My first attempt to ride the “24 hour loop” went a bit pear shaped, and I missed the turn off to Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love. While getting my steed fixed up, I got a lot of useful trail intel from the shop owner. The trails he marked for me on a very basic map were some local secrets, and there is no way I would have been able to ride them without this inside intel. The good thing was, I managed to map a loop that included the Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love..
I must say though, there was one thing that made me (almost) hate these trails….
Trail Stats & Information
Nearby Town : Idyllwild Length: 17.29 miles Trail Type: Loops Skill Level: [what the books say] no info Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically easy to moderate. Physically moderate. Duration : My time was 04:25:15 Elev Gain : 2,181 feet Top Elev : 5,435 feet Min. Elev : 4,378 feet
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.
May Valley offers some fantastic loop trails that can easily be combined. To get the most out of these trails you will really need a local to show you, or some local advice on which trails to take and HOW to ride them, for example the Lower South Ridge must be done counter clock, giving you an excellent downhill experience, rather than a hike up.
Visit the Hub bike shop, and get a map and some advice before heading out.
Luckily for me, I had done a section of this ride a couple of days previous, so I had a much better grasp of the layout, I also had a slightly better map and a head full of trail info.
Again I set out early, I was on the trails at 6 am. the first 45 min. was on trails I had done before, so that went pretty smooth. Then onto the un-mapped “Meadow Trail” a sweet short trail that connected me to the Murkwood Trail. From here it was a gradual climb that took me to the Lower South Ridge Trail. From here it was a funtastic and pretty technical downhill to Coldwater Trail. The Coldwater Trail is a moderate climb, it coud be an easy climb, seeing as it is pretty gradual however the sandy singletrack makes it some what demanding. You then continue pass the Murkwood Trail where you were more than an hour ago. When you hit the fire road, make a left, and immediately look for a well hidden singletrack on the RIGHT hand side, this will connect you to the Second Brother, that will then connect you to Cahuilla Cutoff. The Cahuilla Cutoff is also a really nice fast trail with a few “no warning” tech spots, so be careful. At the end of this trail, you cross a fire road and continue straight onto the “Coffee Pot” … Why is it called the Coffee Pot?.. ride it and you will know where the name came from.
The Coffee Pot ends at the beginning of the Exfoliator. I described this trail in my previous review, and all I can say is that the second time on this trail was just as mental as the first.. A MUST!!
This time I took the right left hand turn and crossed the creek and started the short but demanding climb to the top of Rage through the Sage.
Rage through the Sage is another fantastic and fast roller coaster ride, not highly technical, but because of the potential speed you can reach, it’s not a trail to hesitate on which line you are gonna choose. If you choose the wrong line, my advice is to stick with it and hope for the best, ‘cos chances are you will bite the “Sage” if you try and change.
The Tunnel of Love is also a fantastic trail, a lot like the Exfoliator, fast and sweet… Very Sweet!
I would say that 98% of the trails I did here are on singletrack, and sweet singletrack at that!. This ride is both technically and physically moderate, but there are one or two sections that are demanding . Lower South Ridge can even be pretty dangerous if things turn sour on certain sections. ( I actually endo’d on this section, and miraculously landed on my feet)
Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love are pretty well known trails, and once you’ve experienced them, you know why they are well known.
These trails are fantastic, but there was one thing that really put a damper on things.. Horse flies!!.. I’m not talking 2 or 3, I’m talking swarms!. I could not stop for 20 seconds to study my map without being attacked.
I mentioned this to some of the locals, and they said that it was really bad for some reason, and they confinced me that it is never this bad.
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 : 8 / 10
The Hurkey Creek and May Valley 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.
https://highonmountainbiking.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/hmb.png00Rip3dhttps://highonmountainbiking.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/hmb.pngRip3d2011-06-29 01:04:382011-08-04 13:35:27Hurkey Creek and May Valley Trails Epic
. This is the first ever ride in the USA that I have not done solo. For this ride I needed a guide, ‘cos there is no way I could have otherwise experienced this trail. Although once on the Highline Trail, it is easy to follow, but finding this trail as an “outsider” would […]
. This is the first time I have actually ridden the Sovereign Trail, although I have been to the trailhead twice before, but each time it was too busy for my liking. They say the first time is always the best, but in this case I’m not so sure. Just minutes from finishing the trail I produced the “Mother of all Endo’s” , Endo’in off a 4 ft legdge and finishing the Sovereign Trail by cracking my Sternum as a souvenir … Luvly Jubly !!
Trail Stats & Information Sovereign Trail
Nearby Town: Moab Length: 15.45 miles : there are numerous options to lengthen or shorten the ride Trail Type: Lollipop Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically difficult. Physically very difficult Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate. Physically moderately demanding Duration: Book say’s 1-3 hours my time 2.03 hours Trailhead Elev: 4,358 feet Top Elev: 4,854 feet
Sovereign is one of the newest mountain biking trail systems in Moab. The terrain in and around Sovereign is generally flatter than most of the terrain in the Moab area. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking this ride won’t be fun or challenging.The Sovereign Trail offers plenty of technical sections as well as rolling fast twisty singletrack sections and some short slickrock sections. The Sovereign Trail has quickly become one of the top Moab rides
Finding the Trailhead Parking was easier than finding the actual trail, luckily for me, someone else arrived, and they pointed out the general direction. However, once you have actually found the trail, it’s easy to follow, and pretty well marked. But, be careful, there are loads of various other trails in the Sovereign system.
The trail is great, starts off with an easy peddle up a dirt track, and then onto a wash-out that will take you to the first of the slickrock, marked with blue arrows. This is a fun technical section, completely manageable if you find the right path. Although there are a few sections that are pretty strenuous, the majority of the trail is pretty easy going, no extreme climbs or drops, however there are plenty of rocky down sections and a couple of very sharp switchbacks with pretty brutal drop-offs if you over-ride them to put a permanent end to your fun ride. I was feelin’ pretty stoked on the trail, and my steed was handling the trails really nice, I probably got a bit too cocky on the last bit of slickrock before hitting the wash-out just 2 min from the finishing point. I un-willingly produced the “Mother of all Endo’s” getting launched off a 4ft drop that I did not see coming. In mid air I still tried to lift the front of my bike in the air as to land on either the back wheel, or both wheels simultaneously, however that did not happen. My first attempt of the Sovereign Trail ended with a cracked Sternum and a face covered in “bacon”
Sovereign Trail 1 – Rip3d 0
If I had been blindfolded and dropped on this trail, I would have thought that I was in Fruita or Grand Junction, it did not have the usual Moab feeling like most other Moab rides have. This is not a bad thing, ‘cos I happen to love the Fruita trails. The Sovereign Trail offers just enough of everything to make it a fun and exciting ride. The trail is not too technical, or strenuous, but it’s not a walk either. All in all the Sovereign trail is an absolute “must do” for anyone planning a list of Moab rides.
Traffic on Trail : For a weekday, It was moderately busy Wild Life : Definitely don’t need it on this scenic trail Scenery : Really nice scenery. Getting There : Willow Springs Road Trailhead: On US-191 north of Moab, turn east on dirt Willow Springs Road. Keep L at fork at mile 1.3. At mile 2.0, park in the rock-outlined area on your left N 38° 41.876′ W 109° 39.868′, just before a natural gas pump building on the R. Start the ride by continuing down Willow Springs Rd. Other : You can make this ride as long or as short as you like, there are numerous “Link Trails” that can be taken. Good Luck in finding a good trail map or this trail
My Trail Rating : 9 / 10
This Sovereign Trail review is proudly sponsored by :
Moab Rim Campark
At Moab Rim Campark mountain bikers will definitely feel at home among other mountain bikers at this Mountain Biker Friendly Campgroud. Bike wash, grassy shaded tent sites with stunning views, Full hook ups, semi hook ups, cabins, group shelters, sheltered areas to tinker on the bikes, and lots more.
The Sovereign Trail is just a 15 min. drive from your campsite. Moab Rim Campsite has been recommended by “Mountain Bike Mayhem” 4 years running.
Mountain Bikers get 10% discount, just bring your bike(s) and mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM