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blueBlack Arnold Rim Trail

  3.5 ( 11 ) Favorite


17.3 mile 27.9 kilometer loop
90% Singletrack


Ascent: 2,851' 869 m
Descent: -2,851' -869 m
High: 4,379' 1,335 m
Low: 3,504' 1,068 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)


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Trail shared by Dan Oakland

Pure singletrack fun that will punch you in the face but leave you smiling.

Dan Oakland

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Lots of private paths deviating from the main trail, stick to the signed trail.


The Arnold Rim Trail has its own website at where you can get an intimate "local" perspective on the trail and read about how IMBA got involved with the town of Arnold to create this trail, and their plans to expand it to a complete loop. Although close to town, there is a real sense of adventure to this trail.

Need to Know

While I highly recommend this ride, the climbs from either direction to Manuel Peak are face-punchers. Out from the Museum @ about 3.5 miles you'll hit 'The Beast': +500ft in 1/4 mile and HAB for most. Not as bad in the other direction.

I also suggest getting a copy of the trail map at the Ranger Station in Hathaway Pines & BRING IT on the ride. The map is marked with several post #s that you'll see along the trail and has a contour profile to help identify not only where you are, but what is coming up.


Arnold is about 1.5 hours S & E from Sacramento or 1 hr straight east from Stockton in the foothills of the Sierras off Hwy 4. The trail can be ridden as an out & back, or as a shuttle with multiple jumping-off points. I rode this as an out & back from the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum for 8 miles, then re-tracing back.

From the logging museum (worth a look) for about .8 miles you'll be on a paved Americans with Disabilities Act Path. Be wary of hikers. Once on the dirt, you'll be on lush, sweeping, rolling singletrack. Soak it in while you can, but do *NOT* get lulled in because at about 3.5 miles in you're going to meet 'The Beast' and the trail heads up roughly 500ft in about 1/4 mile of loose dirt. A fantastic westward view awaits you at the top.

From here you'll head to the actual top of Manuel Peak and Cougar Rock, great views looking east or west. Dropping down from Cougar rock you'll get back to the similar lush rolling trail that you saw early on.

Post #32 marks the end of Singletrack at about 8.4 miles. This is the turn around point to keep on singletrack. It's another 2.4 to Avery Sheep Ranch Rd (2nd most common jumping-off point) but all Fire Road from here.

History & Background

The logging museum is an interesting look at the areas history and the machines lumberjack's use. As noted, the trail's web site talks about its history but also the future goals to turn this in to a complete 35 mile loop. Support the town at the Snowshoe Brewery, you'll thank me.


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Jun 2, 2019
Ryan Schauland
Great signage. current MTB project map stops short of the entire ART to the south. Easy parking at Avery Sheep Ranch Rd with good singletrack there…
Sep 21, 2018
Tim W
Bugs were horrible! 17.3mi
Jul 28, 2018
Christian Mannsfeld
May 26, 2018
Mitch Sanders
Lots of hikers. Brutal hike a bike. Good place to spin the legs 9mi
May 2, 2018
kayser phornsavanh
tough trail, very fun
Dec 26, 2017
kenneth chrisman
Freaking awesome! 16.5mi
Sep 16, 2017
Norbert Barbosa
Sep 10, 2017
Joe Morse
Did an out and back from White Pines lake. Made it most of the way up the beast. Trail in good shape, but some debris and logs across it in places. 5mi

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 11 votes


  3.5 from 11 votes
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