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Sometime during this time of year, there is usually a few questions about which trails can ridden when after a rain. So I'm planning on putting together a list on my site of the best and worst trails to ride after what rains we do get here in the San Diego area.

Here is what I'm thinking of for a rating system.
1 - Could ride there in rain or the day after.
2-5 - Two to five days
6-7 - About a week
8-9 - More than a week upwards to three weeks
10 - Place is a wreak after a rain, can take more three weeks to dry out enough so riding on it will not trash it.


Here are the trails I'm looking at (Most on my site)
North County
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Calvera Lake - 5
Daley Ranch - 3
Elfin Forest - 3
Flightline - 4
Lake Hodges - Northside -7
Lake Hodges - Southside - 7
Nate Harrision Grade - 2 -
Santa Margarita River Trail - 2 - Mostly sandy trails that are best after a good rain packdown.
Tenaja Truck Trail - 2

Mission Trails - 4
Cowles and Pyles Peak -
Spring and Oak Canyon
Penasquitos Canyon - Most Trails - 5
Del Mar Mesa - 7 - Place gets some of that sticky clay that will freeze up your tires
Sweetwater - 10 - Probably the worst area in San Diego. Give it a freaking month.
Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch - North End - 4, South End - 8
TriCanyons Area (Rose, San Clemente, Tecolate)

East County
Anderson Truck Trail - 1 - Probably the best in area for after rain riding
Black Mountain in Ramona - 4
Cuyamacas
Lake Morena
Laguna Mountains/BLT - 6
Indian Creek - 3
Noble Canyon -3
Oriflamme Canyon -4


This would also be a good time to gather up some "rules" about San Diego riding after rains. Like:
- Give the trails it due time.
- Use your brakes wisely, Don't be a Skidiot!
- Ride through any puddles not around it. If you don't like getting dirty, get a road bike.
- Stream crossing - even a small fast moving stream can be very powerful and dangerous.

Your Thoughts?
 

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I've seen other rules that take into account the amount of rain. It can work for general areas but hard to do for mountains because of the dumping that occurs on the Western slopes, sometimes 3 inches when the foothills get a quarter-inch.

-- good start ..
 

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MTB Poser
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PQ Canyon should be chalked up with Sweetwater. The clay-based trails are nasty there after a moderate downpour let alone what happened this weekend. I am very sure the rangers there will agree with the 10 rating.

As far as Noble is concerned it maybe a 2 or 1 up there. The rain usually is soaked up nicely for great traction... it is prime right after a good rain.

my two cents
 

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You always have to be careful with these kinds of lists; some people take list as the gospel. I would recommend having a disclaimer at the top of the list, something like, Always use your best judgment, if a trail looks muddy stay of the trails and when in doubt, call the parks land manager for the current trail conditions and closures, link to San Diego land Managers http://www.sdmba.com/links.cfm or if you can’t get in touch with a land manager, email a SDMBA Liaison, link to SDMBA Liaisons http://www.sdmba.com/contact.cfm
 

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esoteric said:
PQ Canyon should be chalked up with Sweetwater. The clay-based trails are nasty there after a moderate downpour let alone what happened this weekend. I am very sure the rangers there will agree with the 10 rating.

As far as Noble is concerned it maybe a 2 or 1 up there. The rain usually is soaked up nicely for great traction... it is prime right after a good rain.

my two cents
I agree with esoteric, Penasquitos should be a 10

 

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"Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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for PQ at least

TCB said:
You always have to be careful with these kinds of lists; some people take list as the gospel. I would recommend having a disclaimer at the top of the list, something like, Always use your best judgment, if a trail looks muddy stay of the trails and when in doubt, call the parks land manager for the current trail conditions and closures, link to San Diego land Managers http://www.sdmba.com/links.cfm or if you can’t get in touch with a land manager, email a SDMBA Liaison, link to SDMBA Liaisons http://www.sdmba.com/contact.cfm
they keep the trailheads well marked with current status (open/closed) of the park. Not sure if other places do it though.

YR
 

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"Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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Black Mountain in PQ

mtbbill said:
Sometime during this time of year, there is usually a few questions about which trails can ridden when after a rain. So I'm planning on putting together a list on my site of the best and worst trails to ride after what rains we do get here in the San Diego area.

Here is what I'm thinking of for a rating system.
1 - Could ride there in rain or the day after.
2-5 - Two to five days
6-7 - About a week
8-9 - More than a week upwards to three weeks
10 - Place is a wreak after a rain, can take more three weeks to dry out enough so riding on it will not trash it.


Your Thoughts?
I'd rate it a 4. the main FR seems to shed the water reasonably well so worst case is youc an go up to the top and back down taking one of the ST diversions. Not sure how Miner's ridge would be after a rain though. my gut tells me it should be pretty good but I've never been out there close to a rain to tell.

YR
 

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Ride lots...
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I agree with the others. A disclaimer of some kind at the top would be a good idea.

I agree with your rating of most of the trails, with the exception of the Santa Margarita River Trail--that should be a 1 at most. My parents live on the trail and I ride it several times a week. With the amount of sand there and the drainage, it is almost in better shape immediately after a good rain than after several months without any.
 

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I <3 Dirt
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Cowles Mtn./Pyle's Peak - 1 - Rode there today after our big rains and the trail was in amazing shape with maybe 1 small section of mud a 100 yards from the trailhead. I've also ridden the trail in a downpour (not intentionally) and the trail was in excellent shape.
 

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Team BikeWood
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Nice idea for a post Bill. I'd agree with most of those. The only one that stands out to me is Daley Ranch. I'd move it to a 1 or 2. I rode there today (Sun 3/12 p.m.) and the trail conditions were perfect even after the rain we had on Fri and Sat. Soil was slightly tacky with only a couple small puddles. By the way, thanks for all the great work you do with your website. I personally think it's the best reference for trails in our area.
 

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notabouttoseeyourlight
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Oh dear lord! I rode Calaveras a day after a hard rain several months ago and it was miserable. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't mud but the excrement of the devil himself... That's the most slippery, stick to every part of your bike, heinous mud I've ever seen...
 

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coma13 said:
Oh dear lord! I rode Calaveras a day after a hard rain several months ago and it was miserable. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't mud but the excrement of the devil himself... That's the most slippery, stick to every part of your bike, heinous mud I've ever seen...

Flightline is even worse, I try to ride there yesterday and my wheels and drivetrain would just pack with clunks of wet clay. Give it at least two week to dry out.
 

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Cool idea about a rating system. A couple things to consider . . .

  • It's hard to set a hard date 'after the rain' because 'rain' could mean a drizzle or downpour. Might be better to make the ratings relative to each other and not to a number of days. Like 1 does best, 10 does worst - no days involved.
  • Some spots on a trail may do well after rain and some spots may not do so well.
 

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Its only 1" on the map!
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LBmtb said:
Cool idea about a rating system. A couple things to consider . . .

  • It's hard to set a hard date 'after the rain' because 'rain' could mean a drizzle or downpour. Might be better to make the ratings relative to each other and not to a number of days. Like 1 does best, 10 does worst - no days involved.
  • Some spots on a trail may do well after rain and some spots may not do so well.
I think I'll state that the ratings is based on a "good" rain. If I base it off of our seasonal prolonged rains then people will most likely think, "Hey it only rained for a couple of days I should be good to go at....." I rather over estimate the drying time thatn underestimate it.

The ratings will be relative to one another so hopefully people with some after-rain knowledge ffor thier "local" ride, so they can have an idea on how the other trails correspond.
 

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Really good idea to go along with a really good website. Now if we can only get it for all of SoCal.
I'm not asking you Bill, just thought we may be able to get it done up this way too.
 

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REIGN 2 said:
I rode Flightline today and the trails are in great condition. No puddles and good traction.
Thanks, now I'll have to carry a big can of kook repellent.:(

Glad there is some rain forcasted for the weekend.
 

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If you have to ask...
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scottay said:
Ride thru the puddles? Wont that just cup the trail more and make it puddle worse the next time?


.

Maybe, but that is far better than widening the trail. Run straight down the middle, and you will usually find the best traction, also.


miles
 
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