MTB Project Logo

Sweetwater Trail Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.5 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A sweet drop into a canyon for shade then back out, this is a rare singletrack find in this area.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.4

Miles

13.5

KM

70%

Singletrack

3,632' 1,107 m

High

2,619' 798 m

Low

1,420' 433 m

Up

1,421' 433 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

During this ride, you'll experience exposed areas of heat and dry desert brush before plunging into a canyon with shade. Ride the canyon trail for a bit, and before climbing out of the canyon, ditch your bike and scramble down a chute (use the rope to control your descent) to see a beautiful waterfall.

After a bit of cool shade, climb out of the canyon and be delighted with a cool breeze down a quick doubletrack, to be stopped abruptly by a metal gate blocking the road. A right turn at the gate sets you on a fun descent down a smooth singletrack with low shrubs and grasses covered with dispersed oak trees.

Complete the loop on a quiet country road. Breeze down the pavement past a farm, blast through a creek that flows over the Arizona Bridge, then while climbing back to the trailhead, enjoy the open, undeveloped countryside.

Need to Know

  • Riders could eliminate the country road by riding this as a point-to-point or dropping a shuttle vehicle. However, the road is generally quiet and makes a nice cool-down, so the loop option eliminates the complications of a shuttle.
  • There is no water available at the campgrounds.

Description

The trail quickly drops through a series of switchbacks on a very dry, sun-exposed hillside with tall coyote brush. After crossing the stream (which is usually dry), the sun exposure is reduced with large trees, pine, oak, and dispersed shrubs along the rest of Sweetwater Trail L1. The trail continues wandering up the stream with a few unmarked Y’s to the left.

At about 1.5 miles, there is an unmarked trail to the left about 100 feet before a switchback that drops down to the gorge. Ditch your bike and take the trail. Close to the bottom, there is a rope attached to a tree to help with the scramble down and back up. You’ll be greeted by a beautiful waterfall and pool, which is a great place to cool down before climbing out of the gorge.

Back on Sweetwater Trail L2, continue climbing out of the canyon, although now in less shade. Many portions of the trail on this side of the mountain have rocks that have eroded and tumbled onto the riding surface as the new trail settles in.

Enjoy the remarkable, expansive views during the climb. At the top of the climb, find a well maintained doubletrack for a nice breezy cool-down ride down to a gate. A carsonite marker to the left marks the trail. This portion is a real blast, with a fun, clear trail surface.

Once you reach the Sweetwater Trailhead, turn right to head down the hill along a quiet country road into a valley. Cross the Arizona Bridge (a stream that flows over the road), then make the final push back to the starting point.

History & Background

The campgrounds, and possibly the trails, were constructed using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

Contacts

Shared By:

Matt Freeman

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#2971

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#382

in California

#2,971

Overall
36 Views Last Month
920 Since Dec 22, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
50%
0%
50%
0%

Photos

L3 is easy singletrack
May 20, 2018 near Greenfield, CA
In the gorge.
Dec 22, 2017 near Greenfield, CA
View from the trail
May 20, 2018 near Greenfield, CA
L1 is a fun downhill
May 20, 2018 near Greenfield, CA
A rope for scrambling down and up the ravine.
Jan 16, 2018 near Greenfield, CA
A new trail settling in.
Jan 16, 2018 near Greenfield, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 94 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 2, 2020
Justin McBride
Totally fun trail, wildly overgrown in spots, basically almost the entire climb from the creek to the summit. Some passable, others impossible
Feb 25, 2018
Travis Meyer