Tsering and I have been hearing all of this hype about new singletrack trails being built in our own backyard- the magnificent King’s Range coastal mountains near Shelter Cove. We were feeling up for an adventure yesterday, so we quickly scanned some maps we found on the BLM website and planned a day of riding in the boonies. Tsering had done a ride out that way about 3 years ago with some riding buddies of ours, so we planned our day based on his hazy memory of the route. We stopped off of Kings Peak Rd and parked at Tolkan campground area where we easily found the new trails that stem right from the campground. The new singletrack was sweet! Definitely built with bikes in mind- the switchbacks were wide and bermed so you could carry speed and the trails never got too steep. The routes we took take you steadily downhill back to the main road. Rumor has it that as soon as Fall 2007, all of the trails will be complete and you will be able to ride 14 miles straight of sweet singletrack. After hopping on and off the new trails, we decided to ride down Horse Mtn Creek Trail as we thought it was part of Tsering’s ride 3 years ago. Turned out it wasn’t (just goes basically straight down the hill to the ocean). We eventually turned around and worked hard to climb back up the steep pitch. Once we got back to the main road, we decided to re-evaluate our ride plan. We cruised back to Tolkan and then saw that the trail to the peak of King’s Range was much further down the road. We hopped into the car and parked near where we thought was close to the summit trail. After climbing up the dirt road at a vicious pitch for about 3o mins, we re-evaluated that thought. Eventually, we ended up at what was the trailhead at 4pm. It was getting late, but we decided to keep riding- determined to make it to the peak of the range. The trail was double-track basically the whole time we were on it and pretty steep. We were either climbing or descending. An hour later, we had crested three peaks, but apparently we weren’t to the top yet! Sadly, it was getting dark so we turned around and high-tailed it back up the hills. Almost the whole way back to the car, we were in the dark. Thank goodness we had a big moon that evening to help us find our way. Even though we never made it to the peak of the range, it was a fabulous epic adventure on the bike and Tsering and I vowed to return soon to get our revenge on the elusive highest peak on along the Pacific Ocean.
Check out the BLM website for info on King’s Range: http://www.blm.gov/ca/arcata/kingrange/