Horse Canyon Trail - Trail, Kirkwood, California

Horse Canyon Trail - Trail, Kirkwood, California

DESCRIPTION

Technical ascent/descent, trail connects to several different ones, and can make much bigger loops(20mi) This trail is a hard one that starts out at 7000ft and ends up past 9000. Depending on how hard you ride you will get very tired quickly at this altitude. There are several sections that require walking...unless you posess well above average skills. The trail is fun, and frustrating at times(once I fell in a thorn bush, had fun picking them out of my ass and my tires) but the views are worth it and when you get to the top it is a fun 5 mile technical downhill ride(my fav part). ATVs use the lower parts of the trail, there can be horses and hikers too, but just get a cattle gaurd for the bike when you are doing the DH section and you will be fine(truthfully there is usually no one up there)

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Oct 05, 2006]
Mark Pavlovich
Cross Country Rider

Horse Canyon to Thunder Mountain - High Point of Amador County - Rode out and back, 14+ miles and 2200 feet plus of vertical (one way), 9/30/06, trail in great shape, some technical sections but if you think like Hans you can pull many of the sections, only walked one short section on the way down, fun jumps, incredible fall colors, awsome views from the top, amazing volcanic rock formations. Ran into hunters, horseback riders, motorcycles and hikers on the lower 3 miles of the trail were it branches up to Thunder Mountain (no motorcycles), all were stoked to be out there. Saw 2 nice bucks near the back of Lift #6-Kirkwood. Recommend this trail to all levels

Customer Service

Once you near the top take the Thunder Mountain Loop clockwise, did it both ways and going clockwise better up and down.

Similar Products Used:

Moto heads told me great trail all the way to wilderness and Bear Camp, 20+ miles.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 31, 2005]
0gre
Cross Country Rider

This is an incredible ride. I rate the the Horse Canyon downhill right up there with Mr. Toad's Wild ride. the technical riding at Toad's is a bit tougher but the section of technical riding actually seems longer to me. The route we took took us up to Squaw Ridge then along the ridge which curves around the valley with Silver Lake. For much of the ride you can see the route you've been on. The views from the top of the Wilderness Area and Silver Lake are incredible.

Customer Service

Someone passed on a ride description from a book which suggested we park at Tragedy Springs and climb up to Squaw Ridge on the jeep roads. Then ride up highway 88 after the end of the ride. This didn't sound very appealing because neither of us wanted to spend the last 45 minutes of our ride climbing up highway 88 with traffic zipping by. Instead We parked at Oyster Creek Rest Stop. Rode a short bit on 88 and turned onto Kit Carson road and took the single track past Granite Lake and up to Allen Ranch... probably the most difficult way to get there but it was a blast. The Singletrack is a challenging climb but if your kung foo is strong you can handle it. We did wind up hiking up a few very short spots on the single track and several longer spots on Squaw Ridge Trail. YMMV!

Similar Products Used:

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Tahoe Rime Trail

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 06, 2003]
dj
Cross Country Rider

WARNING: get ready to cyclocross for 100's of yard at a time - even with solid technical skills! OHVs have shredded much of the ridge leading to the lovely [thou just not long enough to be worth it] downhill if you do the full loop around Silver Lake!!!!!

Customer Service

do the Thunder Mtn [watch for hikers, etc] up and Horse Cyn down loop. Much of this is rideable, and you get most of the best downhilling in. Take it easy with the brakes, this route is already getting rutted from careless riders. DO NOT ride up from Silver Lk via Granite Lk to try and complete the longer loop, this is serious bike portage terrain! If you are dying to be out for hours and hours, either ride west on 88 up to the 4wd road on the rim around Silver, or try riding up the single track from the back end of Silver Lk [beware: motocross riders come Down this trail, how could this be legal?!]

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jul 21, 2003]
jonny
Cross Country Rider

This is a fun trail with great alpine scenery and technical rock-hopping. The initial climb to squaw ridge is on double-track, shared with ATV's, but still enjoyable and in good condition. Once reaching the ridge and turning east, the ride becomes much more technical and the number of ATV's drops off. There are a few bike pushing sections due to sand and steepness, but very short. Once reaching the horse canyon trail and dropping down the singletrack the trail becomes very challenging, with lots of boulders and drop-offs. The alpine flowers in July were fantastic as you pass through meadows beneath the ski-lift at Kirkwood. Towards Silver lake the trail smooths out and becomes much faster.

Customer Service

I started at Oyster creek picnic area, climed west up the hwy to Mud Lake road, then climbed the doubletrack past Allens camp. Turn left (east) along the ridge for a few miles until reaching the Horse Canyon trail on your left. Climbing on the trail around the backside of Silver lake may be a nicer option.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 08, 1999]
Anonymous

This 20+ mile loop is one of the most technical and fun rides I've ever done... If you do not have a strong bike and strong technical skills you will be walking about 30% of this ride. Be prepared to drop off 1-2 foot ledges for miles... and be prepared to ride up broken granite blocks. The views are epic, bring some food, and enough water for a 5-8 hr adventure.

Customer Service

Park at Oyster creek rest area. Ride around the back side of silver lake and then up a seriously technical single track to the top of the Ridge road (mormon trail). Follow the jeep rd north till you get to Horse canyon trail. Bomb down the Super technical single track back to the car...

Similar Products Used:

Mr toads

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 12, 2000]
Anonymous

Lung busting ball busting ride. Walk alot on loose rocks and gravel. We went counter clockwise, I recommend clockwise. Great views of the backside of kirkwood and the Mokelumne Wilderness. 220 mi. ride 4 hours of riding. Bring food & water as there is none.
For a detailed map refer to South Lake Tahoe Basin map, Fine Edge Productions.

Customer Service

park @ the trail head of Horse canyon & ride east up the canyon to Emigrant trail to Allens Camp then down the single track towards Silver Lake.

Similar Products Used:

Kirkwood & Tahoe Rim trail

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 17, 2001]
Anonymous

I've been waiting years to do this ride and finally did this solo in July. I went counterclockwise, starting at Oyster Point CC, which gives you an easy downhill on the road back to the car. This ride is has killer views and great singletrack. I have ridden Moab a few times and this ride is up there with Porcupine Rim and Amasa Back/Hurra Pass. I'm surprised it is not more popular, being so close to Tahoe and the Bay Area. Avoid all the posers on the Flume Trail and Mr. Toads and drive over to Kirkwood. (Horse Canyon is on the back side of KW, the Kirkwood MTB park is also an excellent place to ride - you can ride up easily and avoid the ticket price and slow lift). If you go alone, make sure to bring 4 or 5 hours of tunes.


Customer Service

Horse Canyon

Similar Products Used:

Kirkwood MTB park

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  
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