Ride Report San Sevaine/Big Tree Truck Road

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by jeff^d, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. jeff^d

    jeff^d Active Member

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    A major part of mountain biking is experiencing things for yourself. Sure, your friends can tell you all about that sweet singletrack, describe every turn and bank, but until you actually feel the dirt beneath your tires, you won't feel satisfied with any explanation.

    Thus describes how I felt about Forest Service Road 1N34, also known as San Sevaine Rd, also known as Big Tree Truck Road, which connects Lytle Creek with Cucamonga Canyon. I read 4 or 5 separate reports that stated it was washed out, overgrown, dangerous in spots, full of hike-a-bike, boulder strewn, etc. Of course, in my mind, I thought that once I set eyes on it, looked down its throat, it would melt into majestic singletrack that just begged to be ridden.

    Well, I was a little wrong. Today we found it to be just about everything all those reports said it was.

    I will preface this by saying that although we didn't ride the entire road today, from what I've read and seen I think it's definitely passable, albiet not enjoyable in the traditional sense. We started in Lytle Creek then bailed and hiked down the wash in Deer Canyon/Calamity Canyon, which dumps you out onto Haven Ave in Rancho. Soon I'd like to ride up Cucamonga Canyon to the same Deer Canyon wash, just to see that section. I'm definitely bringing shin guards, and I won't be driven by that urge to ride the whole thing.

    We were able to get an early start over in Lytle Creek, and were on the trail during sunrise. As others have reported, the 12 miles to Joe Elliot campground are scenic and very ridable, giving you nearly 4,000' climbing.

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    Just past the campground, the road is closed yet continues to be in relatively good shape until a second gate, about 2 miles past the campground. This gate is basically the entrance to Day Canyon, where things start to get fugly.

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    The road skirting Day Canyon has seen better days. Long stretches of scree rock, overgrown thorn bushes, and sandy wash outs were common. We hiked across a boulder field with flowing water at the middle of the canyon and started our ascent.

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    Coming around the next turn, we found ourselves entering Deer Canyon and Calamity Canyon. The road seemed to be more overgrown and washed out, if possible, this time with 5-6' rock walls where we passed our bikes to one another.

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    Descending Deer Canyon, we noticed our bail-out option, which would eventually lead us to Haven Ave. We decided to take it, given that we had already been out nearly 10 hours and the road up Calamity Canyon looked time consuming, to say the least.

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    Just under 30 miles and 6,000' of climbing, based on topo maps. Not too bad to satisfy a little curiousity.
     
  2. crashergs

    crashergs New Member

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  3. crashergs

    crashergs New Member

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    Looking down from where we started this is probably a 2 mile mark.
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    We are greeted with 1N36 which has been known to provide some intense 3 miles of single track, little information about this trail is provided and outdated.
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    passing the gate about 1/2 mil up, we are presented with a nice patch of trees
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    and more uphill now with a glimpse of cucamonga peak
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    the gatekeeper
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    more foliage
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    a view of the southridge mountains and corona further back.
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    near cucamonga peak
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    cajon pass
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    This is where the real fun begins, road blocked due to severe washout and deterioration of the fireroad leading to cucamonga peak.
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    Looking past the gate.... the road we must take to continue our trek, looks pleasant right?
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    the remnants of a fireroad
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    these massive boulders cover the fireroad, a creek falls through the rocks from the peak (we have no idea where the water is coming from) We filled up our water here

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    looking back from where the creek flows..
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    remember that pleasant view that trail on the otherside of the hill, here is a closer snapshot. Looks rideable but really isnt, the rocks are loose and throws your bike in every direction.
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    washout
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    looks pleasant right? WRONG, for approx 4 miles we had to endure the onslaught of needle bushes, Jeff^D is a pure masochist :bang:
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    a view of fontana, and san bernardino
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    Chaffey College...
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    I stopped taking pictures at this point as I was beat :)
     
  4. GP_pilot

    GP_pilot Epic Builder

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    Jeff, you gave me a big smile on this RR. This is some of the exact same crap I've gone though in the last 5 months exploring the N. Gabes area we rode 2 weeks ago. Veggie shins are your friend for stuff like this, but it took me way too long to realize that. Enjoy exploring the road less traveled, but it's folks like us who laugh at those who will never see the views this remote terrain affords.
     
  5. Pain Freak

    Pain Freak Dead or Alive

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    I take my hat off to you guys. Having wrote my review of this trail years ago I've been contacted a number of times by folks looking for a true challenge and now as you know this is a challenge. I have to admit I'd like to exorcize some demons and ride this trail again. We spent 14 hours out there the day we did it but started in Fontana and we were a fair size group. We ended with almost 42 miles and we ran out of both food and water less then half way thru. Tuff day to say the least. I really appreciate the pictures as we didn't have a camera that day. The bigger boulders look to be gone as they were teetering as we touched them so I guess they finally rolled on but your pics tell the story anyways. It show what appears to be fairly easy to ride but if you've been there you know it isn't.The day we rode it, it was a very windy day and we were beat by the time we hit the antennas, but the worse was just about to begin.

    I look foward to the day they recut it and we are allowed to ride it again.
     
  6. jamisjake

    jamisjake Active Member

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    Nice pics!
     
  7. Chewyeti

    Chewyeti Circus Bear

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    sick ride!
     
  8. crashergs

    crashergs New Member

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    Thanks to Jeff that gave me a challenge to continue onward. If it was just me, I probably wouldn't have passed the Joe Elliot road blockade. Thankfully I was very hesitant to turn back, wanting to do this since I was a lil kid.
     
  9. Blueman

    Blueman New Member

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    Thanks for the great pics and good report; brings back memories. Last year I did the exact same ride you did but I did it solo and it was soooo lonely out there. I even bailed down the same wash to Haven. It's really tought to quit from there because you can see the the other side. However at that point I'd had so many pinch and thorn flats that I was out of tubes and patches. I had one tube that would hold air for 3 mins and the other was good for about 45 seconds. This is the only ride that I actually considered survival as part of the decision to continue or not.

    I thought the FR ride up to the camp was really cool though. I've been considering doing that again.
     
  10. jeff^d

    jeff^d Active Member

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    If we had made it to that wash with a little more daylight, I probably would've pushed on. It took a lot of restraint to be smart and hike down the wash, with the other side of the canyon staring you in the face, but I think it was the right choice.

    We were both using tubeless setups with Stan's sealant, no flats for either of us. Tubeless or very robust flat protection is a must for this ride; I lost count of how many thorns I ran over, and each time I'd just pull it out and listen to it seal up. I converted to tubeless 3 weeks ago and was very skeptical, but with no flats on The Forgotten Epic or this ride, I'm 100% sold. Best upgrade I've ever made.

    I agree that the road to Joe Elliot was very cool, especially riding through the burned zone. Feels very isolated and eerie out there.
     
  11. crashergs

    crashergs New Member

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    goto work dambrun
     
  12. OMR

    OMR Old Man Riding...

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    Grasshoppers!!! Good RR

    BUT: I can't believe you didn't ride the whole thing.... you mean to say you let a couple of rocks here and there stop you...????

    Just kidding, of course! Way to hang in there and good decision to bag it when you did. Like Mike, I think I'll wait until they recut the trail before tackling it.... too many other FUN trails to ride until then.
     
  13. Pain Freak

    Pain Freak Dead or Alive

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    I can't get this out of my mind. I've been thinking about it all day.
     
  14. lesper4

    lesper4 Member

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    I might be doing this saturday morning, anyone intrested?
     
  15. KonaDawgDeluxe

    KonaDawgDeluxe REKE/DMC

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    IMBA ought to take a look at this and fix it. Oh I forgot, they're too busy fixing up No Cal. :lol: :lol:
     
  16. DISCO

    DISCO Banned

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    So bring a shovel:?: that and loppers are a good place to start. I'd like to camp if the road up to it is passable and start at elevation instead, probably better off just hiking in with tools though since sometimes bikes just get in the way.
     
  17. ghixon

    ghixon Look Ma - No hands!

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    But Mike, you need to wait for the 40 mph headwinds like last time. Nothing like granny gearing a decent!
     
  18. lesper4

    lesper4 Member

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  19. lesper4

    lesper4 Member

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    bump, ok Checksix said the road is clear from Lytle Creek to Joe Elliot tree block but I am going to ride it any way this saturday and see how far I get. I will take my camera too, any one intrested. I am going to start form the Lytle Creek side.
     
  20. Doughboy

    Doughboy Simple Man

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    I must've missed this one the first time around - great ride and pics! thanks
     

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