I love Fall around here. The only problem is that by this time of the year, I start to get bored of all of the normal riding, so have to go exploring paths less travelled. Here are a few good ones from the last couple of weeks:
- Explored a maze of dirt roads through Little Basin on my way up to the Eagle Rock lookout.
I never would have found this except for the trail of breadcrumbs left on Ray Hosler's blog. The yellow gate is the key way in, the grades are periodically steep (> 20%, with loose traction on leaves!), and there was one brief unrideable section by an old landslide. I derive great delight from finding these bits that aren't on any of my maps :)
- Dragged Nim out on a hike on the Ipiwa trail at Skyline Ridge. This is a lovely trail that I don't find myself on very often as it doesn't allow bikes. (Bikes diverted onto a nasty steep fireroad instead; I hate this.)
- Finally got around to poking around Morrill and Wright's Station Roads. These allow a delightful out-and-back bonus climb off of Summit Road in the same general vicinity as many other roads that we like. And there is a little bit of dirt to enjoy before the final gate barring you from water district land.
(Back side of Mt. Umunhum; the road I just mentioned drops into the hole between these ridges.)
- Accidentally turned a 6 mile hike into an 11 mile hike due to the fact that a new trail presented itself. I was just planning on doing a reasonable loop at Rancho San Antonio, but there's always been a spot at the top of that loop that looked like there might be a use trail leading through the chaparral up the ridge in the general direction of Black Mountain. Previous investigation of maps made it look like a potentially nasty steep bushwhack through private property, so I've always been able to resist -- but this time there was clearly a lot of recent trail work and an official sign. I couldn't resist.
Views from the trail. I did start at roughly the lowest elevation pictured, and continued up several hundred feet more from where I had the camera out.