- Thursday, May 23, 2024

Southern California Trails

  • Devil's Punchbowl County Park - #Devil'sPunchbowlCountyPark

    Socal - Los Angeles County - Pearblossom NickNames: #Devil'sPunchbowlCountyPark

    From the Antelope Valley Fwy (CA-14) at the Pearblossom Hwy (CA-138) exit, go east on CA-138 to the small town of Pearblossom. Go right on Longview Drive (at Chevron station) and continue south, following signs to Devil's Punchbowl County Park. At the park, pay $3.00 parking fee. Thomas Guide page 4470

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    • Trail UpdateNo Longer Goes Thru-This is a great trail when you take it all the way to south fork or farther but you can no longer ride your bike thru to south fork. The government seems to think that the Mt. bikers that have been maintaining this trail for many years are no longer worthy to use it.
      GOGOwest a 53 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a santa cruz tallboy from Juniper Hills, Ca.


    • Trail UpdateI attmepted to ride Burkhart trial yesteday. There are parts that are ridable, but for the most part you will be hiking through the snow. Not a real enjoyable ride, plus its and up and back. I tend to look for more rides that have loops, or another way down then what i just rode up. I might attempt this trail in the summer since it offers alot of shaded areas. Awesome scenery though!
      mtb geek a 31 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 2008 giant trance x2 from Highland Park/Eagle Rock


    • Trail UpdateRidden 09/16-Burkhart is rideable all of the way to the top, with the exception of two separate oak trees across the trail a couple hundred yards apart about a mile fro the top. An employee of the LA Parks Dept advised me that they would be working on that in the near future and also that the trail towards the chair has been "repaired", though I thought it was quite rideable when riding there a few months ago.
      Notorious MTB a 42 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a rigid 34x17 singlespeed from OC


    • Trail UpdateBurkhart To The Snow...-Beekeeper and I did late afternoon exploratory ride from the Punchbowl up the Burkhart trail toward Buckhorn. The initial part of the trail is like the Punchbowl trail out toward Devils Chair but a little wider. After some fun switchbacks and a river crossing the climbing really begins. This is one steep, mofo of a trail! We're both good climbers but we were in our small rings the whole way up and had to stop for the occasional break. The trail is exposed and very loose and rocky in places with many scree crossings. After a short while the views over the desert were amazing and I felt like I was really up there. As we grinded above 5500' we started hitting unrideable patches of snow on the trail. We were above the snow line purched above the high end of an icy canyon listening to rushing snowmelt in the river below. At 6200' the trail dissapeared under the snow a couple miles from the saddle and we had to turn back. After what seemed like hours (just over 1) we had only climbed about 3 miles and 2000'. At least we had a long descent to look foward to.

      The downhill was much sketchier than we thought it would be. The loose screefields with fairly large rocks pushed our bikes all over the narrow trail and threatened to throw us hundreds of feet down the steep canyon wall. It wasn't a 'weeee!' ride, rather an 'o s#!t... phew!' kind of ride. Toward the bottom the exposure suddenly dissapeared and the trail gets grippy so the Beekeeper appeared to turn on the after burners and take off in front of me.

      The rest of the trail back to Punchbowl is really fun. Climbing the loose switchbacks was easier than we throught when we rode down them earlier. The rest of the way is mostly twisty downhill with a couple of short big ring, super fast sections thrown in. Since we didn't make it more than 3 miles up the big climb and drove out all that way, we contiuned out toward Devils Chair.

      The singletrack is in awesome shape, albeit more narrow in places and with more stream crossings. The out n back was an awesome way to watch the rocks change colors as the sun set. Our legs were absolutely spent but we couldn't help but hammer and speed along the narrow, exposed, twisty, perfect trail.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Endo Verendo a 37 year old riding a Turner Flux from The Valley


    • Trail UpdateA Bit Loose.-We did an out n back from the visitors center to
      South Fork. The Punchbowl trail could use some
      trailwork. Climbing Burkhart is a bit of a pain due
      to sand. Once you're on Punchbowl it's fairly easy
      going with a few a-bit-too-exposed washed out
      sections. The drop down to the Devils Chair trail is
      sandy but still fun. Past the Chair the trail is just
      falling apart with huge gaps between the metal
      retaining walls and what's left of the trail. I
      remember this section as a fun techy and rocky
      drop and very cleanable. Now it's just too loose
      and exposed. Surpisingly enough it was easier to
      climb back up then going down. Across the creek
      the switchbacks are a bit too loose and steep to
      climb yet not too bad going back dh. After the
      switches the trail has some more very exposed
      dismounts before a nice descent down to South
      Fork. The 'amphitheater' past the campground
      has some nice walls for novice hucking, (3' !).
      Most of what's needed is just a bit of rain and
      some trail reinforcement in a few places. Even
      though the conditions could have been better the
      ride was still beautiful and the challenges were
      rewarding, in a sick kinda way.
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Endo Verendo riding a Nother Turner from The Valley


    • Trail UpdateDevils Punchbowl-The drive itself to the park is very relaxing. Well paved roads with no traffic leading to the pine covered hillsides. Got to the parking lot at around 8am. There were a few cars in the lot with bike racks. Head up the Burkhart trail which is right next to the parking lot. The climb up isn't that steep but it is a couple miles long. The visitor's center opens around 830 or 9 am and the guy manning the booth inside was very helpful. He provided me with a photocopy of the trails in the area and even highlighted several different routes.

      It's an out and back ride to the Devil's chair. The trail is good for hiking but I didn't really enjoy it for biking. You're mostly on exposed hillside just a couple feet from skidding yourself down the hill. The trail is very loose in some parts. The views are great. I stopped and took them in many times. I'll have to try to get to the Burkhart saddle next time.

      One other thing. Bring bug juice. In the shaded areas, the mosquitoes are waiting to feast and buzz in your face the whole time you're riding through shaded areas.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      MPROVZ a 29 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro and 1996 GT Avalanche LE from Santa Clarita CA


    • Trail UpdateThis Trail Is Threatened...-California Wilderness Bill Finally Introduced - It's Time to Write Letters!

      Significant areas in Los Padres and Angeles Forests are threatened.

      More info: (see URL below)

      The Preacher URL: http://imba.com/news/action_alerts/06_02/06_14_ca_letters.html


    • Trail UpdateRode this last Thursday with Sir Tom. Despite 95 degree heat in the Desert below, it was a good ten degrees cooler at the 'bowl. The usual grinder hill going up to the intersection of the Burkhard and the other trail heading west, but that's the only big climb you do. Once you're at the top, you're there. Beautiful pine covered slopes and fast S/T made for a fun afternoon, esp. on a weekday evening. All the hikers had come off the trail and the whole trail was left to us. There are some sketchy sections where the hillside has come down, leaving the trail a mere few inches wide and a soft slide down the slope is easily had. Excellent views going out to the chair made it great. On the way back, hit the intersection at the top and did the trail heading west. This is relatively unused because it doesn't offer the views of the trail heading east. Roll over pine needle carpeted trails towards the west. Really nice riding. Not a lot of technical or hair-on-fire kind of stuff, just clean fun rolling through the woods.
      Ride rating: Intermediate
      STP a 42 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a K2 Razorback from Palmdale


    • Trail UpdateSemi-Action Shot-
      Tom descending a gravelly section of the Burkhart Traverse

      The Burkhart Trail is still kinda rough. The weekend storm dug some more ruts and piled a bunch of sand across the trail in places. There are some washouts that are growing, so work is needed to build some retaining walls and water bars before the serious rains hit.

      I'm planning a work day here, sometime after the SM72 weekend (late October). If anyone is interrested, e-mail me and let me know if you can attend. I can supply barley pop and other beveriges for attendees.

      Tom Kenney a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Pinnacle from Reseda, CA


    • Trail UpdateBurkhart Conditions-The recent rain has caused some significant 'flash flood' damage to portions of the Burkhart Trail, particularly where the trail traverses gulleys or canyons. I rode on Saturday (2-SEP-2000) and had the trail mostly to myself.

      I may do some trail work here in the next few weeks. If anyone is interrested, e-mail me (addr below) or post a reply here. Mostly just shovel work needed, but there are a couple of spots that need retainer walls built or repaired.
      Tom Kenney a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Pinnacle from Reseda, CA


    • Trail UpdateDevils Punchbowl-No parking fee. The place was empty, with only a couple of hikers for a Thursday night. Took the left at the trail marker. That was after a pretty good climb. They've done a rough grading of the uphill, so it was kind of loose. Heading east after we got to the top, we only ran into minimal rock slide overruns onto the trail. The singletrack has great views and is full of surprises. Consistency and control work best, vs all out speed. I was going too fast heading back west, and overran the corner. Some technical rock crossings. All in all, a really good ride
      Ride rating: Advanced
      Ride distance: Elevation change: A lot
      Singletrack=90% Dirt Road=10%
      STP Single Trk Psycho a 41 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a DB Hardtail from Lancaster CA


    • Trail UpdateDevil's Punchbowl Parking-The $3 parking fee at the Devil's Punchbowl parking lot was cancelled on August 1, 1999, courtesy of LA Co. board of supervisors. I don't know how long this will last. I sure hope the visitors' center there doesn't starve.
      Tom Kenney a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Pinnacle from Reseda, CA URL: Tom's Page


    • Trail UpdateRich Whitten Memorial Ride-Renamed after one of the most dedicated mountain-bikers ever to ride on this dust ball called earth. Rich took me on this ride in 1993.Take Pearblossom Hwy East to the small town of pearblossom. Make a right turn on Longview Drive. Follow sighns to Devils Punchbowl Co. Park.Do your self a favor and pay the $3.00 to park. The ticket is not worth the risk. If you dont want to pay for the parking park at the mailboxes at the bottom of the last turn before the parking lot. The hill up to the park is a nice warmup ride.If you stop at the ranger station in the park thay will give you a photocopy of the trails. follow the 1.5mile trail to the burkhart trailhead right will take you on the short loop. A nice ride thru pines and oaks down to desert. Cool switch backs fast straights fun ride mostly down hill to a Jeep road past some houses back to mail boxes. Turn right back up road to parking lot.If you go left at the Burkhart trail head (marker says devils chair) you get one of the best singel tracks in the world. Lots of high exposure, switchbacks and some tech. you take this to devils chair. Stop at devils chair and check out the view. Then keep going east on the same singel track. You will drop down thru some canyons and hit some tech switchbacks back up and over several peaks and hit a fast and fun down hill (still high exposure) to North Fork Campgrounds. Cool off at the creek and head back the same way or follow the map from the ranger station and take the pavment back to the parking lot. Please tread lightly and if you take the short loop Watch Out For Horses. We lost Rich Whitten 03-06-99 R.I.P. Rich we miss you. Blaze the trails in Heaven for all of us Mountain Bikers like you did on Earth so we can ride.No Limitations Fade to gray Peace!!!
      Singletrack=98% Truck Trail=2%
      Marc Hamilton a 33 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Dimond Back Apex TT lite / Curtlo from Lancaster, Ca USA


    • Trail UpdateBurkhart Trail-From the parking area, go a short ways uphill through the picnic area. Follow the red signs for the Burkhart Trail. DO NOT RIDE THE PUNCHBOWL TRAIL! It is closed to bikes and often crowded with small children and unleashed dogs. At an intersection with a dirt road, make a left and continue south (uphill) for another 1/4 mile to another trail junction. The left (east) trail is the Manzanita/High Desert Rec. Trail (see Big Rock Creek description). The right trail is the Burkhart Trail. Ride this trail as it traverses to the west through dense forests of oak, pine, and maple. Climb some steep switchbacks, then traverse some more. Descend a series of wide, fast corners to a junction with a road. This junction is right near a windmill with a nice meadow beneath it. Go left (uphill) on the road to where it crosses the creek. Cross the creek and go right on the trail, which branches from the road and climbs steeply up a ridge. The trail climbs up and anround this ridge, then traverses and climbs a long ways through rocky terrain and beautiful pine forests to Burkhart Saddle. Return the way you came.
      Singletrack=90% Dirt Road=10%
      Tom Kenney a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Klein Pinnacle from Reseda, CA URL:Tom's Page


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