What? A Spring Canyon Recon Mission?
Why a Spring Canyon Recon? A friend of mine (Jesse) told me he just got a new bike and asked me to go ride with him. He also wanted to know which trails were still open in Spring Canyon.
Although we never did hook up for that ride his second question got me to thinking … I have not been up there in months, I wonder what is open ( many of the trails up there are closed due to passing over military land).
So, I decided a little Spring Canyon Reconnaissance was in order.
The following map shows where I rode and where I came across the military “Keep Out,” At first glance the map might lead you to believe I had no respect for the signs. But let me explain my ride.
As usual I took a photo of the Highway 52 Bridge before passing under.
As before I stopped to read the signs at the base of the bridge … nothing new.
From there I decided to ride up the center of the canyon to see if the military sign was still there. It was.
From there I tried heading east … up the trail which had never had a sign. This time it did.
So I rode back down to the mouth of the Three Barrels climb (where I had to fix a flat tire!)
I managed to do all of the climb without dismounting, even though I had to pass through some temporary creeks and washouts due to the recent storms.
Now at the top of hill the Three Barrels Trail ends when it intersects a wide dirt road. To the left? The dirt road heading downhill to the west. To the right? The dirt road heading east … with a military keep out sign planted right in the center. Opposite me but slightly to the right? The Tractor Tread Trail.
Tractor Tread Trail
This sign has been in the same place for a couple of years. However, just like before, I didn’t know if the sign applied only to the dirt road or to the dirt road and the trail I really wanted to ride. The sign is set perpendicular to the military road. The Tractor Tread Trail starts just to the left of the sign and heads straight away from the military road. The sign couldn’t possibly mean to stay out of the Tractor Treat Trail! Ambiguous! That’s what I call it! So, I took the trail.
Although I found the tread quite rutted riding that trail was still a blast! A few sharp switchbacks and several creek crossings later I came upon another military sign … facing the opposite direction. The sign never been there before and gave me the answer to my dilemma at the top of Three Barrels. The Tractor Tread Trail was off limits!
Farther down into Oak Canyon I came across another sign facing the opposite direction. Later in the day I passed my last sign of the day … also facing in the opposite direction.
Although many of my favorite trails in Spring Canyon are no longer available I still got quite a bit of riding on this Spring Canyon Recon Mission. Although I passed several signs on the day, I only broke the rules once … due to the ambiguous sign!
The following link can give you all the stats for my Tall Bikes ride … just click on the box below.