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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
X-post from http://gctrails.blogspot.com/

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Today, BigBoulder and I embarked on an epic ride on Western States and others trails at the Foresthill OHV area east of Foresthill. We started at the China Wall OHV staging area and banged out a ride that was just under 6 hours (~5 hours of ride time on the Polar!). The ride featured two incredible descents into El Dorado Canyon (Trail 5 and Western States Trail). I can't really describe how fun and spectacular these drops were, especially the WST descent. Endless, narrow, technical challenging singletrack that offered stunning views of the American River watershed.

So why in the world don't more mountain bikers flock to these great trails? Well, once you get to the bottom of each descent, you have to complete a death march/hike a bike out. The climbs involved at least 45 minutes of walking each. Think Halls Ranch, but much steeper. Times two. Yeah... ouch. Steve and I decided to have a good attitude about this and enjoy the scenery and the workout. But it was a long trek up each climb.

The OHV trails we hit were really fun and challenging, very much like Burlington Ridge but faster and a bit more technical. We saw a few motos, two equestrians and zero other mountain bikers. I should also note that this ride would never be accessible in the middle of a typical January, but there is very little snow throughout the Sierra this winter thus far. We did encounter some ice, but very little snow.
 

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Many years ago while spending the weekend at the Motorcycle park, I spent one day exploring the WST on my mountain bike. Your description brought back exactly my recollections of what it was like, I seem to remember a fair amount of Hike-a-bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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bikerkk said:
so is WST open to bikes in that area?
Sure, WST is open to bikes from Granite Chief Wilderness all the way to Foresthill. It is just that is is sooooo steep that it isn't always bike friendly. This is a very old trail that was designed for horses and such.
 

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Well unless you're Sean Allen

then you just turn it into an afternoon ride starting from your house...nut job. ;)
 

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Yup

Roger___ said:
then you just turn it into an afternoon ride starting from your house...nut job. ;)
nut job....but thanx to Sean for helping me put together this route which IMO is an improved version of the El Dorado Canyon ride as described in Northern California Top 100 MTB Trails that was published back in the 80's. That route was described as a loop (18 miles on pavement) or Shuttle with a lot of riding on Deadwood Road.

Our route from China Wall was Trail 5 to the 6 loop in the counter clockwise direction. These are "double black diamond" motorcycle trails with warning signs "advanced riders only" ...it was just right for MTB. Trail 6 out to Codfish Pt. is extremely cool although some great sections were blocked be recently fallen trees. The 1st drop to Eldorado Creek is so steep, fun and fast...some of the best downhill ST I have ever been on....but, it comes with a huge price tag...I was able to ride about 100 feet the 1 mile + 1500ft? climb up to Deadwood (the name of this old ghost town site perfectly describes the way my legs felt when I arrived there). I think John....with his gears was able to ride about 200ft of it. We headed up Deadwood Rd which is composed of enough sandy material to cancel out any rolling speed so even though it is a very slight grade...it was a lot of work to cover about 3 miles up to the intersection with 6. More fun stuff on 6 looping back to the Cemetery....which has an outstanding view....then down the WS which John's glowing description can hardly do justice...I'll try...."downhill single track nirvana".

Of course....there is The Rub....now it's time to climb back out of Eldo canyon again...2000ft. We opted to ride / push up the WS instead of the road. Towards the top there are some good ridable sections....this is where John...and his gears left me behind....but I gave my best effort and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

This ride is very fun but it's all about your attitude going into it.

The only thing that sucked was waking up at 3am to find a tic had burrowed into my belly button....little focker!

OBTW.....Happy Birthday John! you are unofficialy 2 years older than me...but just for today.
 
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