Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hole in the Ground mountain bike trail ride


8,000 feet near Castle Peak.
I took an early morning ride on the popular Hole in the Ground trail. The trail begins off the Boreal/Castle Peak exit on Donner Summit. The other end of the trail is just east of the fire station on Soda Springs Road. Most riders park near the fire Station (north of the freeway) to begin their ride in a counter clockwise loop. The ride is 17 miles in length.

Travel east on Donner Pass Road and turn left at the Sierra Snow Lab. This is a fire road that leads to Boreal Ski Resort. Cross over the freeway at the Castle Peak exit and ride up toward Castle Peak.

Two miles from the freeway, you will see a sign (laying on the ground today) for the trail off to your left.  This is the beginning of the single track trail for the Hole in the Ground loop.

This is a difficult ride with 2,300 feet of climbing and plenty of technical sections. There were a surprising number of creek crossing today and even some patches of snow. The mosquitoes are terrible on this trail. Keep moving or get eaten.

Shortly after the right turn that leads to Hole in the Ground Reservoir, you will come out to a fire road. After about a mile you go back on to single track, so watch for signage for the left turn.

The final 2 miles is up hill on a gravel fire road. You will cross the final and deepest water crossing before heading up the final hill. The trail pops out just east of the fire station on Soda Springs Road.

If you are ready for food, fuel up at the Summit Restaurant across the freeway on Soda Springs Road.

Hole in the Ground.  Click to enlarge.

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