Gridley-Nordhoff-Pratt loop

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Luis, Oct 3, 2016.

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  1. Luis

    Luis iMTB Addict

    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    So after reading @Mikie and @Voodoo Tom report of their massive ride in this area earlier in the year, I've had a need to go and ride Gridley.
    Luckily for me, @scott suggested this for a sunday ride. With the temps forecasted in the 75 degree range and clear skies, the timing looked optimal for the climb. Having never been there, this was Scott's chance to show me some new (to me) dirt.
    With a 6:30am meet time in Sherman Oaks and a quick bite and coffee just outside Ojai, we reached the trailhead just before 8:00am. Our plan was to avoid the weekend crowds, and it worked! We saw a couple of hikers here and there, and for the most part all were cordial but there was one lady that ignored us after we said hello to her. There's always one in the crowd :stop:
    Scott got to know this trail really well after buying our friend Steve Messer's (Kanga) book:
    In the book, it's ride 8 and it gives you a great description and detailed instructions on what to expect.

    Gridley starts out with a series of rock gardens and one short steep rocky hike-a-bike, but then settles into a steady six mile climb with some challenges in the form of rocky steps ups and some narrow washout sections. Because of this it is considered a single black diamond trail. I commented to Scott that it reminded me of the time we rode Holy Jim trail with @mike

    A sign of things to come

    I did mention hike-a-bike sections right?

    Looking back at the avocado groves we rode through

    Looking back at Gridley as it snakes it's way up the mountain

    Taking a breather from the relentless climb

    The top of Gridley at just under two hours

    After reaching the top of Gridley we then had a really steep last leg up to Nordhoff peak. One mile, 630ft with an average 10% grade on a fire road, but the payoff was awesome.

    Scott and your truly enjoying the breeze and the views from the lookout tower on Nordhoff peak
    IMG_0405.JPG IMG_3647.JPG

    One last look back at Gridley before heading down to Pratt

    Nordhoff was a great hang out place was but now it was time to head on down to what we came for.
    Pratt is rated as a double black diamond single track that features some tight switchbacks, rock gardens, and exposure. Unfortunately we were having too much fun here to stop and take a lot of pictures. Pratt starts out smooth and flowy and gradually gets more technical the further down you go. Upper Pratt ends at cozy dell fire road, but here we followed the directions in the book to a single track called Foothill trail. This single track is a better option to rejoin lower Pratt, rather than taking a boring fire road.

    Rejoining Pratt trail

    Scott starting down the lower section of Pratt

    The lower section of Pratt requires full commitment. Some sections are a long series of rock steps with some wood ties thrown in. By the time we came out at the end of Pratt, my arms felt like I had done 150 push ups or more :sick:

    Getting back to the car was a series of rolling climbs on Valley View fire road.

    Back at the car after an awesome ride

    As you can see, the fact that we were there early in the morning meant we were able to score a spot in this tiny parking lot.

    Ride stats:
    • 16.6mi
    • 3:09:52
      Moving Time
    • 4,312ft
    Maddog, Cougar, Redman and 13 others like this.
  2. dstepper

    dstepper Member

    Laguna Beach
    Dean Stepper
    Current Bike:
    2014 Turner Czar
    Excellent thx for the post.

    Sasquatch9billion and Mikie like this.
  3. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Nice one, Guys... Thanks for sharing!
    Sasquatch9billion and Mikie like this.
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Great report. And thank you for mentioning the book. I'm gonna get it and start checking them off. Funny how by Friday I am sitting there thinking about what ride to do on Saturday. I hate riding the same thing over and over again and this will give me options...! You still need to do Reed Reef. It is a blast as well!
    DangerDirtyD likes this.
  5. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Western US
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    Way to get on it, Luis!

    Some quality stuff up there...I always think of Nordhoff as Jumbo Santa Anas. A bro lives in Ojai, so I get up there now and again. LPNF FTW! TFPU!
    Mikie likes this.
  6. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Nice one guys. I knew there was more riding there so now I need to go back and do some more exploring (besides it looks like we need to take a new flag up there). We never saw the lookout so I take it you went left at the top of Gridley?
    Mikie likes this.
  7. Luis

    Luis iMTB Addict

    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    That's correct Tom. We did a big counter clockwise loop
    Voodoo Tom and Mikie like this.

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