Palm Canyon/Art Smith Loop/ Opinion?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Stkx66, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Stkx66

    Stkx66 Member

    Location:
    Southern California
    Name:
    Steve Boudreaux
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Bronson C
    I've been looking at this loop ( Art Smith ) and ride reports on this website. I'm looking for an opinion- I bought my Hightower with 27 + wheels to do a ride like this and the rides I also do in Havasu. So far, in this past year, I've ridden about 25 miles at the most at one time and I'm spent by the end. I know that I'm doing better on my new Hightower, but really by how much? 5%? 10%?
    My question is: Would Dunn Road ( Vons in Cathedral City ) to Art Smith ( Down Art Smith ) to Hop Along down to the valley floor be to much? And possibly ( most likely ) back to Vons on the highway a bit to much in one ride ? I believe the window is closing in on hot weather.
     
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  2. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    Dunn Rd. is a horrible climb from the bottom. Then Art Smith has a fair amount of climbing.
     
  3. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    My limited experience and from @Sidewalk latest discussion, Dunn climb isn't for the faint of heart. Then adding Art Smith which is a bunch more climbing. Hopalong, I haven't done yet but there is a descent amount of climb there also. It can be done but make sure you are prepared. Others will pipe in for sure.
     
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  4. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    It's not too much for one ride.

    Dunn Rd is brutally steep from the bottom. Art Smith has some wicked climbs on it. H0palong alleges to have many short climbs. I'd think one should be cracking off 25 mi efforts with NBD before going after what you suggest.
     
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  5. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    Absolutely, I would venture to say that this ride would be 5000 ish of climb.
     
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  6. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Unknown
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    You gain about 1000' in the first 2 miles of Dunn. It's steep.

    I don't like to tell people "don't try it", but in the interest of safety, I advise against the loop you propose.
     
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  7. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I've only ridden in that area twice. Both rides were shuttles, starting from the Pinyon Campground.

    Both rides absolutely kicked my butt, and easily felt like double what the numbers said they should feel like...

    That's one of the few areas that I won't ever argue with a shuttle!
     
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  8. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    I think SART is a better option for what you are looking to accomplish. Many option with bailouts or J ride.
     
  9. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Unknown
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Trying to kill him?
     
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  10. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I've done Art Smith and Hopalong Cassidy both directions, a number of times. Neither are easy to ride but each one is awesome, unique and highly worthwhile. See @schillingsworth 's most recent TR. We climbed Hopalong and Art Smith that day.

    Your route is good but personally I'd rather climb up the Goat Trails and Wildhorse than go up Dunn Road. I should point out that Dunn Rd doesn't start at Vons - the road that starts at Vons goes up through the Goat Trails. Dunn Rd starts at the top end of a neighborhood above the Imax theatre in Cathedral City a few miles away. Climbing Goats to Wildhorse isn't easy but there is lots of rideable trail and there will be some hike a bike. A friend of mine climbed it and actually cleaned every switchback on Wildhorse last year. This route would definitely less mind and a$$-numbing than Dunn Rd. Then you get your choice of fun singletracks to get to Art Smith. This ride would be around 5,000ft and 25mi depending how you connect Wildhorse to AS. It is not a loop though and stats mentioned don't include the road connection to close the loop, which would add 7 miles of flat pavement.

    Art Smith has some challenging climbing going either direction. But overall it flows pretty well. There will be a few sections of hike a bike either way. It goes past some palm groves and has a way out there feel with a lot of cool rocks. If descending AS the ending is a fun descent though it can have tons of hikers below the final palm grove. You won't see many people above that. Hopalong Cassidy is tougher and slower overall, and can be looked at almost as two separate rides. They are divided by a big white cross up on a hill. From 74/111 up to the cross is mostly mellow climbing on great tread, but you will pass dozens of hikers if riding in the morning which will slow you down a lot. Past the cross, the trail is much less used, steeper and more raw. There will be several steep hike a bikes in either direction, lots of exposure and great views. While there will be very few hikers beyond the cross, riding is slower due to the toughness of the trail. The good thing with Hopalong Cassidy is there are numerous bailouts because there are tons of hiker social trails that drop down into neighborhoods. There aren't any bailouts on Art Smith. But when you finish it you can bail onto Hwy 74 rather than turn onto Hopalong.

    It is hard to reference this ride for the OP since I don't know what sort of rides you normally do, but what I'll say is that either direction this ride is very tough - tougher than the stats suggest due to steep sections and hike a bike. I'd go up the Goat Trails like I said on the standard Palm Canyon route, cross over to Dunn Rd but climb that up to Mike's Desert Oasis. That part of Dunn is not terrible. If you're feeling good continue on AS. Reassess again when you get to Hopalong. If you're still good, keep going. If not, bail to 74. Probably best to not do this ride solo. And have extra food/water/tools/spares etc.
     
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  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS


    Hey....::.wait a minute....... o_O

    Well maybe...... :cautious:

    Ok....:.could be fun..... :thumbsup:
     
  12. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    You could get him in shape for his ride.
     
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  13. Stkx66

    Stkx66 Member

    Location:
    Southern California
    Name:
    Steve Boudreaux
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Bronson C
    Thank you for all for your input. It sounds like I would be biting off more than I my abilities can handle. I want to do this long term so I don't want to get into trouble out there.
    I will reassess this loop. Maybe up Hopalong Cassidy and straight back? This would cut what I proposed initially by like 2/3.
     
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  14. Stkx66

    Stkx66 Member

    Location:
    Southern California
    Name:
    Steve Boudreaux
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Bronson C
    I've already proven that I bounce well... er uh well maybe not. The bruise I have on my hip from riding in Sedona is not going away so fast.
     
  15. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Why not a "standard" Palm Canyon shuttle route? It only takes a buddy with a car. Park one at the plaza and head up top to Pinion Campground. We got 30 miles and 3000 feet. Although the 3000 felt like 6000, it's a lot more manageable. Even better would be to find a buddy who has done it...

    Personally, I'd take the Hahn Trail over Art Smith. I'll do that one again at some point, but there was a lot of "up" on that downhill.
     
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  16. CalEpic

    CalEpic Member

    Name:
    Craig
    I think if you can ride 25 miles, you can do your loop. Embrace the challenge. If you're cooked when you get to Art Smith, you can bail out down Art Johnson.

    Personally, I'd rather start at the top, down Palm Canyon, up the wash and finish with Art Smith. That's going to be a little tougher route if the sand wash isn't packed down, but as mentioned by others, climbing Dunn Road really doesn't have any redeeming qualities other than not having to shuttle.
     
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