Riding the Silver Moccasin & Gabrielino trails ANF

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Luis, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    So @rossage kept throwing hints at riding a "Super Shuttle" ride in the Angeles National Forest. The start of the ride would be Three Points, which is about three miles past Newcombs Ranch at the intersection of Angeles Crest Hwy and Santa Clara Divide Rd. There is a small parking lot with a very fragrant outhouse there. I've done a couple different epic shuttle rides in the area, mostly from Chilao so I am familiar with the trails and how difficult they are. Ross' route would be Three Points to Switzer via the Silver Moccasin and the Gabrielino... sweet!
    Since we were self-shuttling, I met Ross at the bottom parking lot at Switzers Picnic area and loaded our bikes and gear into my truck, left the Candyman-van there and headed to Three Points.

    The start of our backcountry adventure. The beginning of the Silver Moccasin trail
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    Our first segment was Three Point to Christian Camp. Short punchy climbs and some rocky sections thrown in quickly got us warmed up and shedding layers. We wouldn't really see the sun come out completely for the rest of the ride but the temperatures were perfect.

    Our first of many high points, near Christian Camp
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    Rossage photobomb, yes indeed, we are on the Silver Moccasin trail.
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    The trail from here drops into Bandido camp and past Horse Flats campground. Those that come up to ride Chilao know this part of the Silver Moccasin as the fun tech section with drops and the tight rocky switchbacks. After dropping this fun section we had a couple of steep climbs before leaving the Chilao area and heading to Charlton Flats.

    My best attempt at smiling after climbing a steep section of the Silver Moc.
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    We continued on the Silver Moc up to Charlton Flats and took a short break where the trail crosses Vetter Mt Rd, another high point on our journey.

    Like the menu says, drop for 1.8 miles, climb up to shortcut saddle, drop down to west fork... easy peasy.
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    Our next destination, shortcut saddle in the middle of the picture. We cross the Angeles Crest Hwy there, but we have a steep drop into the next canyon before climbing out. The backside of Mt Wilson with the radio and TV towers is visible way off in the far distance.
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    I lead the charge here because I was feeling frisky. Well that was short-lived only because the rear brake started to fade and the lever was going all the way to the grip. Oh crap! No bueno. Could it be that my Avid Elixirs decided to give up the ghost after four years? Damn crappy brakes are supposed to last a lifetime right? Don't need to go flying off the trail into an abyss, so I stopped and pumped the brake lever until pressure would build up. It was also a good opportunity to take pictures...

    Ross setting up.
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    Ross nailing it!
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    Down into the canyon we go...
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  2. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    To be continued...
     
    Old&InTheWay, mike, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  3. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Keep it up Luis!! Nice read and great pics
     
    Old&InTheWay, mike, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  4. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2013 Trek Slash 9
    Lotsa high points, you say?
     
    mike, Mikie, MrGreedom and 4 others like this.
  5. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Elevation: 420?
     
    Old&InTheWay, mike, Mikie and 7 others like this.
  6. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Excellent report @Luis ! Waiting for the next chapter.
    The section of the trail, with me dropping the steps, is now used by paid shuttlers to drop into the canyon and exit the bottom near the Big Tujunga Rd. The trail surface was much more silty and dusty, there were random wall rides, skid ruts into corners, and serious P-lines around most obstacles!
    Can't wait for the next installment, even though I know what happens!
     
    mike, Mikie, Old&InTheWay and 7 others like this.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Loved part one. Anxiously awaiting Part 2!
    More more more MORE! :thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, rossage and mike like this.
  8. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Burlosis! Good show, lads. Nice reportage, Luis.

    More indeed! :thumbsup:
     
    Tom the Bomb, rossage and Mikie like this.
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    @rossage is wearing his knee pads like nickers.... tee hee....:whistling:
     
  10. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Heh heh heh, you are wrong! Those are my elbow pads Mr. Smart Ass. My knee pads are worn out. The elbows are too-unless you put them on as shin pads. I found that most of my leg carnage was on the shin, not the actual knee, anyway.
    So, until I get my G Forms back from warranty after 1 ride...I will wear my shin pads and gaiters with pride. No sand in my shoes!
     
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Wait , what!?! I just bought a pair of G Form Knee Pads based on your recommendation. Are they no bueno now? You spindly legged elbow pad nicker wearing shin guard guy, you...
     
  12. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I had a loose thread on the elastic after using them for one ride. Wore it for a while anyway but recently sent them in for replacement.
    Excellent pads, and they are taking care of the problem so it's all good.
    The older set of G Forms lasted me close to 6 years so....
     
  13. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Normally I would make some smart ass comment about how you "wore out your knee pads:Roflmao", however my method of using my head and face to break down large boulders hasn't been working to well lately.
     
  14. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    Alright, let's see, where are we? Oh yea dropping into the big Tujunga creek on the Silver Moccasin and eventually reach shortcut saddle.

    Apparently people get shuttled to Charlton flats to drop down this section of the Silver Moc. It's evident from the work someone has been putting in. High bermed turns and some water bars that have been built up to divert water from forming ruts on the trail. It is a fun section of trail so I see the attraction, but it's too short of a section to shuttle in my opinion.
    Once you reach the creek bed you reach a junction where the shuttle people head off towards Big Tujunga canyon to get picked up. Not us, we continue on the Silver Moc and start the climb up to the highway.
    Last time I rode through here, the trail was severely overgrown with buckthorn and lots of poison oak. Not this time. Since the ANF 100 foot race ran through here earlier in the year, all the encroaching plants have been trimmed back and the trail had been worked on. But still, the trail is steep with tight switchbacks and step up railroad ties to navigate. Some bike pushing here and there but it is mostly rideable (slowly).

    At shortcut saddle you are greeted with this menu for the next section to the Silver Moc. It's basically a short drop in to 2N23 fireroad and ride west to 11W06 junction then drop 3.8 miles to West Fork. Our destination is on the lower sign, Red Box at 9.1 miles away.
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    The short section to the fire road had a huge rut that almost swallowed Ross and his bike. Lucky for me he was leading and I was able to stop in time and walk my bike. A couple of tight really rocky switchbacks and we reached the upper section of Rincon-Shortcut FR, headed west to the continuation of the Silver Moc.

    Ross at the Silver Moc junction.
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    Dropping in.
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    This section of the Silver Moc is steep with more exposure than the last section from Charlton flats. Lots of loose decomposed granite that normally would be a high pucker factor, but it looks like the area had some moisture in the last couple of days. IMG_2546.JPG IMG_2548.JPG IMG_2550.JPG

    West Fork is way deep in this canyon and thats our destination. The backside of Mt Wilson looks closer now but we are not headed up there today.IMG_2551.JPG
    The trail winds down the canyon and eventually levels out somewhat. It then meanders through the trees and rocks. No way to go full speed through here because the trail gets kinda tight in some sections, you get the feeling you are following a creek bed.

    Ross inspecting the next tech section coming up.
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    West Fork campground was our next rest stop, and the end of the Silver Moc. After a short rest we debated whether to take the Gabrielino ST or Rincon Red Box FR up to Red Box junction. Both ways means climbing out of the canyon but one is much easier than the other. Fire Road it is. Climbing the Gab would have added more time to our journey.
    The FR is no piece of cake either. Last time I rode it in the heat, I was bonking near the top :gag:

    Our steeds catching a break at West Fork Camp
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    Looking eastward at the trickling waters of the San Gabriel river at West Fork
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    After climbing the Rincon Red Box Rd, we arrive at Red Box and stop for a quick break. This red box at Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center seems to be cheering our achievement so far.
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    Looking towards the grove of trees in the center the picture, you can see Clear Creek Junction. Switzer picnic area, our final destination is just below that in the canyon.
    IMG_2559.JPG
     
    Maddog, scan, SnakeCharmer and 12 others like this.
  15. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Shortcut to West Fork has always been a challenge and it certainly was. Steep, tight, rocky, switchbacks and BB-high ruts kept thing very interesting. So did @Luis rear brake howl!
    As you get toward WF, there are downed trees and hike a bike sections on the Silver Moc. The trail criss-crosses the stream bed over and over until you just want to punch the trail designer in the face. I ran into a downed tree and got a little scratched up. Then you get to WF and all is good.
    Safety break and eat some REAL food before the 6 mile fireroad climb up to Red box.
    Then, the Gabrielino down to Switzers was a gas! Brushed and maintained, this trail is rockin' right now. Stalled out on the waterfall, again, but I will get it next time. I didn't want to show @Luis my super-secret line....
     
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Outstanding you rockstahs!
    Thanks for this...:thumbsup:
     
  17. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Damn I wish I had been ready for this one. Its on my list! You guys BAAAADAZZZZ! Great pics too!
     
  18. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    Stats? You want stats you say?

    Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 6.55.00 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 6.54.33 PM.png

    Finally, here is the five hour ride condensed into a short one minute long Relive video:

    https://www.relive.cc/view/1277107606

    Hopefully sometime next year, you will be able to continue on the Gabrielino past Switzer's falls and exit out at JPL. Rumor has it there are some sawyers hard at work cutting through all the fallen trees and clearing the trail :thumbsup:
     
    herzalot, Maddog, scan and 5 others like this.
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