The Palm Canyon
Pinyon Flats Loop
Many riders have described the Pinyon Flats Loop as an “epic ride.” An anonymous rider commented, “The ride starts out nicely with gentle rollers, but soon, very soon, turns into a lined single-track of cactus and thorn bush. It is important to wear arm and leg protection so that you can enjoy the absolute beauty that surrounds you.”
The Pinyon Flats Loop is located near the Santa Rosa Mountains near the north slope. The trailhead is nestled between the peaceful hamlets of Pinyon Pines and Spring Crest. The trail is an eleven mile track that provides a rider with breath-taking ridge top views, backdropped with impressive, deep canyons that seem to go on forever.
The terrain of the Pinyon Flats Loop is incredibly rocky, with narrow sections that are surrounded by cactus that are ready to brutally punish riders that do not stay on the skinny path. Despite the unforgiving cactus “speaking of nature, this ride was a Scatologists' dream.” One rider said that, “This trail had the widest variety of landscape and plants down the entire length of the trail.”
This is the most diverse trail that carries riders through a desert landscape, sand river bottom riding, and easier sugar sand riding. The first part of the Pinyon Flats Loop descends along four wheel drive roads, emptying out into a single track along the beautiful Palm Canyon Trail. Riders reach the Pinyon Pines Trail after going through a wash. It is here that the gradual climb and the single trail begins.
The biggest hazard of this trail is the various types of cacti that are located along the trail. This causes the trail to become extremely narrow at certain parts of the ride. One rider commented, “After a few miles passed, my arms and legs were bleeding.” Make sure that you cover your arms and legs properly. The only other hazards are the extreme exposure to the sides of the canyon, along with a handful of steep descents.
The Pinyon Flats Loop is a technical trail that is perfect for an experienced, in-shape biker that desires closeness to the desert landscape.
Directions: The Pinyon Flats Loop includes a three mile section of pavement riding that can be completed at the beginning or the end of the ride. It just depends on where you decide to park. You must take CA-74 to reach the trail. Parking is outside of the Pinyon Flats Campground, causing you to complete the pavement portion at the beginning, or at the end of Pine View Road, which will prompt you to complete the pavement portion of the trip at the end.
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