High on Mountain Biking | the trail adventures of a mountain biker

Hurkey Creek Trails near Idyllwild

Johnson Meadow Trail Hurkey Creek near Idyllwild CA

The Idyllwild Trails in California did their best to keep me away. I had first planned to come here about 5 weeks ago, and on the actual day I left Los Angeles to head to Idyllwild 4 feet of snow was dropped, and I got a phone call from a ranger saying that I would need chains to get to Idyllwild.. I put everything on hold, and headed South instead.

When I did finally make it to Idyllwild,  both my bikes were in dire need of a bike doctor, luckily for me The Hub Cyclery in Iydllewild did a fantastic job on ordering me some parts and getting me back on the trails..

So, was all this worth the wait?, or was I better off going elsewhere?

Hurkey Creek Trail
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Trail Stats & Information

 

Nearby Town : Idyllwild
Length: 7.3 miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: [what the books say] no info
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically easy. Physically  easy to modarate.
Duration
: My time was 01:37:28
Elev Gain
: 892 feet
Top Elev : 5,064  feet
Min. Elev : 4,393 feet
 

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Book Description

I could not find any Mtb Trail books describing the Hurkey Creek Trails, so the below descriptions are based on my personal experience :
>> The Hurkey Creek Trails just a few miles from Idyllwild offer some fantastic and scenic trails. Some of the trails are pretty popular, and are used in the  24 Hour Race held in the Spring. Trails such as Johnson Meadow, Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love are some of the must do rides in this area.
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My Experience

Lucky for me there is the Internet, Google and some very good Mtb Forums, ‘cos if I had to get my trail info from books and maps, I would probably still be looking. The good thing was however, wherever I looked, or whoever I asked the answer was always the same.. Do the Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love.
The above was the easy part, finding a trail map of these trails was not as simple. I did get a map from the Hurkey Creek Campground, and some advice about the trails, but to be honest, both meant very little once on the trail.
None of the trails are marked, and the map I had was a bad copy taken from Google Earth. It did not take me long to go wrong… 40 seconds to be exact. For any future non local riders who plan to ride this trail, as soon as you go through the gate at the very start of the trail, take the FIRST singletrack that takes a sharp left.. DO NOT stay on the main trail like I did for a whole mile!!.
Anyway once on the proper trail, a sweet singletrack takes you on a gradual climb to Keen Camp Summit. Once at the summit, you can prepare yourself for a fantastic fast flowing singletrack that takes you to the really nice Johnson Meadow. Here the trail bottoms out, and continues through this meadow for about 1.5 miles, I saw plenty of deer along this section. At the end of Johnsons Meadow, you start another  easy and graduate climb, that takes you to the large Oak Tree. Here at the large oak, you follow the trail on the right.. Congratulations, you have mage it to the Exfoliator. I have not got a clue what Exfoliator means, but let me tell you this, The Exfoliator is gonna put a smile on your chops that will last a long time. This is one hell of a short but sweet experience. FAST!!, just find your line and open up. The thrill is short lived, but it will last a lifetime..
So, I launced myself down the Exfoliator, and was ready to do the same on the Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love..
Well, things did not turn out that way, and I somehow completely missed the turn I should have made, so on this ride I never got to Rage through the Sage or the Tunnel of Love.. But, stick around, ‘cos 2 days later I did do these trails and a lot more.

 

Conclusion
The riding on these trails is fantastic, high elevation but without the serious uphill climbs. The trails are fast flowing and fun.
Some of these trails can and are very confusing for the first time riders in this area, they are not marked at all, and there are sometimes more than one to choose from. You are not gonna get lost on these trails, but just like myself, your planned route might turn out different than you had planned. But hey, worst case you just bomb down the Exfoliator 3 or 4 times.. Now that would be sweet!

 

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : I had all the trails to myself, I did not see anyone. 
Wild Life : A few dear along the Johnson Meadow section 
Scenery : Great scenery
Getting There : Click HERE for directions from Idyllwild
Other : Take sun lotion and plenty of bug spray, the horse flies are terrible

 

My Trail Rating : 7 / 10


 

The Hub Cyclery IdyllwildThe Hurkey Creek Trails review is proudly sponsored by :

The Hub Cyclery Idyllwild.

Don’t even consider riding the Hurkey Creek Trails before paying a visit to The Hub Cyclery.  This is not your average Cycle Shop, the owners themselves are not just avid mountain bikers, they also build the popular Siren Mountain Bikes. The Hub Cyclery is well stocked with everything you and your bike will need on the trails, and a lot more.  When you buy a Trails Map at The Hub, it comes with some free  and  unmissable  advice and recommendations.

For more info please visit : www.hubcyclery.com

 


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