Black Rock is a real treat and a great place to unleash your inner freerider as you play with gravity and catch some air. This ride climbs to the summit twice to explore Bonzai Downhill
and Sickter Gnar
in a progressively more difficult loop.
Black Rock may be off the beaten path, but making the trip is well-worth it when you get to explore the collection of lovingly built trails and features nestled over this beautiful, fern-covered forest. Expect a ride that's big on jumps, ladders, coasters, and fun!
Follow Socialist Valley Road
to the trees and past the buildings to reach the orange gate below the end of Bonzai Downhill
. From there, continue up the road to reach Basic Training. This fun skills zone offers a variety of warm-up features that will prep you for what's to come! Once you've finished playing, return to the climb.
At a small clearing, turn left onto the Summit Access Road
for a noticeably steeper ascent. Fortunately, there are plenty of impressive wood features to admire along the way. Near the top, continue onto the Mt. Brown Loop
for the final push.
is up first, and despite being the “easiest trail,” the five sections (BD1-BD5) are packed with scores of optional features and variety. BD1 passes pretty quickly as a series of well-built berms, ladders, and small tables end at an impressive raised platform before the road.
BD2 starts off with a large tabletop and follows it up with a massive wood coaster that's perched on the hill like the bones of a colossal serpent (ride-around to the left). Afterward, the trail darts about through a lush gully as it plays with optional ladder-rolls and g-outs that eventually feed out onto the Upper Road Spur
Turn right and pedal up the road to find the start of BD3 on the left. A short singletrack climb quickly gains the ridge to access a segment that's low on features and high on singletrack bliss. This segment ends at a trio of large ladder-rolls that feed down onto the Lower Road Spur
The next section of Bonzai is more technical, but it's also the most pedally (some riders may wish to skip BD4 altogether and head left to begin climbing back up). Otherwise, turn right to start a fast sidehill along optional jumps before heading into a rocky chute and a few tight, techy sections. After the second bridge crossing, things get pedally until a left at Dino's Runaround points back downhill for straightaways and low jumps.
At the road, turn left to return to the summit (BD5 will be picked up later).
Back at the top, you'll find that the start of Sickter Gnar
is a rocky mess. An optional start ramp helps you get your speed up before charging into an awkward rock garden. Just when you think you're out of the tech, the trail makes a sharp right for a few steep roll-downs, off-camber rocks, and a final rock-armored turn before reaching the customary dirt. SG1 ends at an optional road gap.
SG2 keeps things going with fast straightaways and jumps. In the distance, a wide, wooden arch dominates the scene as it crosses over Granny’s Kitchen. The last few turns mix in a few roots for added flavor before reaching an optional hip above the Summit Access Road
Up next is a section of cruising fun as SG3 forgoes back-to-back hits for narrow singletrack and deep berms that feel like riding on the Forest Moon of Endor. The final berm feeds into a small drop. It's more-or-less rollable but feels very abrupt when you aren't expecting it.
Directly across the road is the popular Sickter Gnar Bypass
that skips the challenging log skinny of SG4. The short bypass speeds through a series of log roll-downs before linking up with the main section of trail that delivers more stepped log-rolls and optional jumps before reaching the Lower Road Spur
Keep pedaling to maintain good speed into all the berms and jumps that make SG5 a real hoot! Tabletops, long doubles, and a particularly fun stepped-log section blur by on this short and exhilarating descent that ends with two rapid road-crossings.
The final section of Sickter Gnar
gets a bit techy when the fun kicks off with banked turns that soon flow into a steep chute with a tight catch-berm at the bottom. SG6 levels out some, but the rolling terrain is peppered with tight rocks and a few pedal-grabbers before riders coast down to the bottom of Basic Training. Just follow the push-up trail to the road.
From here, riders could go back up to repeat a favorite or try an abundantly more difficult expert trail. Otherwise, head back to the car via BD5 (as mapped) for an undemanding singletrack cool-down with a few large tables in the mix. Depending on the season, there may be a small boggy section to contend with. Head down the road at a slow pace through the camp.
Like many trail networks, Black Rock has its roots in a long-gone moto scene. Some of today's trails began to take shape as early as the 90s, but it wasn't until 2006 that the Black Rock Mountain Bike Association (BRMBA)
was formed to protect and maintain the trails and access to the area.