough because I had questions on the different options and couldn't get anyone to answer the phone. They ended up not running the day I had to do it so I ended up riding all they way to the top which was a bit brutal but totally worth it.

I rode Mt. Lowe East to Middle Sam Merrill, Pentew, Sunset Ridge, and then traversed over to El Prieto. I wish I would have ridden Echo Canyon out to the old hotel as that would have been cool to check out. Pentew got me side tracked though as I am sucker to a rowdy double black trail.

Yellow Green Text Red Colorfulness
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
I had imagined it being a bigger climb then that. I need to plan a ride up there soon.
It didn't occur to me that riding up it was even an option. I was just planning on checking out some of the lower trails and a local guy I met suggested that if I had the time to just ride all the way up. To the top of the Mt. Lowe East Trail on the fire road it was 11.7 miles and just over 3800 ft of elevation gain. That was starting at the Windsor Blvd Parking lot.
 

·
Mcgideon
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I rode the front side back in March. Awesome ride! I screwed up though and didn't book my shuttle in advance enough because I had questions on the different options and couldn't get anyone to answer the phone. They ended up not running the day I had to do it so I ended up riding all they way to the top which was a bit brutal but totally worth it.

I rode Mt. Lowe East to Middle Sam Merrill, Pentew, Sunset Ridge, and then traversed over to El Prieto. I wish I would have ridden Echo Canyon out to the old hotel as that would have been cool to check out. Pentew got me side tracked though as I am sucker to a rowdy double black trail.

View attachment 1248372
I have this trail on my list for next time I ride Mt. Wilson. A couple of the guys I'm going with wouldn't even consider it, when they saw this trail would have about 3700 feet of climbing involved. That's why I was looking primarily at the darkside trails, where you get the big 5000 feet of descent without much climbing. Saw a few YouTube videos and Mt. Lowe to Sam Merril, to El Prieto looks absolutely epic!

I'm hoping with us starting down the mountain at 7am, we won't see too many hikers....keeping my fingers crossed. I definitely wanted to do a weekday, it just didn't work out with everyone's schedules.
 

·
Mcgideon
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, I tip my hat to anyone that pedals up one of these trails instead of taking a shuttle...that is quite a ride! I did Romero Canyon earlier this year and that was a kick to the pants with only 2500 feet of climbing to get to the top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,181 Posts
Also, I tip my hat to anyone that pedals up one of these trails instead of taking a shuttle...that is quite a ride! I did Romero Canyon earlier this year and that was a kick to the pants with only 2500 feet of climbing to get to the top.
The frontside shuttle with traverses to Sunset and El P has about 1200' of climbing IIRC. Figured I'd mention as it sounds like you're under impression there's more climbing involved.
 

·
Mcgideon
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The frontside shuttle with traverses to Sunset and El P has about 1200' of climbing IIRC. Figured I'd mention as it sounds like you're under impression there's more climbing involved.
Ok cool, I was just going off of what Trailforks shows. Here's a pic of it, maybe Trailforks is recommending a weird route or is just off?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,181 Posts
I don't use trailforks but from looking at the elevation profile/elev climbing, something is clearly off. Perhaps someone here will provide a link to their frontside shuttle.
 
1 - 20 of 25 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