Burkhart Trail . . . . The Beauty and the Beast!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Mikie, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Burkhart Trail . . . a few words and LOTS of Pics today...

    The Burkhart Trail, at lease the north end of it's trailhead, is out of the Devils Punch Bowl parking lot. They say it's in the Pearblossom section of the Antelope Vally. At least that's what STRAVA would have you believe. To get to the Trailhead from the parking lot you have a non-warm up climb to where the Burkhart Trail "T's" into the Devils Chair trail.

    Don't be alarmed when you see the PCT emblem on a stick as you make the hard right. The Burkhart Trail and the PCT join "trail" and "Singletrack" together for several miles and this section is a multi-use section and for some strange reason works just fine . . . (imagine that!)

    The Playahhh's for the day are Hill^Billy who called the ride and was the ride leader, and some of the usual suspects, Rossage, Mike McGuire, Willi-D, Scan, yours truly, and a newcomer Jordan aka j_latimer of imtbtrails. Jordan . . . we hope you come back!!! :?

    Proof: <a class="postlink" href="http://app.strava.com/activities/123244365" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://app.strava.com/activities/123244365</a>



    The trail starts with a slight climb than gently rolls a couple of miles and then plummets down to Cruthers Creek and from there starts the big ascent from Hell, just under 5 miles of singletrack on everything from buttery smooth decomposed granite, to large chunks of sharp shale and granite on a grade as low as 7% up to 18.8%. In some places the trail is no more than a 6" slight bench of rock conglomerate.

















    I just took my time, stopping to take a lot of pictures and at one point taking a break to eat. Hillbilly, Rossage, and Mike McGuire took off and were never seen again until we all made the saddle.

















    The climb up was no doubt a tough one. I like this sort of stuff. It seems as of late I'm always recovering from some kind of cold. So I just cruised up and stopped to take a lot of pictures. The weather was incredible and the views were beyond amazing.

















































    Rossage says they were there about 15 minutes before I arrived. Scan and Jordan held the duty of sweep. It was long and it was arduous! At the saddle we could see a long ways both North and South. Just a little bit of snow patches here and there with none on the trail.
    Even still, at 6,830 feet of elevation with a breeze through the pass we were in Jerseys and arm warmers. Amazing! Did we even have winter this year?



















    When we were all gathered, we descended past the pass about another mile just to see what it was like. Once we hit the first switchback it plummeted into the valley. None of us had enough energy to drop into that and climb back out so we turned around and headed back. Once we hit the summit I happen to be in front (heh heh!) I went ahead and dropped back down Burkhart in front of the pack...

    The descent down Burkhart is blazin' fast and you are only hindered by the gazillion chunky shards of granite of all sizes, and some serious left turns around granite faces with shear exposure on the right. Sometimes feeling like you are riding on marbles at high speed it made you think twice, and twitch your fingers on the break levers. As well, the descent is so steep, even tapping the brakes and releasing you are back up to whatever speed you had the guts to hang on to. Slowing only to Cyclocross over (and even under) fallen trees across the trail, getting back down to Cruthers Creek took just over 16 minutes for me. I set up a segment on STRAVA since there wasn't one, but I don't suspect anyone will be doing this trail for a time trial anytime soon.

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    UPSed likes this.
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Climbing back up out of Cruthers Creek is short but steep and with a lot of climbing miles on our legs it was a slow cruiser for me.

    Willi-D, God bless him was not feeling well and bolted at the start of the ride. Scan had to get back so he headed back to the parking lot. Jordan followed behind him. The rest of us decided to do the Devils Chair trail out to the Chair and back. Easy stuff, somewhat like a super highway in some places compared to what we just came of of. There were a few hikers out and all were really nice. Some thought we were insane to ride such a trail. Hah! IF they could only imagine what we did earlier that day.


















    The only surprise for the day was coming back down towards the parking lot we lost Rossage somehow. We were all so exhausted, it was tough to get back on the bikes to go look for him. I was just about to get in my car and drive down Devils Punchbowl Road cuz I had a sneaky suspicion he went to far North, when he came rolling up the road, cuz that is exactly what he did.

    Starving from being out there all day, we bolted over to Don Cuco's in Acton to grab some grub and brew. Another Epic day of adventure exploring some of the lesser known trails on the North side of the Gabes...

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    UPSed, kingaucho and CarlS like this.
  3. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Prescott
    Name:
    hill^billy
    Great report!! Nice to relive it. I'll be back when I need a GOOD ass kicking! That place is really ruggedly beautiful. I think I will take more time to take it all in next time. When it's time, who's in?
     
    Mikie likes this.
  4. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Missed it due to a previous commitment. Definitely in next time.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  5. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    The climb was steep
    We had a gap between us
    After a mile
    I couldnt feel my penis!

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  6. Bluesrider

    Bluesrider Member

    Location:
    Newbury Park Ca.
    Name:
    Todd
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer T275c
    Awesome ride report. I need to check site more often, so I get in on these epics. I rode Burkhart Saddle about 10 years back, foolishly and unknowing we dropped down the backside to Hwy 2 and Buckhorn Campground. Turned into a long day.

     
    Mikie likes this.
  7. j_latimer

    j_latimer Newbie

    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Name:
    Jordan
    Current Bike:
    2012 Jamis Dakar XCT

    Give me 6 months of training and I will be in again!!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  8. El Immigrante

    El Immigrante Member

    Location:
    SFV
    Name:
    Montalvo
    Current Bike:
    Ibis
    Mad props!

    22/4,700 is not a walk in the park.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  9. BCrummett

    BCrummett Member

    Location:
    Pasadena
    Name:
    Brandon
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Mojo HD3
    Awesome RR. I just hiked that area 2 weeks ago and the entire time all I could think was, "I WISH I HAD MY BIKE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!" I'm definitely going to make a return trip out there for some riding.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  10. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    I don't think I'll be doing that climb again anytime soon. I don't shuttle all that often but if any place needed a shuttle it would be that one. overall it's a beautiful place to ride

     
    Mikie likes this.
  11. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    There's no way to shuttle that one! You get more of the same in the section between the saddle and Buckthorn. The good stuff is always hard!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  12. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Prescott
    Name:
    hill^billy
    Rossie, why don't you set up a torture session coming from the other side, like you originally planed? New dirt is good, I think?
     
    Mikie likes this.
  13. jimbowho

    jimbowho Member

    Location:
    acton
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor 29r
    Thanks for the great RR. I have never gone that far, usually pass the stream by the windmill and do the big uphill a bit further. I took my daughter last year and rolled up on a tree that I carved into "before it was politically incorrect" in 1990. I thought it vanished before I looked six feet up and there it was. Felt real old.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  14. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    Picture slot machine....
    Pssst @everybody, this is an OLD post :ninja:
     
    Mikie, Faust29, rossage and 2 others like this.
  15. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    YEAH!! Could see the date CLEARLY!!!
     
    Mikie and Luis like this.
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Hmmmm. I'm actually stupid enough to do this one again.
    "Should I do it in the past... or in the future?
    Could somebody show me how to read a calendar?
     
  17. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Prescott
    Name:
    hill^billy
    I will do it also, (the past was good ) as long as it's not to hot! Awesome back country trail! Fran?
     
    Mikie likes this.
  18. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I'd almost forgot to how painful that climb was-almost!
    I'd do it again anyways. Because it's hard.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  19. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Don't care to do that climb again!!!
     
    Mikie likes this.
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