The Goodwater Loop AKA "The Dragon" is a technical trail with lots of technical sections of "Cheese Grater" limestone rocks. While it's mostly flat, there are several sections of short, but very steep climbs/downhills.
The sections of doubletrack, make up for their easiness with AWESOME views of the San Gabriel River prairies. Mixed with sections of intermittent singletrack, that weave through the cedars and prickly pear cactus along the banks of the San Gabriel River.
The Goodwater Loop has several trailheads/parks and other access points along it's 26 miles. You can even start in Downtown Georgetown on the North San Gabriel River Trail
Need to Know
If you are a biker or hiker, there is no fee to enter at the gated and attended park entrances. But there is plenty of parking outside of the gated parks.
The mile markers start at Cedar Breaks Park, going in a clockwise direction.
Starting at Cedar Breaks Park (mile marker 0), head west along some very tough and technical section of the "Cheese Grater" limestone rocks. From there, the trail passes through an old homestead, then crosses the creek at historic Crockett Garden. The trail continues through remains of old rock walls, crossing over several deep creek beds via small foot bridges, then continues on through Sawyer Park.
After Sawyer Park, the trail climbs and descends along the south banks and prairies of the North Fork San Gabriel River. After crossing over and through the scenic overlook at Jim Hogg Hollow, the trail drops off into the prairies and runs along the south banks of the river, with awesome views of the higher north banks of the river.
Eventually, the Goodwater Loop passes through the edge of the Tejas Campground and crosses over the North Fork San Gabriel River on the narrow CR 258 bridge/Hunt Crossing. Just after crossing over the bridge, look for the trailmarker on your right. From here, the trail follows along the north banks of the river. After a short climb, the trail passes through a prehistoric campsite and through a dry bed creek crossing.
From here, the trail turns right onto a short section of doubletrack, then be on the look out for the singletrack veering off to the right. This nice and short section of singletrack weaves through cedars and prickly pear cactus on the north banks of the river that can be seen from trail along the southern bank. The Goodwater Loop then follows along Booty's Road, just before Box Crossing. Although this section is flat, it has awesome views of the rivers prairies, Jim Hogg Hollow and the back waters of Lake Georgetown.
At the end of Booty's Road, the trail turns left and back into singletrack, climbing up to Russell Park. After Russell Park, the singletrack continues through a variety of terrain, passing through more old rock walls, a burned midden site, and an awesome stone wall switchback before reaching Jim Hogg Park. After J. Hogg Park, the trail is all singletrack to the Overlook trailhead.
From the Overlook Trailhead, the Goodwater Loop is a closed, paved road that runs along the top of the Lake Georgetown Dam and ends at Cedar Breaks Park. If you do want an additional workout, take the paved trail that leads down to the section of the San Gabriel/Georgetown Greenway, turn around and make the climb back up to the road atop the dam.
Many riders start at downtown Georgetown and take the greenway to the Goodwater Loop.
Starting at the Tejas Camp and heading east on the south side of the lake is a great place to start too. There are bathrooms there and you'll get the hardest part of the ride out of the way earlier in the day! Free parking for cyclist too. In my opinion, this trail has a lot of similarity to Porcupine Rim in Moab. Even the views are kind of similar on the south side being on the edge and all, just the difference being water instead of a valley!
History & Background
The Goodwater Loop passes through many old rock walls, foundations, several indian burned rock middens, a prehistoric campsite and 2 historic crossings. Historical markers are located along all these points of interest.
Shared By: Derrick Davis
by Josh Sprague