Socal - San Bernardino County - Calico NickNames: #Calico
From most anywhere in SoCal, take Hwy 15 north to Barstow. About 7 miles past Barstow, exit at Ghost Town Rd and turn left toward the ghost town of Calico. There are many ride options and you can park just about anywhere. Anyone looking to practice their freeriding skills or desiring to experience mountain biking in Southern Utah without the long drive or the 3.2 beer should drive up to Calico and check it out. For a taste of what youíll find, log on to www.dehesa4x4.com/bkilby/hdr/hdr.html. This is some jeeperís website, but it has great photos of some of the technical trails. Any web search of 'Calico' and 'Jeep' should bring up more info on the area since itís a popular 4wheeling destination. The GPS coordinates refer to the Odessa Canyon ride described first below.
As far as I know, you can bike pretty much anywhere in Calico. There is a labyrinth of jeep trails connecting the many ridges and canyons. In addition, you are surrounded by Red Bull Rampage type terrain. Freeriders can practice their hucking skills on the numerous petrified sand formations. (Disclaimer: I donít know if itís legal to ride off trail. However, the quad riders and dirt bikers seem to ride anywhere they please.)
The following directions (poorly) describe how to reach the mini Amasa Back canyon described above. (From what I could tell from some websites, the proper name for this trail is Odessa Canyon.) A high clearance vehicle with 4W Low is recommended but not required. After you exit 15 and turn left on Ghost Town Rd, go about a mile or so and look for a large dry lake on the right hand side. As soon as you are able, turn right and drive across the table flat lake bed to the other side. (Look out for dirt bikers riding mindlessly in circles.) When you reach a paved road, cross it and continue until you reach a dirt road. (There is a way to reach this dirt road without crossing the lake. However, I donít know the route and it canít be as fun as cruising across the wide open dirt at 30+ mph.) Turn left on this road and wind back into the hills. Youíll probably pass some RVs camped off to the sides. When you have an option, stay to the left on the main road. Soon, youíll reach a few rollercoaster steep hills. After you go up and down a few times, youíll come to an intersection near some abandoned mines. Go straight until you reach a peak overlooking a deep canyon. This is Odessa Canyon. Turn right and drop down to the 'T' intersection. Start your ride here. The GPS coordinates at this point are N 34deg 58.081í, W 116deg 50.900í.
Turn left at the 'T' and start the downhill fun. There are about 7 technical drops through the canyon and each one seems more difficult than the last. You typically have a choice of 4 ft drop into sand on the right or ramp of human head sized jagged rocks on the left. After a few miles, youíll reach the end of the technical section as the narrow canyon opens up to a smoother dirt road. My friend and I took our time descending, trying different lines through the drops. At the bottom, we turned around and climbed back to the starting point. Climbing is challenging due to the loose rocks and sand. Also cleaning the steps is tough since traction is hard to come by. However, advanced riders should be successful on most of the steps. You can loop this trail or ride in from the bottom as well. But, I don't know exactly where the canyon road starts at the bottom.
There are many other technical rides in the area. From photos, Doran Canyon looks even more difficult than Odessa. However, I donít know where that is either. Nothing is signed in this place. Oh, by the way, look out for open mine shafts. Theyíre everywhere and you canít see the bottom of some.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 6 miles Elevation change: 1000 ft
SS a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Chumba Wumba Mamba from OC