- Monday, May 27, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • San Gabriel Bike Trail - #SanGabrielBikeTrail

    Socal - Los Angeles County - Irwindale NickNames: #SanGabrielBikeTrail santa fe dam, san gabriel river

    Exit the 210 Freeway at Irwindale Ave; go north (Irwindale will end at a rock quarry...Foothill Blvd); go west (left) on Foothill approximately 1/4 mile to the entrance; the entrance is on the north side indicated by a brown and yellow sign. Coming from the east it's easy to drive right past, so keep an eye out. There's no cost to park/ride -- but make sure you check the hours...from experience, "they" will ticket you if you're not out by the posted closing time. Follow the paved road to the parking area -- don't park in the dirt area near the entrance (it's marked "authorized vehicles only")....the park patrol/police will confront and/or ticket you..
    Trailhead2: Take the I-210 Fwy to Azusa Ave (Hwy 39) and drive north for about 2 miles past Sierra Madre. Continue for about 1/2 mile, and just before you arrive at the USFS information booth, turn right on Azusa and San Gabriel Canyon Road. Park here, free and pretty safe in this residential area.
    Now unload you bikes, and ride west across Hwy 39. You will see the paved San Gabriel River Bike Trailhead (this will go all the way to Seal Beach 47 miles away) but you do not get on it. Instead, you want the dirt trail that runs parallel, and on the east side of the paved trail. Find the chain link fenced area on your left, a small dirt field with some large rocks that serve as a barrier. keep the fence on your left, and ride west through the field. You will see the dirt trailhead ahead, about 100 feet west of Hwy 39. Get on it.
    Thomas Guide page 568 E5

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    • Trail UpdateTrailhead2: Not Good-trailhead2: it must have not been used for a long time, i tried it last weekend, while the entrace looked fine; branches in the middle sticking out so far that i was all scratched up by the time i got out


    • Trail UpdateSan Gabriel River Trail-Took a ride on Sunday with the wife. She stayed on the bike path while I took the singletrack. The trail is fairly flat but the brushes on both sides of the trail has made it very narrow in many places and made it challenging. The bike path has many riders but the trail was almost deserted. I think most people don't even know that there is a trail next to the path. It was overall a good ride for the little riding time we had available.
      It was not a long ride (abount 2 miles), but the path allowed easy strolls while the singletrack offered places to sharpen your MTB skills. Something for whole family.
      Ride rating: Novice
      JW a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Scott hardtail


    • Trail UpdateSan Gabriel River-Rode here Sunday and few weeks back. On the previous trip there were flowers blooming everywhere...Last trip things were back to being scrubby again...

      If you park at the parking lot off of Foothill, then you can take the singletrack up towards the top of the trail...To enter from the bottom, park at the Foothill parking lot, actually ride back out towards Foothill on the driveway you took to get from Foothill...A hundered feet or so look to left and see a dirt turnoff that heads towards the railroad tracks...Follow it through some tight brush and you will be on your way...Kind of fun...Good for beginners to learn handling since it actually has some teeny tiny hills, teeny tiny descents (coming back down), some real ruts, short streches of boulder fields, the occasional big boulder for no reason, and general uneveness...Nothing scary - sort of a light sampler plate of what mtn biking could offer on a large scale should you decide to accept your mission...Really.

      I am a novice rider and everytime I ride something more challenging, I come here to muck around and remember how lame I felt riding here back when I had barely started riding at all...Ha ha ha!
      Thunnus a 32 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Gary Fisher from San Gabriel


    • Trail UpdateSanta Fe Dam Loop-I rode this trail today from the northern trailhead near the USFS booth. Since this ride is virtually flat, it's a great place for newbies to learn how to ride dirt; veteran "mountain" bikers who enjoy climbing and descending might get bored. If your looking for a true wilderness experience, go elsewhere. But, I did see a lot of lizards and a hare. It's a good idea to take note of the amount of water flowing down the river. If the riverbed is almost dry, you can safely loop this ride back on the west bank of the river. If there is a significant volume of water, it's safe just to stay on the east bank (paved bike path side, but that doesn't mean you have to use the paved bike path). North of the 210, the singletrack running parellel to the paved bike path is partially obstructed with vegetation. It's rideable and fun but plan on getting your shins whacked by plants. The open area east of the bike path just south of the 210 is a great place to just goof around. Continue southeast through the dirt trails and end up at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. Good place to use the restroom. Ride up the dam from its east flank and proceed west towards the 605. You'll end up on the west bank of the river. Continue north along the 605 IF the river was almost dry. IF a lot of water was moving down the river, go back the same way you came. I continued north and crossed the riverbed under the Foothill overpass; this might be stupid if the river is more than ankle high. Today, it was less than ankle high and only 20 ft. wide.
      Ride rating: Beginner
      Ride distance: 13 miles Elevation change: almost none
      Ghetto Ridah a 25 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a K2 3000 from Glendale, CA URL: Mountain Bike Review


    • Trail UpdateSanta Fe Dam Loop-This is an area I thought I knew pretty well, until I bumped into a rider who showed me how to loop it. This is a fairly easy trail, not much climbing, but it has some interesting sights, and can be 15-20 miles or so. I usually don't see many other riders for most of the ride.
      Start riding south on the dirt trail keeping pretty close to the chain link fence which should be on your left. You can rip along here pretty good, but watch out for the occasional person walking their dog. You'll see rabbits and lizards darting around the bushes. Wildflowers bloom in the Spring. The trail leads up to the paved bike path as you pass the old railroad bridge. This bridge, built in 1939 for the old Pacific Electric Line, overlooks the riverbed, which is a wetlands habitat for ducks, loons, and other waterfowl. Then it's back in the dirt for another mile or so. Watch out for ruts. The trail turns into the driveway to the Lario bike trail parking lot. you'll find a restroom, and drinking fountain here.
      You now get on the paved bike path again and head sound, under Foothill Blvd and the I-210. You'll see a waterfall on your right which is pretty spectacular with a lot of spray sometimes, and sometimes it is dry.
      Remember this spot, because you come back on the west side of the river here, on the way back.
      Now follow the paved path for about 1/4 mile, and turn left into a field that has some twisty singletrack
      through the sage with some dips and jumps. Go around two or three times just for fun, and floor it! Now go
      either up the small hill on the singletrack, or go around it to your left. Either way, you'll end up on a fireroad that leads to the Santa Fe Dam area. If the water level is low, you can ride through the park on pavement trails near the lakes, curving around clockwise inside the dam. If the lower end of the dam is swampy, ride up on top of the dam for a couple of miles of flat pavement riding. You'll have a good view of Irwindale to the south, and you'll enjoy 605 freeway traffic to the west. Looking north, you have a good view of Azusa and the Sante Fe Dam park area.
      Keep riding on top of the dam as it curves around clockwise. It will end near a heliport. sometimes in the late afternoon, you can see a helicopter doing touch and go's.
      Now you head north on the fireroads in the spreading grounds area. It doesn't matter which one, as long as you generally go north. On your left, you can see the underside of the 605 fwy/I-210 transition road. Just past that to the west, is a fireroad leading to a model airplane landing strip. You can take a little sidetrip here to explore that.
      As you come to some railroad tracks, stay south of them and head east, to where the I-210 crosses the San Gabriel Riverbed. If the river is fairly dry, you can ride around some concrete barriers, and get on the trail on the west bank. If the river is full, the chain link fence has a hole it it you can go through, last time I was there. You end up at the same place.
      Now you ride north on the west bank trail back to the Foothill Blvd overpass. Go under the overpass, and you should see a singletrack in the riverbed that is flat and speedy. Take this trail to the railroad bridge.
      Cross the RR bridge to the east side fo the river, and either take the paved bike trail, or the dirt trail you went south on originally back to you vehicle. That's pretty good for an urban ride, isn't it?
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
      MTBIKEDOUG a 48 year old Weekend Warrior riding a GT ZASKAR from Pomona, CA


    • Trail UpdateYou'll find restrooms and a drinking fountain right next to the parking lot. You can ride north or south on the paved bike trail unitll you see some trials. Going north: about 1/2 mile up you can ride a bridge over the river to the west (left) or take the trail on the right. If you take the bridge, you'll see a single track running along the river. It's a loop of about 8 miles -- easy, but fun. Going south: about 3/4 of a mile down you'll see some trails to your left. There's plenty of little trails/single track in the area. It would be extremely difficult to direct you to each one....just go out and explore (probably one of the best things about this area is finding a new route/trail). There's one small rocky "hill" but the rest of the area is virtually flat -- although going north is slightly uphill. It's a good place to do some spinning/training or to expose a new rider to this awesome sport. I've ridden this area many times and seldom have to alter my riding due to others on the trails. Most of the folks stay on the paved bike path. Mid-week it's almost empty. For safety's sake stay away from the river when it's flowing fast/heavy -- it's very deceptive. If you go far enough south you'll find yourself at the Santa Fe Dam Rec area (fishing, swimming and paddle boats).
      Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
      Jimbeau a Cross-Country Rider riding a RTS from California


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