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 Post subject: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:48 pm 
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I'm heading to Idyllwild soon and thinking about bringing the bike. I have dim memories of riding there a few years back. Those dim memories are:
- The local bike shop was apparently closed and never returned phone calls
- The trails are loose and sandy
- Climbing at altitude is hard

I was thinking I might give it another go. Supposedly they have been working on this May Valley system of trails, but info on it is rather scarce. They have a website but last post is dated 2020 and it just says that the project is at a standstill. They don't say why but I assume it's b/c of the pandemic.

Trailforks shows a few trails but they generally all have either low popularity ratings, are marked as closed, or have comments indicating that the trails are badly in need of maintenance. Not overly promising, so I'm thinking about just hiking instead.

http://www.idyllwildcycling.com/may-val ... s-project/
https://www.trailforks.com/region/may-v ... ils-21182/

Does anybody have any recent info about the area?

thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:32 pm 
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Yes, no bike shop, it’s gone. Great riding! Skip May Valley and ride the trails out of the Hub, aka Alvin Meadows, that go from Pine Cove down to Idyllwild, on the west side. Actually, more like climb up from Idyllwild Hub towards Pine Cove and descend back.

http://www.mountainbikebill.com/Idyllwild.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 am 
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I'd second ODD and go to the Hub trails.

May Valley and Hurkey Creek area has burned twice now. It was just getting re-opened in 2018 when the second fire hit. The area was only closed for a year after that fire and locals are just re-opening some of the trails again. If you look for Middle South ridge trail on Trailforks, what is shown in that area down to Bonita Vista FR was open and rideable. Though not all easy to follow. Everything below BV FR like the classic Exfoliator and Rage in the Sage/Missing Link/Tunnel of Love and Keen Camp Climb are all pretty much gone. So you could climb up Sutton Run, down Southridge, ride some trails and then head out May Valley Rd.

The Hub trails are in great shape. The challenge if you don't know them is they're unmapped and unsigned. While it makes it confusing to navigate as they're a spagetti mess, in the big picture there are a few fire roads that more or less form boundaries for the trail system. If you know you're within those fire roads then you can't really get lost, even if you don't know where exactly you are.

From 243 turn onto Tollgate Rd and drive thru the Idyllwild Arts Academy to an obvious trailhead. Pick any trail and start riding. The general idea is descend on singletrack and climb back on fire roads. Although like Dan said start by climbing northeast from the TH. If you keep turning right at each intersection you'll do a big loop around the outside of the trail system. Eventually you'll start to drop down and will eventually come out on a fire road. Rediscover the joy of exploring trails without everything being spoonfed to you! Just don't drop down into Hemet and you'll be fine : ) .

The only caution I'd mention is trails on the ridge top south of the trailhead did burn in the last fire. Last time I was on them, they were very hard to follow. So I'd stay north and west of the TH.


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 Post subject: Re: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:01 am 
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I’m not an advocate of youtubing sub rosa trails, but neither do I want my friends to get lost, and these trails are not a secret. You might find this helpful to get a feel for it.





Here’s the screenshot of the Hub map.
[edit: replaced with a clearer photo of an actual map]

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After climbing up north and then descending, you might want to pick up a sandwich and a beer from your car and head south on the Grotto/North Face trail (same name on MTBBill & Hub maps), which is relatively flat terrain through the woods and takes you to a beautiful rock overlook high above Strawberry Creek, with a view of the creek and a small waterfall upstream (marked “Viewpoint” on Hub map).


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 Post subject: Re: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:27 am 
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I ended up going to Idyllwild this weekend. Day 1 at HUB. Trails are in great shape. FWIW, both the map above and Bill's map are out of date. Lots of new stuff. So you'll still get to explore.

Day 2 went down to Hurkey. Decided to try and push up Tunnel of Love/Rage in the Sage/Missing Link. TOL is fine, a bit overgrown and rutted but completely passable. Some HAB going up. Rage in the Sage is completely overgrown with sage. It was getting bad before the 2013 fire. You can still see the trail bed below/among the sage but you'll be mostly pushing the bike. It is harder to follow on flatter sections. Missing link follows a ridgeline at the south end which has been bladed into a 20ft wide fire break. There is no line burned in yet but it is mostly rideable regardless. Then there is a 1/2 mile section after you drop steeply off the ridge that is very overgrown. Easier to follow than Rage but there were a few head scratcher sections. You can ride a bit in here but lots of pushing. The final 1/3 mile is through grass meadow. The trees didn't burn here. Trail is very faint in spots but if you pay attention you can follow it. This part is fully rideable.

I climbed up and rode the other trails shown on Trailforks. Log Pile is in good shape as is Snakeskin. There is a trail after Snakeskin that isn't shown, but it climbs up to Tres Hombres. Buena Vista no longer exists. It's been naturalized and covered with branches. Tres Hombres Uno is in good shape from the top to where it intersects LazyBonz. South of there it's overgrown and hard to follow. I think part of it has been naturalized. Take LazyBonz instead.

I descended Exfoliator at the end. It was a bit hard to find as the top is impacted by fire break in two spots. But once you see where it drops in off that, it's easy to follow. It's a bit overgrown but not terrible. And it's rutted. But you can cross over in plenty of spots. Actually kinda fun. Below the steep section the trail is fine all the way to the campground.


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 Post subject: Re: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:20 pm 
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Four of us rode the Alvin Meadows / Hub trails yesterday. We dropped a truck off at the Hub in the morning, and rode from Rick’s cabin in Pine Cove, so we could finish up downhill. We ended up with 11 1/2 miles, 1200’ of elevation gain, 2000’ of loss. The weather was great for riding. We focused on riding trails higher up, some of which were new to us, then headed down to the Hub. We did not see a single person on any trail the entire time, although when we we got to the Hub there were several cars there just leaving. We assumed they rode the lower trails. Our route (see the Hub map in post above) was Toptimator - Sleepwalker - Dream Twister - Insomniac - Sleepwalker - Optimator - Alternator - Smokestack - Silver Crag to the Hub. We set out on Black Bear to North Face, but turned around partway up the climb to the overlook because we were all pretty beat. The upper trails were all totally fun narrow single track, twisting and turning and folding back on themselves. There are no trail markers, so intersections required discussion not to end up going in circles or too far west. GPS helped as well as just a dead reckoning sense of which way to head. The upper trails this early in the season can be hard to discern as they’re really narrow and often covered with oak leaves and pine needles. They duck under branches and go over rock outcrops frequently. A number of switchbacks and short punchy uphills were still really soft, but will get better as they’re ridden in. We started down a favorite, Optimator, to get to the Hub, but soon saw a bermed turn to the right so followed it. This turned out to be a great downhill trail, Alternator, with lots of steep banked turns and several sets of short doubles (mile 8 below).In general, the trails farther down the hill still have plenty of twists and turns, but are more open and flowing, and more well used. It’s all good.

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 Post subject: Re: Idyllwild
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 12:40 pm 
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Last weekend we rode the trails from Pine Cove down to the Hub again, but this time stayed east of the fire road, and then went south to the overlook. In the middle area we put away the map & GPS and went with the flow, making left/right decisions on the fly that resulted in riding a couple of loops two or three times. Which was great!


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