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Sand Canyon Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.0 (5)

A gorgeous high alpine descent that will have you yelping in delight.


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Map Key

11.8

Miles

19.0

KM

Doubletrack

10,202' 3,110 m

High

6,568' 2,002 m

Low

617' 188 m

Up

3,767' 1,148 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Snowbound until late spring.

Description

Sand Canyon is a gem that often gets overlooked by the nearby Lower Rock Creek Trail. It's accessed from the stunning Rock Creek Lake. After a tough 500 climb over 1.3 miles, you reach the official USFS trailhead sign. This is some of the highest mountain bike riding in the Eastern Sierras. From here, its pretty much a bomber 4,000 descent with great views in every direction. Its mostly jeep road, and very sandy at times, with some creek crossings thrown in.

There are a couple tough climbs, but mostly its, down, down, down. It will definitely put a grin on your face. If youre in the mood to explore and climb more, you can take the Wheeler Crest Out and Back about 4 miles into the ride. You can also include the Swall Canyon Trail, Wagon Wheel Trail, and the above mentioned Lower Rock Creek Trail for an epic day in the saddle. The most popular way to do Sand Canyon is by shuttling it. However, hard-core riders can choose to do the Sand Canyon Loop, including the 4,000 pavement climb up to Rock Creek Lake.

Note: Much of this ride is very remote. Please be self-sufficient and carry plenty of water and nutrition as well as items to fix your bike in a jam. Weather frequently changes as well, so be ready for anything!! Advanced descending skills are required. There are some technical rock gardens, steep climbing/hike-a-bike and sandy sections.

Contacts

Shared By:

Alan Jacoby

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 5 votes

#17660

Overall
  3.0 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
20%
Trail Rankings

#1,526

in California

#17,660

Overall
132 Views Last Month
4,418 Since May 12, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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67%
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Photos

Fall strikes early at 10k ft.
Sep 19, 2017 near West Bi…, CA
Getting ready to shred the Sand Canyon Trail
May 12, 2015 near West Bi…, CA
Here's pretty much your first mile. From parking at campground, go through the gate past the cabins then left. Ask camp host.
Sep 25, 2016 near West Bi…, CA

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All Clear 19 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Aug 14, 2016
stephen james
1st & last time riding steep ascents with granitic block stops super steep descents with cinders , gravel & sand 3-6 inches gravity advantage lost
Jul 9, 2016
Sheep Dawg
Wild flowers in full bloom. Absolutely beautiful ride but very soft and sandy. Sand Canyon is steep and sketchy. 3 crashes for the day fun ride. 11.8mi