The first segment of Reno road offers up the toughest and longest climb, but you'll be rewarded with some ripping downhill. After that there are only 2 other shorter climbs. Note: There are over 30 switchbacks on the deadman's downhill.
Bring plenty of water and a bite to eat since this ride has over 3000ft of vert. Use caution as this trail system is also used by moto bikes.
The third climb on this ride is trashed by motor bikes. We rode after some showers and the sand turned to peanut butter. We walked the whole climb, and it took us about 90 minutes. I can't imagine it was much more rideable without the rain as it must be all loose sand.
The last descent with switchbacks is all rutted out from the motor bikes as well. Would not recommend this ride.
From the parking lot, ride up Cement Creek Road, cross over Cement Creek on a large culvert, and switchback up. On the right will be a well worn but unmarked shortcut, take this or continue to the marked junction of Reno Divide Road 759. Go right and climb steadily for about 5 miles to the top of Reno Divide.
At the top of Reno Divide is a good place for lunch. The views to the west are of Teocalli Mountain and Double Top. To the north is Italian Mountain and east is Matchless Mountain and the Spring Creek drainage.
Ride through the gate and straight ahead onto the marked Flag Creek
singletrack. CBMBA and the Forest Service recently reworked this smooth section of trail, so get ready for one of the best downhill runs anywhere. After three miles you'll cross a compacted gravel "bridge." Shortly after this you'll enter the dark timber where your next right turn is.
There is a small sign here marking the Bear Creek
Trail. If you come to a road crossing, youve gone too far. Take the right trail, cross a creek and climb up another creek drainage. This trail climbs, sometimes steeply, into an open marshy area. Veer right here passing an old closed trail on the left, and climb to the dirt road. GO LEFT on this road. (The singletrack straight ahead leads up to the Reno Ridge trail. Dont be tempted!) Follow the road three quarters of a mile to where it forks, go right and then ride straight ahead and over a dirt berm and across a road onto the signed continuation of the Bear Creek
Get ready for an awesome downhill! This section has been reworked lately as well and is in the best shape that Ive ever seen it. Plan on minimal brake wear as you rocket down Bear Creek
. There are a few rough spots towards the bottom, but mostly its buffed all the way down. About 3 and 1/2 miles down, the Deadmans Gulch trail turns right. This is a good place to refuel for the last climb; take the Deadmans Gulch trail to the right and gear down for a longer than expected climb. Pass the Cement Mountain Trail
that comes in from the left and make the last push to the top. The trail gets a bit steeper near the top which can wreak havoc on already tired legs. At the top pass the Reno Ridge Trail coming in from the right.
Go straight through a small barbed-wire fence and begin a newly reworked, switchback-filled descent to Cement Creek. There are over 30 switchbacks here! At the bottom is the cement creek crossing. The forest service recently destroyed the makeshift bridge Crossing Cement creek for liability reasons, so use caution early in the year when water is high.