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.
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.