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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,193

    TR - Big Bear to SART epic

    After several tries were foiled by fire and National Forest closures, Schillingsworth made his way out to Socal a couple weeks ago to take on one of my favorite rides.

    I managed to score a campsite in Big Bear that came free for the coveted Friday/Saturday night period. All California National Forests were closed for some weeks, then they partially re-opened but camping has been very restricted with only certain campgrounds open and no dispersed or backcountry camping allowed. And of course anything reservable is fully booked for weeks out.

    We'd meet across I-10 in another range first and do a Friday afternoon ride in Idyllwild first thought. I was late leaving and traffic sucked so John got a lap or two in before I got there




    We took off on one of my favorite loops




    I often ride here at sunset which is perfect as there are some great views




    Nothing hard but plenty of rock to keep things interesting






    Fun roller




    Sunset went off. Pics don't do it justice




    We called it quits not long after sunset, still had some driving to do and didn't want to over exert before the big ride. Great tacos from a food truck off the freeway


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,193
    Saturday was the big day. I have a route I've done a few times before that climbs up from Big Bear Lake to Sugarloaf Mtn at 9,950ft using an old little used ridgeline trail, before dropping down to Santa Ana River Trail (SART) and running all the way down to Redlands at about 2,500ft.


    We had plenty of options to start with and settled on Pineknot Trail which would give Shillingsworth a taste of Skyline trail.


    Pine knot starts off steep, but so far so good




    Up top there is lots of interesting rock




    Great views open up on Skyline across to the San Bernardino range




    Lots of buff singletrack on Skyline. The only negative today is we were running against the flow of an xc race going on. Lots of stopping to pull over for racers.




    Leaving Skyline we had some forest road to traverse, ending with a short steep hike a bike with a nice view of Big Bear Lake




    Then the fun began. After a steep down hike bushwack we reached the seldon used Sugarloaf ridge trail. A hike back up to it yielded some beautiful, raw rideable trail




    But also a lot of hike a bike




    Our target in sight - Sugarloaf Mtn




    Some big juniper trees appear trailside




    We started down by the lake shore and will finish out of sight down the valley on the left




    But first, more hike a bike




    It gets steeper the higher we go




    Finally reaching the shoulder of the peak the trail mellows out




    Then it disappears completely and its a choose your own adventure to the summit. Here, we mistakenly end up on a scree slope which has terrible footing.




    Summit shot




    Dropping down from the summit sweet singletrack makes up for all the hike a bike






    Nice, flowing 2k descent down Wildhorse Trail






    We skip an upper part of Santa Ana River Trail which is in bad shape and pick up the main part at South Fork campground




    SART keeps you on your toes with lots of exposure, many riders have tumbled off the edge




    Fall colors on display




    One of several creek crossings




    Fading daylight




    We reached Middle control road right at sunset which would be the end of SART for us. The trail continues on into a fire closure so we climbed the road for 3 miles up to Hwy 38 and then picked up Loch Leven, and old fire road returning to singletrack that would take us to the bottom in Redlands. We ended with 50 miles on the day, +5,600 and -10,000ft. The proper route including all of SART is obviously more epic, but completing the crux over Sugarloaf is what really makes the route even if the hike a bike to the summit gets a bit outrageous. Good times as always, thanks for making it out Shillingsworth! We'll be back to do Wildhorse + full SART once the fire closure ends.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fresh Lake City
    Posts
    3,632
    Sick TR as always. That juniper is HUGE!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Live Free or Die
    Posts
    1,101
    Wicked awesome

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    6,090
    Sick ride and TR


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16

    2018/2019 (24/32)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,193
    Final day, recovery ride from camp on Hanna Flat trail to Grout Bay




    Perfect way to spin out the legs among the boulders and pines







    A few other riders out but not many






    Schillingsworth had to take off but gave me a ride over to another trailhead to avoid a few miles of busy highway riding.

    Figured a climb up Cougar Crest and traverse back would be less sucky than climbing the road back to camp.


    Must resist.... kicking all these over!




    Cougar Crest is a tough climb that gets harder the higher you climb.




    Views up top are worth it though. Lots of hikers out




    Continuing on for some extra credit miles. Big trees




    And views






    Another great weekend in the books, nice to be back camping in the mountains

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,123
    I had no idea Junipers got that big. Nice ride!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,584
    Nice photos!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    slc
    Posts
    13,064
    Awesome as always!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    60
    Oh man, I'm late to the party. I wasn't the only one pushing my bike that weekend!!
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    This entire area is rad AF.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    My ride report pretty much mimics what Evan posted, here's the blog link if you want to see a boatload more pics.

    SoCal Triple

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