Rock Creek 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by CBone, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    I was in Mammoth for work on Tuesday and had planned to ride Mammoth Rock Trail - one of my favorite off the mountain trails. Ha, there is still a lot of snow on the trail so it was a no go. In fact there is still some snow pilled up in town where it is shady. The road to the lakes is closed just past the Twin Lakes turn off and the trail head for Mammoth Rock is well above Twin Lakes.

    Plan B - Rock Creek Trail. The trailhead is considerably lower in elevation at 6,800 ft. and is often rideable when the Mammoth townsite is under snow.

    Warning. You are going to be riding in a big hole. There is no cell service for the whole length of the trail and even after you get back to the car you have to drive a bit to get a signal. Take lots to drink. It gets hot during the day and unless you have a filter I wouldn't drink from the creek.

    Start.jpg A bit overgrown at the start. The bushes would have draw blood except everything was nice, green, and supple unlike the desert brush I'm used to:) Pay no attention to the shadow.
    Aspens.jpg
    Nice and flowy at the start. Desert brush gives way to aspens and willows as you get close to the creek.

    Old Rock Garden.jpeg
    There are a lot of rock gardens to contend with. This is an old picture from a previous ride. It might not look too bad but the garden starts to the right of my bike so you don't have a good clean run-in. Not much room for your pedals as it is narrower than it looks. I still haven't been able to clean this one. I can't make the hard right at the before the big rock at the bottom of the picture. I did a couple of slow mo over-the-bars on this ride. Good thing I ride flats. I was able to bail and get a foot down both times as I went OTB and landed in front of the bike. Not sure how. More luck than skill that's for sure.
    Bridge.jpg There are several of theses bridges as the trail crosses the creek. Nice work.
    car.jpg
    The trail parallels the road for the first part of the ride. Right about here it starts to climb up the mountain and you are on your own. If you have a mechanical or injury there is no easy way out as you will see. I don't know if this car crashed or was just pushed down the hill and abandoned. You can just see the trail above the tallest dead bush limbBar Blocker.jpg
    I'm not sure what the trail builders had in mind here. Even a set of narrow bars won't fit. People had been blazing a trail around these boulders but they moved rocks in the way. No way to ride this so you have to dismount. There are several areas along the trail that are short hike-a-bikes. I'm not a technical rider by any means but for some of the spots there is no human way.

    Back to the creek.jpg

    Back to the creek. Approaching a tunnel ride through the trees and bushes. After this section the trail hugs the creek for a while with some mud and brush and rock gardens - slight ups and downs.
    Basalt.jpg
    Just included this one to show the basalt columns indicating the volcanic past. The gorge is getting deep here.Canyon Walls.jpg
    The canyon wall on the other side of the creek. The trail drops down to the trees and weaves through the boulders. The pinkish scree slope by the bike is volcanic tuff - hardened ash from a huge eruption thousands of years ago. It is strange stuff. It is lighter than ordinary rock and can be a bit loose. The rock gardens vary between this stuff and granite. Trail surfaces change by the minute between decomposed granite, grippy dirt, loose tuff, some sections of pine needle compost and a bit of mud.


    High above the creek.jpg
    The trail stays high above the creek in spots but there is no real exposure. There are no really steep sections either but just a steady drop in elevation. The canyon is widening out here and you can see glimpses of the desert and with the Sierras in the distance.
    Moon.jpg
    I caught the moon rising above the canyon wall. The trees are huge. They have to be close to 100ft. tall and 5ft in diameter.
    20170606_193037.jpg
    Getting close to the end and when you round the corner you see this. That is the Bishop Creek drainage area. Lake Sabrina is up there somewhere. Not done yet though as the trail drops down to the creek for some mud, bush whacking and more rock gardens.
    The trail ends back at the road by the Paradise Resort. There is a nice parking area there for your vehicle.
    EDIT - That is not Bishop Creek drainage but Pine Creek. Thanks @kioti

    Strava says 7.9 miles and descending about 1,9ooft with 29ft of climbing. Not sure I believe the 29ft as this is a good work out with ups and downs. Maybe it is just the rock gardens. This is the slowest I have ever ridden this trail because I stopped to take lots of pictures and to re-ride some of the challenges along the way. My wife was on the verge of panic when I finally popped out at the bottom. She was about to call 911 but had no cell service.

    I'm not sure if I would solo this again especially so late in the day. There is a fair amount of traffic during the day but I always have to ride later because of work. It could be a long night if something happened along the way.
    Fun trail with some challenges. It would be more fun in a small group watching other guys lines etc.

    Bishop Creek Drainage.jpg
     
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Wow! What a great ride report! I'm going to miss my annual trip to Tom's Place this year. This makes me regret it even more.
    I ride from the bottom then drop back down to put the fun at the end, now.

    Good job brothah!
     
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    That saddle seems to be quite misaligned... :confused:

    Great ride report, beautiful photos. Thank you! :thumbsup: :cool:
     
  4. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Haha. Thanks. I just checked @herzalot and it is misaligned. It is not as bad as it looks in the picture though. Not sure when that happened and why I didn't notice because I'm usually super sensitive to that. No wonder I felt a little off :confused::)
     
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Nothing gets past @herzalot ....... nothing.
     
  6. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Thanks @Mikie. Not as good as your report from last year. I've parked at the dirt lot on the upper section and climbed the road before. Not into the kind of pain that climbing the trail from the bottom,or worse yet, the road, would bring :gag:
     
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  7. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I beg to differ, in fact... I just added a link to this report in the "Trails" Forum here: http://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/lower-rock-creek-trail.3027/

    Long term goal of that Forum is to pull a collection of great ride reports together by "Trail" so others can have a resource guide they can go to, to see the different pics and perspectives of any given trail by imtbtrails members!
    Great job!
     
  8. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2003 Giant Rainier
    Nice writeup and photos.
    We are planning to hit that in July.
     
  9. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    @CBone, TFPU. Nice job on the ride, report and making your wife appreciate you :cool:

    It's an area classic that you can't justify avoiding, right off the 395. Can be done as a loop also (we parked at bottom and rode up the paved roads), so no excuses...
     
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  10. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Thanks @mike. But, I can climb paved roads closer to home:geek:

    It is a classic and a real adventure.
     
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  11. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Great stuff! do you live up there? Close by? I wanna go!
     
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  12. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Come on Mikie, Mike, lets goooooo! I have not ridden this in 15 years!
     
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  13. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    Nope, I live in Lancaster, so only 221 to the trailhead. Wish I was closer.
     
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  14. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    I just realized that I wrote a RR about the Rock Creek Trail, and included 13 pictures - and none of them included so much as a glimpse of the creek. :oops: I'm surprised no one called me on it. It is a really nice creek too.
    MTBers have a one (single) track mind I guess:)
     
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  15. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    Hey, maybe no water shots, but you did show a bridge. :thumbsup:

    (FWIW, it's Lower Rock Creek Trail. Rock Creek proper is above/south of Tom's Place.)
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Cyclotourist and 3 others like this.
  16. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    I think they rode this on the new MTB film "ride you f@cking bike"
     
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