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Case Mountain Trails - Three Rivers - California

Case Mountain Trails - Three Rivers - California

 

These trails came as a complete and pleasant surprise to me, I had never heard of these trails, and was here to visit the Sequoias on my way to Downieville. The Case Mountain Trails are about 3 miles from Three Rivers.
These trails were described to me as ” Like the Downieville Trails were before they became popular” .. Well in that case I was at the right place..

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town : Three Rivers
Length: 12.07 miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: [what the books say] no info
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate. Physically moderate.
Duration
: My time was 03:57:57
Elev Gain
: 2.975 feet
Top Elev : 2,788 feet
Min. Elev : 979 feet

 

Book Description
 
I could not find any Mtb Trail books describing the Case Mountain Trails, so the below descriptions are based on my personal experience :
>> The Case Mountain Trails are riddled with fantastic singletracks. The area is not huge, but you can easily spend a day connecting these trails. One thing, these trails are NOT marked, and there are no maps available. I was very lucky to find a local ( Kevin from Three Rivers Hideaway) that was willing to get up at 6 am and show me the layout, and explain the possibilities. The trails here are sweeeet, but hard to know which ones to take.
 

 

My Experience

As I mentioned above, this whole area came as a pleasant surprise, I had not done any research at all, and had no plans to ride. While at the Three Rivers Hideaway Campground I noticed two nice looking Steeds, I asked at the office who they belonged to, and the rest is history. Kevin the owner of the steeds suggested we get an early ride in before it got too hot, the next day at 6 am we were on our way. Once on the trails we spent the first 20 min. on a sweet singletrack on one of the very few named Trails, this one was “Old Number One” the climb was gradual and easy, and it took us back onto a Fire Road. I could see 10’s of singletracks veering off in every direction, Kevin spent a great deal of time explaining each trail, cos a couple of days later I would be on my own.
We followed the fire road for about a good 30 min. all uphill, but nothing too serious. While climbing you will notice the very fast flowing singletracks to each side of the road .. These are trails that will be taking you back down.. FAST!!
We finally made it to the point where we had to prepare ourselves for the mayhem ride back down, all and only on sweet singletrack.
The descent was fast and fun, and I did not do too bad with keeping up with Kevin. I do confess that I did quite a spectacular Endo, luckily no serious damage done.
The downhill is really fast, and narrow, and there is zero room for any hesitation. All in all FANTASTIC!
2 days later I went back on my own and did the Trail that came highly recommended by Kevin, same kind of trail I did above, just higher and about 6 miles longer.. Again, it was fast and furious and a good 6 miles of sweet singletrack.
I wish I had more time to explore these trails, I will definitely be back one of these days to try the so many trails I did not manage to ride.

 

Conclusion
These trails really are sweet, and you are almost guaranteed the trails to yourself. They are however surprisingly well maintained by the local Mtb’ers ( Kudos to them for doing such a great job) Also, what is pretty nice, is that you can reach the High Spots by following the fire road, but 100% of the downhill is miles singletrack.
The downside is, the trails are not marked or mapped, making it very difficult for outsiders to know what the best routes are.. , but maybe this is a good thing!. I was lucky I had a guide that explained the layout to me.
Bottom line is, if you are ever near Three Rivers, you would be mad not to hit the Case Mountain Trails

 

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : I had all the trails to myself, I did not see anyone.
Wild Life : King Snake and a Rattlesnake ( huge)
Scenery : Great scenery
Getting There : From Three Rivers continue about 4 miles along the 198 towards Hammond. Just past Three Rivers Hideaway (on the left) take a right at the church up Skyline Dr. Follow Skyline all the way to the Trailhead ( do not veer off of Skyline)
Other : Take sun lotion and extra fluids, in the summer it can get hot ( 104 when I was there )

 

My Trail Rating : 8.5 / 10



 


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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

 


Mountain biking in the Dordogne

The Vezere Valley in the Dordogne, a region in South West France is the undisputed Prehistoric Capital of the World, and the place our Prehistoric Ancestors called home more than 460000 years ago.

Mountain biking in the Dordogne offers a unique experience, offering mountain bikers miles of trails that takes the rider through stunning ancient scenery, riddled with caves, shelters, overhangs, troglodytes, ruins and stunning views. The trails in the Dordogne are probably the oldest trails in the world.

In the past 5 years, the  Dordogne has  spent a lot of time and money clearing, marking and connecting hundreds of trails, creating a fantastic, well marked  trail system. The downside is, that maps and / or trail books for mountain biking are non existent.

Walking Dordogne, is owned and run by “Duke” who I met a few years ago in Fruita and then again in Moab. Walking Dordogne launched Mountain Biking Dordogne, and they offer without any doubt the finest and most unique mtb trails in the Dordogne. Mountain Biking Dordogne have combined the best trails, linking them together creating a trail network  that is second to none.

Quote from Mountain Biking Dordogne

We have spent the past 3 years creating a handful of Mountain Biking Trails, that have become the best trails in the Dordogne … Now we have taken another big step and have linked all our trails to create the fantastic an unique ” Neanderthals Revenge”.
Unlimited kilometers of off road trails giving every mountain biker an unforgettable experience.
Caves, shelters, troglodytes, medieval ruins, singletracks, downhills and lots more.
Without any doubt the best and most unique trail in the South West France.

I stayed at the beautiful 1000 year old B&B Ferme de Tayac while I did the trails in the Dordogne, and most trails actually leave from here.
Neanderthals Revenge is actually 3 completely different loops, connect to each other by other trails. This means that Neanderthals Revenge can be done from any direction, and can be as long as you choose.

Neanderthals Revenge Vezere Valley Dordogne

The trail option I went for was clockwise, and started with a scenic easy climb through the medieval hamlet of Tayac, but after just 3 minutes disappeared onto a singletrack into the woods. The following 20 minutes is climbing up an ancient very rocky track. The track levels out slightly and takes you onto a dirt double track for another mile. A singletrack on the right quickly drops off, this is the trail you have to take, so make sure your gears are out of granny and you are prepared for a fast bumpy, slippery and grade 3 technical downhill.. choose your comfortable speed and your path, and stick to it, be easy on the brakes, ‘cos this is a “slip & slide” section.

The trail takes you down to a road, that you must follow for 2 minutes to continue  off road. Ride over the bridge, and make an immediate left down the steep short path that leads to the river, continue past the canoe outfitter and follow the river for about 2 miles.. Cross a railway line, and take an immediate left and follow the double track for a few miles, passing a very picturesque  medieval hub of  houses. The trail leads to a rural road that you will have to follow for a few miles.. This road is a steep climb, taking you to the top, so keep telling yourself that you will soon be on a long sweet downhill singletrack.
The downhill is fast and fun, somewhat rocky, but technically a grade 2, however, there is little room for error at these potential high speeds.

The smile on your face will soon disappear, ‘cos you bottom out to a long and tiring climb, the good news is, you are nearing “Hells Gorge”
Hells Gorge is just under 2 miles, but believe me, it is steep, extremely fast, slippery as an eel in a bucket of snot, rocky, bumpy, blind spots and it bottoms out onto a busy road. Being Gung Ho on Hells Gorge is definitely not a good idea, and I suggest you do a “Granny Run” before you attempt this section… don’t get me wrong, Hells Gorge is not a technical run, as in “Technical” but due to a combination of all the above, it is a very demanding section, with zero room for any errors.


Two loops down, one more to do, and without doubt, we have saved the best and most unique for last. This is also by far the most technical section of Neanderthals Revenge. Anyone not comfortable with heights, and very narrow sections with extreme drop-offs should avoid this loop, or contact Mountain Biking Dordogne for an alternative section of this loop.

This section of trail is just mental, both physically  and mentally, and you will spend some time walking your steed, sometimes ‘cos because you have to, and sometimes ‘cos you’ll prefer to.

I have done 100’s of trails worldwide, but never anything like this.. I was told to make sure I had flashlights fixed in the bike, but I did not realize I would be disappearing into caves!! Some sections of this trail takes you on a 4ft rock ledge with a 60ft sheer drop.. definitely not for the faint hearted.
Once you’ve topped out, you’ll spend a few fast miles on some fun singletrack that takes you to the final downhill section..
This section is an adrenalin rush, narrow singletrack that dives down through the forest, dodging the trees. You will feel like you are part of an extremely fast video game, you need to plan at least 3 trees ahead, cos the come at you out of nowhere.. There are 2 very short but grade 4 tech. spots on this section.

About 3 hours after I left, I finished this trail with a huge smile on my chops, thankful that I made it in one piece and still on my steed… I had conquered Neanderthals Revenge!!!
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