This loop is a great introduction to riding in the Sugarloaf area. With its surreal and barren landscape, this is a wonderful place to ride if you're looking for solitude.
Once you've mastered this loop, there are more than 50 miles of connecting trails to continue explore, expand your endurance, and your riding skills!
Need to Know
Winter riding is a dream. Riding in the summer heat is brutal, but you'll have the trails to yourself.
There is regular traffic on weekends in the winter, but the area is never heavily used and in the summer there is virtually no traffic. This is backcountry riding, during summer months, it is unlikely you'll be found if you need help.
Bill's Loop is THE ride for those who are interested in exploring the desert, but not sure what to expect. It is short enough that you can walk the entire loop, no pressure. Ride this loop and you'll have conquered most of the conditions you might run into on the other trails in the complex.
When trail-work has been done, this loop is mostly smooth and easy, but if work has not been done (there is no organized maintenance, it's all done by riders on their own) riders will find a number of climbs/descents with loose-on-loose gravel in deeply rutted tread. All of these segments are wide enough to be easily HABed (Hike-A-Bike'ed).
There is one short stretch of deep sand that now has a sweet little armored bypass that will challenge your "skinny" riding skills. Much work has been done to discourage riders from riding over the top, which is a significant erosion concern in this spot.
There are a few short sections where the trail narrows and has "exposure, a steep slope dropping away on one side. Experienced riders will not notice these features, but inexperienced riders sometimes get nervous here. Have no fear, these sections are all easy to walk.
At just over 4 miles, this loop is the perfect place for intermediate or beginner-intermediate riders to improve their skills and start to build endurance. Be aware that the sun is intense, and you'll be in the desert, so if you're planning on being out, bring plenty of water. Especially in the summer months, dehydration can turn a fun outing into a slog.
History & Background
The loop is commonly ridden by, and is named for, a 74 year old local rider who has been riding this loop for decades. He rides a cheap hard-tail, without a helmet, with a plastic bag bungeed to his pannier rack in lieu of a backpack. According to Bill, his mother would die of embarrassment if he wore a helmet. This ride includes Front Yard
, Back Yard
, and Ryan's Trail