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Gravel biking above San Dimas - any suggestions?

Old 02-12-19, 11:44 AM
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Gravel biking above San Dimas - any suggestions?

Has anyone recommendations or experience riding a gravel bike in the mountains above San Dimas, between Baldy Road and GMR? I'm searching google maps and entertaining the idea of exploring routes up to Sunset Peak or taking San Dimas Truck Trail or Lower Monroe Road up to GRR. Looks like you could make a decent loop up and around. I don't mind steep and I'll get off and push if I have to, but I'm not reckless. Are any of these routes rideable? Thanks.
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Old 02-12-19, 02:06 PM
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I've never been, but I'm gonna have to look at that as an option for riding. I've just been on bike paths and streets lately. I need to get back to exploring. So, don't mind me if I listen in here.
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Old 02-14-19, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
I've never been, but I'm gonna have to look at that as an option for riding. I've just been on bike paths and streets lately. I need to get back to exploring. So, don't mind me if I listen in here.
go right ahead. Its hard to find clear information so I'll share what I can find.

Barrett-Stoddard. This looks a good possibility - 12 miles with one sustained steep section. I'd try it the other direction and finish in Baldy Village.

https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/703...oddard-shuttle


Lower Monroe Truck Trail. 15.5 miles and flatter overall. By the sounds of it, more foot and MTB traffic. Ends up on GRR so opens up some possibilities. Some comments say the lower section is very wet right now.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/c...lton-dam-trail


I can't find too much information on trails to Sunset Peak, except for the 4 mile fire road from GRR named the Sunset Ridge Fire Road. On Google Map Pedometer I created a route that follows a ridge, The Sunset Ridge Trail > The Sunset Peak Motorway, which begins in San Dimas Canyon and follows a long ridge across the mountains to some radio TV Antennae about 1000' below Sunset Peak. The trail from the towers to the peak looks a lot steeper. For some reason the app would not let me complete the route to GRR so i ended it close to the peak - but it looks like there are several ways to get to the highway. Who knows, I will just have to go explore.

https://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=733483


Other more straightforward possibilities might be simply following San Dimas Canyon Road up to GRR

or

Taking Sycamore Flats Motorway to The Johnstone Peak Truck Trail which also looks like it will reach GRR.

I'm guessing simply by their names that these are double track but who knows?
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Old 04-04-19, 10:49 AM
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OK, ten days ago I had a go at exploring some of these routes. I can't say it was all fun - but it was memorable.

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/ac...bed/3495587514

1. I started in San Dimas Canyon. The trailhead is accessible but barely visible at the dam. its a steep single track and you have to carry or push your bike for most of the of the first 20 minutes.





2. Its then about 9 miles up and along the Sunset Ridge Truck Trail. The first miles are rideable but not spectacular - some views but mostly back down to the IE i had to carry my bike over deep ruts from the last storms The higher up you go the worse it gets and I made very slow progress These south facing sun baked San Gabriel Mountain slopes get really rocky and loose, and added with frequent rockslides, sandy wash and deep ruts and my ride became more of a slow hike and at worst a scramble and not much fun. Even on a MTB I would imagine this would be tough. I decided to push on to the radio towers at Potato Peak and call it a day. Imagine the steepest parts of Mt Lukens but worse.

3. However at the radio towers things change dramatically and for the better. As you tuck around the peak you enter a cooler alpine world with spectacular views down to Baldy Road and Mt Baldy itself. The trail improves enormously as you hug around the mountain on a rolling gradual descent that snakes through empty, wilder and flatter landscape and up over a few shorter climbs. a few loose sections needed a push/hike but all part of the fun.



4. The last section winds down through patchy forest to Glendora Ridge Road passing Sunset Peak. on what is now called the the Sunset Ridge Fire Road I passed a few hikers. Truly spectacular.







Overall about 15.5 miles. I doubt i would ever ride this route again, unless maybe if the first nine miles get graded, but even even then. But I will definitely return to ride starting the opposite direction from GRR up to Potato Peak (is that really the name!). Highly recommended on a gravel bike with some decent tires.

5. From here I headed along GRR for a few miles hoping to loop back down San Dimas Canyon to my car. It was getting late. I had plugged in the return route on my Garmin (famous last words) having studied it on a couple of maps which showed a paved or at least decent fire road.

6. I left GRR at Big Dalton Canyon Rd. You duck under a barrier on to an abandoned paved road heading down to San Dimas Canyon. Soon after the road splits, either taking you down Big Dalton Canyon Road (what you should do) or following on the paved road to the top of West Fork San Dimas Canyon Truck Trail and under a closed gate and back on the dirt (what you shouldn't do.) The dirt road was fine for a mile, but much less trafficked than I imagined, no one had been on here for ages. Another sign I chose to ignore. When it gets late and you are tired I'd probably duck under a flashing neon sign that says "Do not go this way or else."

7. After a mile the dirt road disappears. Well almost disappears - it becomes heavily heavily overgrown. impassible even, but the idea of doubling back up the mountain and finding a long alternate (albeit established) route in the dark to my car, prompted me to stupidly push on in the hope that the trail would clear up. At this point my "trusty" Garmin refused to offer any helpful guidance and mostly froze up. It vaguely showed that I was on the righty trail and headed in the right direction.

8. After 30 mins of bushwacking, either pushing, dragging or carrying my bike I gave up and turned back. I arrived back at GRR in the dark utterly exhausted and very relieved.

9. It was now simply a matter of following GRR to GMR and back down to La Verne and finding my car. but without lights and no moon either. Fortunately GMR was closed to traffic so I had the entire mountain to myself. It was a bizarrely enjoyable even euphoric ride - i have not had to dig that deep for a very long time. Its amazing what you do, if you can just stay positive. At the bottom I was too cold and weary to head back up San Dimas Canyon dam to my car. I found a Starbucks and knocked back coffee and cake until I stopped shaking and called a kind friend to come and pick me up.


Next on my list is...
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Old 04-04-19, 02:43 PM
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Sounds like a good ride if you made it back. Hope you had a bikelight or a flashlight. It's downright spookie coming back in the dark. Check for ticks.
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Old 04-04-19, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Sounds like a good ride if you made it back. Hope you had a bikelight or a flashlight. It's downright spookie coming back in the dark. Check for ticks.
No light, doh! and yes, a little eerie, but no ticks. I did see some huge piles of bear poo which inspired me to push back uphill faster.
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Old 04-04-19, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bingod View Post
I did see some huge piles of bear poo which inspired me to push back uphill faster.
You're afraid of bear poo?
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Old 04-04-19, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
You're afraid of bear poo?

Ha ha! I'm afraid of most poo as it happens
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Old 04-04-19, 09:42 PM
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I know what you mean. When I was younger I used to go camping and hiking a lot. Nothing scarier than hiking up a trail and then realize that you're walking over some fresh mountain lion tracks or something like that.
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Old 04-11-19, 12:19 PM
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sounds like a good time!!
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