“An wesome fireroad trek with great views and interesting history lessons.”
— Dan Oakland
The gates to the Millwood OHV staging (parking) area can be closed in the spring due to mud and/or snow. Non-specific dates.
While this ride is almost exclusively forest service road, it is a great escape that is relatively easy to get to from Fresno. You'll be riding just before and around the tip of King's Canyon National Park, with great Westward-looking views. Highly recommended in the summer late afternoon/evening when the temps will be low because of the altitude and the sunset views are not to be missed.
Need to Know
Just before the entrance to King's Canyon National Park, you'll see signs for a YMCA Camp at Lake Sequoia. This is where you'll turn off the 180 and want to drop down to the left to the Millwood staging area/parking lot. Don't park at the turn-off or on YMCA property to the right. This is an OHV area, although I have never encountered any while riding during the week days. Weekends might be busy.
After parking at the staging area, head NW over a bridge. Start heading up Abbot Creek Road
(fire road). For the first 4 miles this is relatively easy, and the westward views are worth some stops. The next 2 miles are steep climbing to a 4 corners area. Stay on the fire road and go left on 4 Corners
to visit the Chicago Stump (google it).
After that, head back to 4 corners and go straight to get on the Park Ridge Loop
until you hit the 180 at Cherry Gap. Cross carefully, continuing on the Fireroad to the right. Stay left at the 'T' intersection in a couple of miles. Now you'll be descending some very loose steep sections, until the trail meets another 'T' where you'll want to almost 180 to your left and climb back up to Cherry Gap where you'll cross the 180 again and back to 4 Corners
to bomb back to your car.
History & Background
At the parking lot, you'll see a sign behind a tree with the story of Millwood - a logging boom town in the 1800s. It's a pretty amazing story considering nothing remains of the town today. When you get to the Chicago Stump you can read about how it was cut down for the Chicago World's fair - and visitors to the fair thought it was a hoax. At the Cherry Gap crossing you can read a plaque on the story of the Converse Basin and the logging of Giant Sequoias.