A rugged combination of singletrack, paved, and doubletrack climbing and descending that takes you over both the southern and northern slopes of the Bear Mountain Range.
There will be limited access to water and no logistical support once you hit the singletrack. Make sure you pack extra water and equipment.
This is an ultimate exploration of the Bear Mountain area and surrounding trails. It can be seen as the Taco Tuesday
loop on steroids.
Begin this ride at the bike shop or another suitable meet-up location in Silver City. Make your way to Cottage San Road and follow it to where the pavement ends and Bear Mountain Road begins. At this point, you'll encounter the first major climb of this ride, that consists of several miles of sustained climbing up the road. This will be followed by a steep, sustained descent that is met by a final steep climb that ends on LS Mesa.
Once the climb flattens out on the mesa, take a right turn onto FR 172 (Proposed CDT: Doug's Gate to LS Mesa
). A small rocky cairn marks the road and if you make it to the LS Mesa fire station, you have gone too far and missed the turn.
From here, follow FR 172 up for a bit until you see a Continental Divide Trail marker (CDT). Turn right onto the singletrack and be prepared for a technical, sustained climb over the northern slopes of the CDT. The first mile or so is a gradual climb out of the mesa through a couple of meadows that will quickly give way to a series of tight switchbacks followed by steep, sustained climbing. After summiting the climbing section, you'll be met with a steep, rocky, slick, technical descending section. Use caution as you descend, as this section of the ride is truly technical and very rugged.
After completing the descent, take a minute to rest at the pullout where the CDT crosses Walnut Creek Road. Continue along the CDT and enjoy a section of climbing that is tame compared to the Bear Mountain singletrack. You'll pass through two green Forest Service gates and eventually arrive at the Divide Access Trail
Turn right onto the access trail and head up. At the top of the climb, take another right to get onto the Mountain Loop Trail
to enjoy a fast and technical downhill section that ends at Little Walnut Road.
After hitting the road, you need only to enjoy a mostly downhill road ride back into Silver City. Congratulations, you have successfully completed the Mountain Mayhem loop!