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DesertMud - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Pine Trees, Southern California
Hiking Mountain Biking Pine Trees Jul 7, 2022
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You are here: Home : Mountain Biking Last Updated on 09/12/2004    
Diff: Rating 8/10
Scenic: Rating 7/10
Tech: Rating 4/10
Hesperia, CA to Cedar Glen, CA
         Failed attempt #2 to get to Green Valley Lake
Location: San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California
Region: Lake Arrowhead Region
Total Distance: 56 Mi
Elevation Gain: 6,600 Ft
Season: April-Nov
Type: Out & Back
Start Elev: 2,920 Ft
Peak Elev: 5,400 Ft
Total Time: 5.67 hr

Ride added by
on 09/12/2004
Driving Directions
You can park at Hesperia Lakes and ride from there. Take I-15 to Main St., go east about 8 miles to Hesperia Lakes on your left.
From Hesperia Lakes, ride south on Arrowhead Lake Rd to Hwy 173. Make a left, go 1 mile and the road becomes unpaved. After about 5 miles of dirt (used to be 7) the pavement returns. It's another 6-7 miles to the outskirts of Lake Arrowhead (North Bay Rd). I arrived at this point after about 2 hours total ride time. Continue on Hwy 173 until it begins to bend around the east side of the Lake. On your left will be a Jensons Market. Just past the store on your left is Hook Creek Rd. Make a left here. This road climbs steeply at first then descends quite a ways. It passes by all the burned out houses. Darn near every house is gone along this one stretch. Shortly after the end of the burned houses is a locked gate - signed no motorized vehicles. Continue across the gate and the road soon begins descending again with a speed bump about every 100ft - annoying. After about 1 mile of speed bumps, the road crosses Hook Creek, which had a small amount of clear running water, and becomes dirt. Just after crossing Hook Creek, there is a lone cabin. There is a dirt road that goes up in front of this cabin and continues on. Thinking this was 3N34, I got on it. It begins very sandy but soon becomes rideable. It curves around the hillside and heads mostly south. There is a fallen tree across the road that I walked under. Shortly after the tree is a locked gate. I continued on, thinking all the time I was on the wrong road... but I hoped it might lead somewhere. It just kept going south. The weed growth on the road makes it obvious that it is not traveled often. After about 2.2 miles on this road, at a point where I could see power lines a little further up the hillside, it bends around and heads west and then turns back on itself and heads north. It passes by this large circular thing in the ground that looked like a fiberglass firepit. After about 2.5-2.6 miles the road deadends at a large burned log. I saw no other roads along this entire stretch, nor did I see and forks off this road, and I was looking. I had a real good feeling all along I was on the wrong road, but didn't want to turn around and have to come back. So, don't take that road by the cabin by Hook Creek... it goes nowhere. The USGS 7.5' Lake Arrowhead Topo shows a trail that leaves Hook Creek in this area... but it didn't show up on my black and white copy... bummer. The map shows the trail heading south and splitting at about 5150 feet. The trail I was on did not split, it did not follow either of the paths of the trails on the map, but I think it was closest to the eastern-most trail. But there was no way to reach the scout camps from this trail without hiking off-trail. After hitting the dead-end, I turned around and was quickly back at Hook Creek. I road around the next bend, and there was 3N34, signed and next to the big map sign that I think I saw 6 years earlier. So I headed down 3N34 to Deep Creek, crossed the creek (on a concrete road!) and begin walking up the highly technical part of 3N34. I started riding along 3N34, but I had burned a few hours by taking that wrong turn, because I kept looking at my map so much and I was running low on water. I didn't think I had enough to get to Big Pine Flat and fill up. So I turned around. The ride back up Hook Creek road, which I did not want to have to do, was not too fun. I stopped at Jensons for a few minutes to relax and then headed back down Hwy 173. Went down Willow Creek Road to Lake Arrowhead where they were having a wine and art festival. Too bad it wasn't an all you can eat and drink festival. Then I headed back down Hwy 173 and back to Hesperia.
Got a late start again, 8:30am. It was too hot. After I turned onto Hwy 173 onto Arrowhead Lake road I saw someone hiking up by the parking area for the PCT. Turns out it was someone else on a bike, riding up to Arrowhead. I finally caught her after about 4 miles. Then she passed me and I never saw her again. She had only a single bottle of water, and there I am with 2 gallons on my back. That heavy pack really makes it hard to climb. I was pushing it too hard in the heat trying to catch up and lost too much water, started getting the chills at about 5 miles from the base of the dirt. And yet, this was about my slowest time ever up this road. Go figure. I don't know what it was but I felt like crap that morning and felt like crap the whole ride. I had nothing to give and nothing left, it was just an off day. I ended up going thru about 6 liters though and still lost about 4 pounds and arrived home slightly dehydrated, as usual.

Coming back on Arrowhead Lake Rd, I had a real nice tailwind and was doing 32-37 mph most of the way.
Trail Condition
For the love of god don't make the same mistake I did. This is the second time I've tried to do this loop to Green Valley Lake to Big Pine Flat to Apple Valley and the 2nd time a wrong turn has not allowed it to happen.
Forest Details
Burned. All the Coulter pines are burned. It's real sad, some of the best trees that I remember from years before, that the Willow Fire missed, are totally burned up now.
Notes about this ride report
Computer Readings:
Distance: 56.14 miles
Odometer: 5558.2 miles
Max Speed: 41.0 mph (Arrowhead Lake Rd on the way back)
Ride Time: 5:41:33
Average Speed: 9.8 mph
Start Time: 8:30am
End Time:3:30pm
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