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  1. #1
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    Jan 2019
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    Southern migration Where to go to ride right now?

    I'm looking to head south from Seattle to get some riding in. The mega atmospheric river that we've been getting has shut pretty much everything down up here.

    So the question is, where to go? I'll be driving, so the closer the better but I'm willing to go a ways if it's the right move. Top criteria are good trails in decent shape right now (stuff you'd want an enduro bike for, ideally) and halfway decent weather. Something like Santa Cruz / SLO seems like the current frontrunner, though it's probably kinda wet down there right now, too.

    Any other ideas?

  2. #2
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    Apr 2004
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    You may have to go really far south... like SoCal, AZ or southern Nevada.

    I'm personally thinking about heading that way in a couple of weeks... something like Tucson - SD - SoCal - Santa Barbara and then back through St. George depending on weather.

  3. #3
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    May 2012
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    san diego
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    Norcal was getting a lot of rain until recently but should be starting to dry out. They get hit by more storms than we do. We last had rain here in SD early last week and it's already close to bone dry. Everything except high elevation riding is primo. Same with AZ. I may be heading that way soon for a couple weeks.

    A good route would be to come down the PCH/101 and hit a few places along the way. I drove up through Portland and all the way back along the coast back in Feb/Mar. Despite plenty of rain there was great riding in many places. Redwoods and places like Mendocino can handle lots of rain. SLO/SC should be good to go unless more storms come through. Santa Barbara, Santa Monicas, LA, OC all have great riding. If there is too much rain down here you just head to the desert. Palm Springs and AZ for awesome singletrack or Anza Borrego for desert exploring. You could also come down via I-5/Hwy 99, there is some good riding in the Sierras foothills although not always convenient to the freeways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    My knowledge of trails in Central Oregon going north is nil...

    But Ashland should have some good stuff to ride in the lower watershed. Mountains of the Rogue (MOTR) is south-facing and probably good, but not sure its elevation.

    Another option, but on the coast near Coos Bay OR, is Whiskey Run. Fun for maybe 2 days. Great local spot, but definitely not a destination.

    Redding, CA has really good trails. Most of that stuff is snow-free, and it'll be high-pressure for weeks. If I were you...I'd bring my touring skis and monitor Shasta weather until you get a good January corn window on the south aspects. In the meantime, you can rip laps on the bike in Redding.

    And...there's always Santa Cruz, but that's really far from you. That said, we'll be high pressure for a couple weeks, so it should dry out relatively soon.
    sproing!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    My knowledge of trails in Central Oregon going north is nil...

    But Ashland should have some good stuff to ride in the lower watershed. Mountains of the Rogue (MOTR) is south-facing and probably good, but not sure its elevation.

    Another option, but on the coast near Coos Bay OR, is Whiskey Run. Fun for maybe 2 days. Great local spot, but definitely not a destination.

    Redding, CA has really good trails. Most of that stuff is snow-free, and it'll be high-pressure for weeks. If I were you...I'd bring my touring skis and monitor Shasta weather until you get a good January corn window on the south aspects. In the meantime, you can rip laps on the bike in Redding.

    And...there's always Santa Cruz, but that's really far from you. That said, we'll be high pressure for a couple weeks, so it should dry out relatively soon.
    Hmm, Redding wasn't really on my radar. What's worth riding there?

  6. #6
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    I rode both Redding and MOTR on my trip.

    MOTR is bike specific, nice climb up and a few fun trails to descend. Stay off Freewheel trail if it's been raining. That one was a sloppy mess when the rest of the trails were all good. I recall BKXC on youtube did a vid there last year. Good for 2-3 hrs. I think Ashland will have snow since lower stuff is north facing.

    Redding has Whiskeytown and Swasey Rec Area, combined it is a pretty large riding area. I rode Swasey this last time. Nothing spectacular but it has a few jump/flow lines that are fun. Enticer is the famous one. The rest seems to be all xc but some of it has a nice "out there" feel.

    On the OR coast I rode Whiskey Run and Cape Mtn. Cape was the first spot I hit with decent sounding trails after I got south of all the rain. It has a USFS campground a few miles up from the highway that will be deserted along with the trails. Seems like hikers only go to the peak but don't use the other trails. Good for a few hours, trails are xc-ish but run through nice forest. Agree with meter-man on Whiskey Run. I had one day, could have done more. There are some fun jump trails and pretty good mix of everything.

    If you are considering SC/SLO, there is lots of other worthy stuff within range.

    Central valley stuff: Bidwell Park in Chico, Auburn Rec Area, Exchequer Bike Park near Modesto, Bass Lake (some might be rideable, check with shop in Oakhurst), Case Mtn in Three Rivers

    Coast Hwy: Arcata Community forest, Blue Lake Trails (private - have to buy membership. BKXC had recent vid here), Look Prairie-Thornton loop in Humbolt Redwoods State Park, Paradise Royale by Shelter Cove (highly recommended, good campground right there), Mendocino/Ft Bragg, Pacifica just south of SF. There is a ton of good stuff in the Bay Area but I've spent little time there since camping is a pain, and I'm cheap.

    Socal: SLO, Santa Barbara (big chunky descents), Santa Monicas, San Gabriel Mtns front side (3-4k descents, good backcountry right above LA), Ojai (good backcountry climbs/descents), Simi Valley (excellent chunky riding), Santa Anas in OC (3-4k backcountry descents), Greer Ranch by Murrieta (much built by Aaron Gwin/Eric Carter), Vail Lake bike park by Temecula, Idyllwild, Palm Canyon Epic above Palm Springs.

    How much time do you have? It is usually about 20 hrs drive time from Socal to Seattle. If you've got a couple weeks it could be worth coming all the way down here with a few days driving each way. Happy to help with more info as you plan. I've driven home to BC a few times in winter and stopped in lots of places.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2005
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    Lots of good recs here. If you do make it much farther south, Vegas is surprisingly great these days. There are several big networks around the city, and of course Bootleg is worth a trip on its own. Caliente is worth a stop as well (and the camping scene there could not be more mellow).

    Juneuary has set in here (Tahoe), so I'm also looking around for riding options.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
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    Ashland trails are snowed-in, but you could hit MOTR right off the I-5 on the way through.

  9. #9
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    Similar question coming from Montana as I have a new bike getting delivered tomorrow and don't want to wait 4 months to ride it.

    If I'm looking for chunk to test an enduro race bike I need to go to Vegas or SoCal over Sedona/Tucson correct?

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    Similar question coming from Montana as I have a new bike getting delivered tomorrow and don't want to wait 4 months to ride it.

    If I'm looking for chunk to test an enduro race bike I need to go to Vegas or SoCal over Sedona/Tucson correct?

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
    Have you ridden in Santa Barbara? The front side of those mountains has serious chunk and exactly what you're looking for, with 2500' to boot. There's some great riding around that area.

    So does the Lemmon Drop in Tucson.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Have you ridden in Santa Barbara? The front side of those mountains has serious chunk and exactly what you're looking for, with 2500' to boot. There's some great riding around that area.

    So does the Lemmon Drop in Tucson.
    I know nothing besides what I have seen in the Kerr video from a few days ago with Eliot.



    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    I rode both Redding and MOTR on my trip.

    MOTR is bike specific, nice climb up and a few fun trails to descend. Stay off Freewheel trail if it's been raining. That one was a sloppy mess when the rest of the trails were all good. I recall BKXC on youtube did a vid there last year. Good for 2-3 hrs. I think Ashland will have snow since lower stuff is north facing.

    Redding has Whiskeytown and Swasey Rec Area, combined it is a pretty large riding area. I rode Swasey this last time. Nothing spectacular but it has a few jump/flow lines that are fun. Enticer is the famous one. The rest seems to be all xc but some of it has a nice "out there" feel.

    On the OR coast I rode Whiskey Run and Cape Mtn. Cape was the first spot I hit with decent sounding trails after I got south of all the rain. It has a USFS campground a few miles up from the highway that will be deserted along with the trails. Seems like hikers only go to the peak but don't use the other trails. Good for a few hours, trails are xc-ish but run through nice forest. Agree with meter-man on Whiskey Run. I had one day, could have done more. There are some fun jump trails and pretty good mix of everything.

    If you are considering SC/SLO, there is lots of other worthy stuff within range.

    Central valley stuff: Bidwell Park in Chico, Auburn Rec Area, Exchequer Bike Park near Modesto, Bass Lake (some might be rideable, check with shop in Oakhurst), Case Mtn in Three Rivers

    Coast Hwy: Arcata Community forest, Blue Lake Trails (private - have to buy membership. BKXC had recent vid here), Look Prairie-Thornton loop in Humbolt Redwoods State Park, Paradise Royale by Shelter Cove (highly recommended, good campground right there), Mendocino/Ft Bragg, Pacifica just south of SF. There is a ton of good stuff in the Bay Area but I've spent little time there since camping is a pain, and I'm cheap.

    Socal: SLO, Santa Barbara (big chunky descents), Santa Monicas, San Gabriel Mtns front side (3-4k descents, good backcountry right above LA), Ojai (good backcountry climbs/descents), Simi Valley (excellent chunky riding), Santa Anas in OC (3-4k backcountry descents), Greer Ranch by Murrieta (much built by Aaron Gwin/Eric Carter), Vail Lake bike park by Temecula, Idyllwild, Palm Canyon Epic above Palm Springs.

    How much time do you have? It is usually about 20 hrs drive time from Socal to Seattle. If you've got a couple weeks it could be worth coming all the way down here with a few days driving each way. Happy to help with more info as you plan. I've driven home to BC a few times in winter and stopped in lots of places.
    Thanks, ton of good info there.

    I used to live in SoCal, so I'm pretty familiar with what's down there (though it's been a while). I could probably stretch the trip to two weeks, but I'd rather stay a little closer to home.

    MOTR looks great for a stop on the way to wherever. Still leaning towards Santa Cruz / SLO as the southern end of the loop.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by donutlynx View Post
    Ashland trails are snowed-in, but you could hit MOTR right off the I-5 on the way through.
    Confused...my friends in Ashland are riding up to Four Corners, up to Marty's (around 4300'). Reporting amazing dirt conditions, but I'm not there so don't really know...

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    sproing!

  15. #15
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Confused...my friends in Ashland are riding up to Four Corners, up to Marty's (around 4300'). Reporting amazing dirt conditions, but I'm not there so don't really know...

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    Went for a ride the day after posting that. Some snowy spots below Lamb Saddle. Went out today again - things are really starting to come around from 4 Corners on down. Just a bit of snow hanging around in the shade. Not for long. Wouldn't be surprised if Lower Lynx is mostly ridable by the end of the weekend. Dry and warm for the foreseeable future - stop by and give it a ride or three!

  16. #16
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    Just got the El Granada tour (thanks, Andeh)!

    Anybody going to be riding in Santa Cruz tomorrow and game to show a PNW interloper around?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by donutlynx View Post
    Went for a ride the day after posting that. Some snowy spots below Lamb Saddle. Went out today again - things are really starting to come around from 4 Corners on down. Just a bit of snow hanging around in the shade. Not for long. Wouldn't be surprised if Lower Lynx is mostly ridable by the end of the weekend. Dry and warm for the foreseeable future - stop by and give it a ride or three!
    Wow. HAB you really need to hit up these trails on your way back north.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted reborn View Post
    Wow. HAB you really need to hit up these trails on your way back north.
    That's the plan! I'll keep you all posted on timing.

  19. #19
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    Currently in SLO. Thinking I'll stick around here for another day or two. Then debating carrying on to Santa Barbara. Kind of tired of driving but... those trails are awesome.

    Anybody in that neck of the woods around this week?

  20. #20
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    Aug 2010
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    Anyone been out in the St George area? Wondering if it is dry enough to ride?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Snowmass
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    477
    Quote Originally Posted by Canada1 View Post
    Anyone been out in the St George area? Wondering if it is dry enough to ride?

    95% of trails are good to go, some north facing stuff above Hurricane can be a sloppy (Little Creek). Trails are in great shape otherwise, so far this week I've hit Gooseberry, Jem and Wire/Grafton. Couple puddles on Gooseberry and at the very top of Jem, otherwise prime.

  22. #22
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    Oct 2003
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    Ogden
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canada1 View Post
    Anyone been out in the St George area? Wondering if it is dry enough to ride?
    Stuff around town is getting dusty.

  23. #23
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    Jan 2006
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    1,326
    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Stuff around town is getting dusty.
    Sounds lovely.

  24. #24
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    Jul 2007
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    Santa Barbara trails are in excellent condition right now.

  25. #25
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    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    I know nothing besides what I have seen in the Kerr video from a few days ago with Eliot.



    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
    This trail (at the end of the video) is just above my house. If anyone is looking for information on it, send me a message

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