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Hiking Mountain Biking Pine Trees Apr 12, 2024
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DeparmentofGoods - Outdoor Gear Without the Gouge

You are here: Home : Mountain Biking Last Updated on 10/03/2004    
Diff: Rating 9/10
Scenic: Rating 8/10
Tech: Rating 5/10
60 Mile Loop, North San Bernardinos
         Hesperia, Cedar Glen, Crab Flats, Big Pine Flat
Location: San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California
Region: Lake Arrowhead Region
Total Distance: 60 Mi
Elevation Gain: 7,200 Ft
Season: April-Nov
Type: Loop
Start Elev: 2,900 Ft
Peak Elev: 6,850 Ft

Ride added by
on 09/26/2004
Driving Directions
To get to Hesperia Lakes, take I-15 to Hesperia, exit at Main St. and head east. After about 7-8 miles or so and many stoplights the road bends around to the south and becomes Arrowhead Lake rd. Continue about another mile to Hesperia Lakes on your left. Park in the front parking lot near the store.

******* OR ********

If you hate stoplights.... Take I-15 to the Hwy 138 exit below the Cajon pass. Take Hwy 138 EAST toward Silverwood Lake. Continue on 138 a few miles after the road straightens out. Make a left onto Hwy 173 toward Hesperia. Take 173 to the only major left turn at Arrowhead Lake Rd. (If you stay on 173 until it becomes dirt and starts winding up the mountain, turn around, go back a mile and make a right onto Arrowhead Lake Rd.) Take Arrowhead Lake Rd about 4-5 miles to Hesperia Lakes on your right. Park in the main lot by the store. This is probably the better way to go if you're coming from I-15 North.
From Hesperia Lakes 2900' elev, head South on Arrowhead Lake Rd about 5 miles, watching for traffic, to Hwy 173. Make a left, go 1 mile and the road becomes unpaved for the next 5 miles. Continue on 173, paved about 10-12 miles to Hook Creek Rd at Jensons Market in Cedar Glen, watching for generally friendly traffic from North Bay rd to Hook Creek Rd. Make a left, stay on Hook Creek, pass all the burned houses, until the locked gate signed "No Motorized Vehicles", go around the gate and descend down to Hook Creek. The last mile of this is over a bunch of speedbumps. Pass the small creek and go about 1/4 mile to signed 3N34, make a slight right onto 3N34. Continue on 3N34 across Deep Creek, now rated most difficult. Take this to Crab Flats Rd 3N16, make a left, and take this 8 miles up to Big Pine Flat. At Big Pine Flat, 6850' elev, head west down 3N14 about 12 miles of fun descent back down to the desert where it ends at Bowen Ranch Rd unpaved. Make a right here a couple miles to Roundup Way unpaved. Make a left, this becomes paved after maybe a mile and stay on this for another 3-4 miles, watching for sparse fast generally unfriendly traffic, to Sagebrush St. Make a left to the powerlines, make a right on the powerline rd, cross 2 asphalt roads and another small rd and make a left on the gas line rd at the corner of a fence. Cross Kiowa Rd, stay on the gas line rd. This drops down to Deep Creek Rd paved, head west on the bent portion of Deep Creek Rd 3/4 mile to the Mojave river, walk about 1/3 mile across the river (dry, deep sand) to Calpella Ave. Make a left about 1 mile to Arrowhead Lake Rd. Make a left about 1/4 mile back to Hesperia Lakes.
Third try's a charm. Turned out to be a pretty good loop for a day. Most of 3N34 is unrideable from Deep Creek to the locked gate west of Crab Flats. This portion is a very technical jeep trail, steep, loose, and very bouldery. There's about 2 miles of hike-a-bike in here. I probably wouldn't want to even ride down this portion, with a heavy pack, it's very technical.

Near the start of 3N34 just above Deep Creek there is a large downed tree on the road, lying parallel to the road. This happened within the last 2 weeks. Further up there is another large downed tree lying across the entire road where dirt bikes have carved a notch in the hillside around it. Further up, there are two small downed trees covering half the road and further up there is another large downed tree covering the entire road where dirt bikes have carved a path on the downside of the tree on the side of the mountain, around it. Further up is the locked gate signed "No motorized vehicles". After the gate, 3N34 becomes mellow again and passes Tent Peg Campground, a reservation group camp with no water. Just before 3N34 meets 3N16 is Crab Flat Fee Campground with water. 3N16 starts out as a paved road for a short distance and descends quite a ways for 3 miles and then begins climbing to Big Pine Flat, fee campground with cold water. On the descent back to the desert from Big Pine Flat, there are two main climbs, one out of Coxey meadow and the other up around the side of Rattlesnake Mountain. Other than that and a few small hills it's mostly 25-35 mph downhill back to Roundup Way... 10 miles of fun.
Trail Condition
It's all pretty good riding except 3N34 between Deep Creek and the locked gate west of Crab Flats.
Forest Details
There's still some live trees along the route.
Notes about this ride report
Computer Readings:
Distance: 60.21 miles
Odometer: 5681.6 miles
Max Speed: 39.0 mph
Ride/Walk Time: 6:21:45 hours
Average Speed: 9.4 mph
Distance on new computer: 575.47 miles
Start Time: 8:15am
End Time: 4:00pm

Time from start to end of old dirt road on Hwy 173 at grate north of shooting range: 85 minutes
Time from start to ranger station south of shooting range: 90 minutes
Time from start to Willow Creek Rd x Hwy 173 near North Bay Rd: 110 minutes
Time from start to Jensons Market in Cedar Glen: 122 minutes.
Leave Big Pine Flat at 2:15pm
Home at 4pm

Water: I started with 5.5 liters on my back and zero on the bike. Filled the two bottles on the bike at the ranger station south of the shooting range and added about 1/2 liter to my back and drank about 1/2 liter. At Crab Flat campground I put 2 more liters in the Camelbak and refilled them. At Big Pine Flat, I added 2 liters to the Camelbak and refilled one of them and drank about 1/2 liter, transferred gatorade in a bottle on the bike to my back and refilled the bottle on the bike. I got home with 42 ounces on the bike and about 3 liters on my back for a total consumption of just over 8 liters. Didn't loose but 2-3 pounds on this ride.
Added on 10/03/2004 by TractorUp
Did the same loop again this weekend with Verdi. 2 of the 3 large downed trees on 3N34 had been cut up and pushed off the side of the road. The worst blockage, the 3rd one, was still there.

Beautiful day, no wind all day long which really made coming back a whole lot easier. Usually coming back in the afternoon there's 20mph headwinds and it's miserable cause all ya want to do is get home and have some popsicles and ice cream, but today, there were none. The gnats on 3N34 were just as bad this time, although it seemed shorter today.

Computer Readings:
Distance: 61.40 miles
Odometer: 5782.0 miles
Max Speed: 44.0 mph (Roundup Way on the way back, I was still pedaling with standard XC MTB gears, no headwinds, it's weird, I usually can't pedal over about 41 mph, spinning way too fast, go figure. This is a new top speed for me, my old one was 43.3 mph, before that it was 43.0 mph.)
Ride/Walk Time: 6:34:16 hours
Average Speed: 9.3 mph
Start time: 8:50am
End time: 6:30pm

We stopped a lot, made for slow time but sure was nice eating all day... made for no recovery for me. Verdi ran low on potassium and started feeling it at about mile 28, that was a bummer, he was grinding on a 40 lb bike though, but we both made it back in one piece, so can't complain. Had a good damn ride, and a good day.

I was fortunate yesterday to discover my front gear cable was hanging on by about 4 strands, put a new one on. My front disc rotor is rubbing the metal edge of the caliper, I played with it for a few hours yesterday but didn't get anywhere with it. Put some new rear brake pads on yesterday, and stripped the nut head. Lucky it was locked tight when it stripped, it's good 'till I need to adjust it, then I'll have to drill it out, or maybe the vise can get it, oh boy, can't wait.

Verdi was talking about doing some lake rides. I was still bummed I missed his ride around Big Bear Lake. Then I got home and started thinking... why not hit 'em all in one day. Silverwood, Gregory, Grass Valley, Arrowhead, Green Valley, Big Bear, Baldwin, can't forget Baldwin, am I missing any? Any takers? Email me thru the contact form. The route might be complicated, but what's a little complication compared to a whole lot of fun. Better yet, kayak-a-bike across each one while we're at it. Better yet, bike-a-kayak to each lake, paddle across each one, and then ride home.

I'm off to do a road century with my cous near San Diego next weekend. Ain't it cool, flying by some yuppie on a Litespeed wearing $200 shorts. Does the buzz of my knobbies bother you?
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