The Chilao area has some great riding. This loop has the best singletrack sections with most of the climbing up easy fire roads or paved roads.
An Adventure Pass is needed for parking. There is no water along the ride so be sure to bring plenty of your own.
Drive to the Chilao Visitor Center and keep going down the road until you get to a small parking area indicated on the map. There are just four spots so you may need to turn around and park at one of the parking areas you pass.
The ride begins on this road; head west until you see some buildings and intersect another road. Take a right and you'll begin the climb up to Hillyer Trail
. This road eventually turns into a dirt fire road. At the northernmost point on the trail map, you'll intersect a paved road; turn right. Continue until you reach the trailhead on the right. It is marked with signs and a Forest Service information board.
The singletrack begins here. The steepest and hardest climb, "The Wall" is ahead. Once you make it up that, you'll reach the summit where you can take a break and get some great panoramic photos of the area.
The trail now goes down along some of the most fun technical singletrack around. Hillyer Trail
is a mix of sand and rock that makes for some interesting features. There is not any exposure on this trail, so its a lot more forgiving than most technical trails around.
The trail will end at a campground. The Hillyer and Chilao Loops take you to Silver Moccasin Trail
from here. However, if you ride up the road at this campsite you can get another two miles of fun singletrack with minimal and easy climbing.
Take the paved access road uphill, and it will eventually connect to a wider paved road. Take a right and follow this road. It will come to a small parking area at Christian Camp where you can connect to the Silver Moccasin Trail
(on the right) or continue on. If you continue along the road, there isn't much more climbing. Follow the road to the parking area ahead where the Silver Moccasin Trail
begins. You'll see a bathroom and a trail marker next to it.
The trail marker is for the Pacific Crest Trail. Bikes are not allowed on the PCT but the Silver Moccasin Trail
starts less than 100' down this trail. Walk your bike down the hill and the Silver Moccasin Trail
will begin on your right.
The Silver Moccasin Trail
begins with some flowy singletrack. There are a few blue/black technical sections along the trail so beginners will want to dismount and walk those two or three spots. The trail has some short steep climbs that will test your climbing (and gearing). Once you reach the Christian campground area, the trail is almost all downhill. The hard stuff is over. It gets progressively rougher and more technical as you head south and downhill. For more detail, see the description for the Silver Moccasin Trail
. There are a few intersections so check your map or read the signs carefully.
The ride will end at the small lot where you may have parked.