RR Exploration Trail - Keller Peak

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by knucklebuster, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    I've seen lots of talk about Exploration but not an RR, so here goes...

    My shuttle buddy couldn't make it today so I figured I'd give a try riding up Exploration and take some pics (i.e lots of breaks). It's not too bad going up, but there are quite a few sections of HAB for me, I'd say I rode 75% maybe. It's about 4.2 miles and 1600 feet. Most people if they pedal up take the adjacent paved road which has light traffic and probably allot easier than going up the trail.

    I hadn't had enough when I got to the top of the trail so decided to head on up to Keller Peak on the pavement. This adds 1.5 miles and another 500 feet, but is a pretty mellow grade. If you haven't been up to the peak it is definetly worthwhile once at least, views are amazing, and there's usually a volunteer on duty to at the fire lookout to explain what you're looking at. Very cool.

    Pics are in order of bottom going up, I didn't stop to take any pics on the way down. First one is a switchback near the bottom that is really awkward and tight, has a drop in the middle and a big rock at the exit waiting to catch your tire and send you over the edge if you screw up
    006.JPG A tricky little short punch climb through the rocks, I've bent a der hanger here
    010.JPG


    There's a few tricky spots on the way down...
    022.JPG 041.JPG

    And tons of flowy goodness...
    023.JPG 028.JPG 030.JPG 037.JPG

    This spot is near the top, looking the down direction, it comes up after a blind corner and I'm always in the wrong gear
    045.JPG


    I love this rock formation across the way, and the obligatory bike shot
    059.JPG


    Trees are less dense near the top
    064.JPG


    DG decomposed granite is the surface of choice near the top
    065.JPG

    Sugarpine Cones to look out for high and low
    066.JPG

    Almost up to Keller peak, the lookout tower is on the right
    084.JPG

    At the peak, I thought this was a cool pic looking out at 10k foot ridge with the clouds below
    085.JPG

    I'm not thrilled about heights, but had check it out
    089.JPG

    096.JPG 090.JPG 098.JPG 108.JPG



    All in all, 12.4 mi, 2300ft, a little over 3 hours with breaks. Perfect weather, great views, awesome trail and saw just 3 pairs of hikers on the trail. :D
    Screenshot (15).png

    035.JPG
     
  2. jaime

    jaime Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Corona, ca
    Name:
    jaime
    Current Bike:
    '15 Giant reign advanced 1
    Thanks for sharing KB ! those pics with the clouds and your bike on the tree.. priceless !
     
  3. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Very cool! I've seen other write-ups, but your pictures give me a better idea what it's like up there! Nice...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. SoCal_Rider

    SoCal_Rider Member

    Location:
    Temecula/Murrieta
    Name:
    Ryan
    Now that's a proper RR. Thanks for sharing.

    The only time I've done that trail I rode up the pavement. Good on you for going up the dirt. Definitely ups the difficulty.
     
  5. ridinrox

    ridinrox Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Murrieta
    Name:
    Roxanne
    Current Bike:
    '16 Giant Trance Advance
    My apologies Dave. I would have been there if something else didn't interfere.

    Glad you got out to ride regardless. Now THAT is the true definition of a mtber.
     
  6. dstepper

    dstepper Member

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Dean Stepper
    Current Bike:
    2014 Turner Czar
    Nice! Many reports on that trail over on STR, IMTB is just a newer site without as many years to mature. When it is hot I take a side trip over to the lake behind Children's Demo Forest on the Ski Companies property. Yes there are keep out signs but they have let locals swim it it for years. Not many places in So-Cal we get take a dip when riding.

    Here is mine from 9 years ago. <a class="postlink" href="http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2802&highlight=exploration+trail" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/s ... tion+trail</a>

    Dean
     
  7. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    Thanks Rox, and no worries, you know that. Besides I wouldn't have gotten all these pics if we shuttled :D


    And thanks Dean, Before I first rode Exploration a year or so ago I reviewed many of the old STR RRs, so much good stuff, thought I'd try to add a little here.

    I researched as much as I could find to see if there was a way to get over to Rim Nordic without hitting the highway, but saw nothing on maps or google earth. It does look like you could get to Slide Peak (top of Snow Valley lifts) without too much trouble. Maybe Snow Valley should open some trails :eh:
     
  8. dstepper

    dstepper Member

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Dean Stepper
    Current Bike:
    2014 Turner Czar
    I have rode from near Keller Peak over to the ski lifts on one of the corners near Keller Peak is a HAB to get over there. Did it once and now what? The better link is past the lake I mentioned. The question is why would you climb the ski list service road when you have the little used Keller Pear Lookout road. Why would you ride down a service road when you have the most excellent Exploration Trail. I know the answer to those questions.




    So you can cross it off the list and not do it again.


    To get to the lake ride over to the parking lot at demo Forest and take the road to the left that road will fork and near the fork is a singletrack below the road to the right heading over to the lake. At the dam is a trail that needs exploring, looks like a game trail but it maybe a foot path the folks that live in town use to get to the lake. I see that most that use the lake just park at Demo Forest parking lot. There is another link between Arrowbear and Keller Lookout Trail maybe 1/4 the way up the pavement climb. Old logging road, lots off deadfall 4 years ago when I rode it. It is the same dirt road Exploration Trail crosses near the bottom.

    Dean
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  9. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    I love that bike cloud pic! Great RR! I gotta go there.
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  10. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    Nice! I need to ride that with ya soon.
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Great rr and pictures. I think I would much prefer that trail over Skyline next time I am up that way. Do I spy your Lyric back on the front of your bike?
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  12. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    trek ex 7
    Love that trail. It's not as long as skyline though, but just as scenic. Nice RR
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  13. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    That's my "light", er backup bike with the Lyrik (not pike). Other one is awaiting some parts, maintenance items, not bling :)

    The only "problem" with Exploration is it's just 4.2 miles or so, around a half hour downhill. I'd guess the pavement up takes a little under around an hour depending on one's tolerance of altitude. Doing it twice gives a good ride though, it's far from redundant on the second run, and probably more fun the second time after scoping the lines on the first.
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  14. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Pike? Looks like a Lyric - light-colored stanchions...

    An yeah, two laps would be he way to do Exploration - or hit it on your way to or from Snow Summit!
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  15. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    Yep, Lyrik, coil, not light, corrected. :geek: Guess I don't want to think about Lyrik right now with the new/improved ones recently announced :roll:
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Dave, this a great RR. I too have to chime in on the "above the clouds" pics.
    Not being from that area, I have caught Tom the Bomb mentioning this trail several times. Is this over by Ranco Cucamonga?
    Bummer it's a shorter trail as it looks like a lot of fun and the kind of trail I really like!
    Thanks Man!
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  17. dstepper

    dstepper Member

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Dean Stepper
    Current Bike:
    2014 Turner Czar
    The trail is between Running Springs and Arrowbear.
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  18. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    The new and improved Lyric went to 15mm axles, leaving only Fox 36 as the only 20mm option in the category.
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  19. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    Thanks Mikie and all for the thumbs up on the RR. As Dean mentioned it's near Running Springs, which, if coming from the inland empire/210 freeway is about a half hour-45 min shorter drive than snow summit. As others mentioned it is on the same route to Big Bear so could be combined with a trip there.

    I was thinking of looking for a dirt route to get over to Rim Nordic trails (where they hold XC and Enduro races), something worthwhile to combine that trail system with Exploration. As Dean commented (thanks Dean), not much besides fire/service roads to connect the two. It's unfortunate since Exploration is such a gem but kind of short and currently not a good way to link into anything else (that I'm aware of).

    Still it's a great trail with awesome views and about 15 minutes from our cabin in west Arrowhead, so works out good for me.
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  20. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Just have to ride it twice like TTB does and get 16 miles. :thumbup:
     
    Danmtchl and Tom the Bomb like this.
  21. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    I'll be rolling this one in late July. Can't wait!
     
  22. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    If you want a quick trip, ride the road up, but to really enjoy it out there, ride the trail up and back. It's a challenging technical climb, but a lot of fun and beautiful scenery!
     
  23. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    I am being forced to shuttle it (as thought I would enjoy climbing it, NOT!). My buddy's wife will drop us off at the top then drive down to the bottom and hike up a ways while we are descending. We will likely do two "shuttle runs".

    Back when I was younger, we would pedal up the road and drop in. Nowadays, I don't even want to do that.
     
  24. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    Shuttle makes it more fun. No shame!
     
  25. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    It's a fun trail, however you take it on. Ride up the trail, road, or shuttle... it's a good piece of dirt (and rock)!
     
  26. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Absa-darn-lutely it is!

    Shuttling it twice is funner than climbing once and descending once.
     
    Cyclotourist and LLPoolJ like this.
  27. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Good RR Dave. Climbing that bad boy is a mother at 7000 ft. There is a single track that you can climb all the way to the top of the Children's Forest. It is a nice way around the road climb and much less anaerobic than climbing Expl. You start up the road and across from camp ground # 6 it goes off to the left and through the woods. When you hit the fire road go RT . When you hit the old ski lift it gets a little tricky past the pond. Best to do it with some one who has been there. This route makes it about a 10 mile loop without bagging the peak. And yes doing 2 loops makes it worth the trip. Don't forget to hit Rocky's to refuel for the drive home! I am available :D.
     
  28. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Thanks TTB... I noticed you did that before on Strava, and was thinking about the last time I was there, but wasn't sure about it. Stuck to the road, climbed some rocks on the way up, managed to still have fun!
     
    Tom the Bomb likes this.
Loading...