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Skyline in Three Rivers

Difficult
 4.1 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A little known mountain biking gem in the Central California foothills.


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Map Key

7.0

Miles

11.3

KM

60%

Singletrack

2,967' 904 m

High

1,241' 378 m

Low

1,920' 585 m

Up

1,698' 517 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Open all year, but hot in the summer. If you're riding here in the summer months start early in the day. Close gates behind you. Don't wear your favorite socks in late summer and fall as the tall grass in areas is sticky and your socks will pick up all kinds of fun stuff to have to pick out later.

Overview

Many of the trails were originally created by cows, but now they're yours to enjoy! The terrain consists of tight, technical singletrack which bob and weave through trees, up, over and through rocks and with multiple creek crossings. There's enough terrain here to keep you busy for the weekend or if youre like some of the locals in the area, keep you coming back week after week, year after year.

Because of the low elevation, 1,200 feet at the trailhead, Skyline can be ridden any time of the year, but the best time of the year is late winter and spring when the intermittent creek is flowing and everything is green. In the summer everything is the opposite of green and the temperature can be toasty, so if you ride in the summer its highly recommended to start early in the morning and afterward dip your sweaty self in the Kaweah River to cool off.

Need to Know

Hit the We Three bakery in Three Rivers before your ride for great baked goods/breakfast and coffee. After your ride hit one of the many restaurants such as River View Restaurant & Lounge, Pizza Factory, Casa Mendoza, etc. If you ride in the summer bring your suit and hop in the river afterwards.

Description

Skyline is located on good ol' BLM land approximately 32 miles east of Visalia off Highway 198 in Three Rivers. Three Rivers is about 213 miles north of Los Angeles and 266 miles south of San Francisco and is the gateway to Sequoia National Park. The land was apparently acquired from private landowners in the late 70s through a land exchange and today is open to mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians with no public vehicular access. Most of the equestrians and hikers stick to the fire roads as the singletrack is narrow, the terrain is steep and the trees and vegetation can be dense in spots.

A popular descent after the four mile climb up the main fire road and 2,500 feet of elevation gain is the Creek Trail to Octupus, Serpent, or to Chutes and Ladders. All of these trails were named by local riders and are fitting once you ride them.

The trail takes you along Salt Creek with multiple creek crossings, technical rocky sections and logs to clear, while Chutes and Ladders drops you out on an old fire road turned singletrack that is fast and steep. Afterwards, your arms will be burning and brakes smoking. This eight mile route feels more like ten or twelve. There are many other trails to explore.

If you live in California and are looking for some place new to ride, or are just traveling through, take a detour from Highway 99 and check out Skyline, you wont be disappointed.

To get to Skyline exit Highway 198 from Highway 99 heading east through Visalia to Three Rivers. After passing through Three Rivers, take a right on Skyline Drive and drive up the narrow winding road, about a mile or so, until it ends and park on the side of the road at the green gate.

This is the trailhead where youll start and finish. Most riders take the fire road up and then take one of the many trails that branch off from the fire road. Route finding can be difficult your first time so grab a map or contact a local bike shop for more information.A trail map of the area is available on Central California Off-Road Cyclists (CCORC) website.

For additional information or supplies and repairs visit Sierra Bicycle Werks at 123 E. Main Street in downtown Visalia.

Contacts

Shared By:

James Alcorn

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 15 votes

#995

Overall
  4.1 from 15 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
47%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
7%
Recommended Route Rankings

#145

in California

#995

Overall
396 Views Last Month
19,158 Since Mar 15, 2014
Difficult

0%
0%
10%
0%
80%
10%

Photos

Crossing of Salt Creek.
Mar 15, 2014 near Three R…, CA
Fun sign, but yeah, it never snows enough to sled.
Mar 15, 2014 near Three R…, CA
Keep an eye out for the horses.
Aug 26, 2015 near Three R…, CA
The trail goes through a couple tress like this.
Mar 15, 2014 near Three R…, CA
Great views! Especially after a low snow storm.
Jan 21, 2020 near Three R…, CA

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Check-Ins

Mar 14, 2020
Troy Rudman
Mar 4, 2020
Glen Garner
Aug 6, 2019
Jip Voshol
3.5mi
May 29, 2019
Kathy Balsley
May 27, 2019
Kathy Balsley
Jul 10, 2018
Dan Padden
Hard climb to the top but worth it. Next time I won't do it in 100 degree heat
Feb 20, 2018
Beto Renteria
Sep 30, 2017
Kendrick Liu