While this ride won't appeal to most, it presents a fantastic opportunity for expert riders. While 20 miles might not sound like too much, the near 5,000 feet of climbing and descent makes this ride a long adventure for most.
A long ascent up Habegger Road (31E305)
is followed by several more substantial "bumps" on Coyote Ridge Road
. All of this is enough to make you already exhausted as you drop into the Green Lake Trail (31E03)
, but hopefully you saved some forearm strength. The descent is tight, constantly technical, and keeps you on your game all the way down to South Bishop Creek.
Watch for hikers on Green Lake Trail and horseback riders on Parchers Trail. These aren't commonly biked trails, and though legal, people may be surprised to see you. Be friendly, and help keep the trails open!
Park at the first significant gravel pull-off past Habegger Road (31E305)
. A short section of gravel road going down and north out of that pull-off will take you to Habegger Road (31E305)
where you start your first and biggest climb. The road starts out as singletrack, but eventually becomes more of a road as you climb. Stay left at intersections, continuing on the main road to go up and across the ridge, and make a fast descent down into meadows.
The three-way intersection is hard to miss. Make a right onto Coyote Ridge Road
and start climbing again. This climb is steeper, and takes you higher as you cross up and over Coyote Ridge. Go through a small dip, climb back up again, before enjoying a steep, loose descent back down into the trees. The climb back up from here is the worst, and will certainly require some pushing. Eventually, you'll top out at 11,700 feet, and descend down to a view of Green Lake.
From here, carry your bike across the trail-less area southeast along the escarpment for 0.3 miles before you reach Green Lake Trail. Turn right, and descend (don't head the other direction as this crosses into a Wilderness Area).
The first section of trail is a narrow side-cut along steep talus with extremely tight switchbacks, and a few inconveniently placed rocks that threaten to toss you down to Green Lake.
At Green Lake, cross a stream, and ride some techy bits along the edge, make a little up, and continue on. From here, the trail changes between technical rocky sections, and more mellow, sometimes wet, meadow riding past Brown Lake on your left, then Bluff Lake on your right.
Unsurprisingly, after Bluff Lake, things get steep again. The trail drops into a long series of switchbacks with tight, technical rock chutes and steps all the way down to Parchers Trail (31E04)
where you make a right.
Don't expect it to get easy yet. While it's a bit less steep, a number of big rocks and large steps make this trail just as hard. Eventually, you'll go beside a meadow, turn left, and come out onto pavement.
Climb 100 yards up the road and turn right past some cabins. This fades into a small connector trail, which starts off as a paved path, before crumbling into rocks and singletrack. A section at the bottom is sometimes flooded with a foot and a half of water. It ends at a gate into Willow Campground.
Descend just over a mile on the South Lake Road, and make a right onto a dirt road that parallels South Lake Road. This comes out just above where your car is parked down the road.