“Some of the sweetest descents with the least amount climbing.”
— nik joshi
This ride features typical Angeles Forest terrain - rocky, rutty, loose and sandy - with trails that are well-maintained... when they're maintained. It consists of mostly simple fire-road climbs combined with technical singletrack descents as well as spectacular scenery from the top of Mt. Hillyer. Get ready for lots of massive rocks, as well.
Park at Charlton Flats picnic area then cross HWY 2 and climb Mt. Mooney Rd, a winding fire road with old burnt trees all around. Descend Mt. Mooney Rd while viewing the thick forested part of Angeles that didn't burn in the 2009 Station Fire and turn right onto HWY 2, stay alert for fast cars and motorcycles. Take the first left into campground area (paved) and take a right onto Silver Moccasin Trail
, a winding, heavily forested singletrack across from the first campground).
Exit Silver Moccasin and turn left onto the pavement and follow the pavement down to first right into Chilao (there are homes, a school, and fire dept). Follow the paved road straight as it deteriorates into fire road 3N14
. Follow 3N14
for a few miles as it slowly climbs while enjoying epic views of Mt. Pacifico and surrounding peaks. Turn right and climb paved Santa Clara Divide Rd/Pacifico Mountain Rd.
At the top, turn right and climb singletrack Mt. Hillyer Trail
. This is the only tough climbing on the loop. After the climb be sure to relax at the outcropping of rocks near the top of Mt. Hillyer. There's even a rusty tin coffee can with a notepad to log in, then descend the Mt. Hillyer Trail
to Horse Flats Campground. It is a tight and super winding trail, follow the bike tracks and pay attention at all times as it is easy to make a wrong turn. Lots of rocks, fallen trees, sandy sections and step downs. Follow the trail to the campground, turn right at the junction and descend Silver Moccasin Trail
. This section of the trail is rock garden city with more than a few switchbacks. Your skill level will be tested. Turn left at the pavement and re-connect onto Silver Moccasin Trail
(you've already ridden this one).
Cross the pavement to reconnect with Silver Moccasin again either just before or within the Little Pines campground, watch for signs. This section of Silver Moccasin is straight and fast with plenty of step downs in the beginning and narrow rocky exposed singletrack to finish. Finally, exit Silver Moccasin and turn left onto fire road 3N16 and climb back to Charlton Flats. This is also a scenic portion with massive trees burnt, fallen, standing, etc. and a little creek that runs parallel to it. There are some steep sections present, especially when it turns to pavement, then turn left and head towards the picnic area.