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Caples Lake off Hwy 88

Post by 4Strokes » Sun May 29, 2016 9:09 am

Topic: Found a new trail off Hwy 88 at Caples Lake in CA
Author: ridge-runner
Posted: 07/02/2003 6:36:58 PM

I found a new trail off of hwy 88 starting at Caples Lake. You turn at the Caples Lake Maint Station and follow the dirt road up a couple miles to Schnieder Camp. Park there. The same road you came in on then forks right after camp and starts to turn ugly. The right fork is 10N13 and goes over to 42 mile campground off of hwy 50 near Strawberry Creek. The left fork is 17E17 and a few turns down that trail is a Huge square radio tower perched on the side of the cliff overlooking the monster valley that parts of the Kirkwood ski resort are located in. Down below you is Government Meadows, Hay Flat and Convict Meadows.

17E17 is single track, twisty, extremely rocky, parts are steep (as far as we rode) and not for the faint of heart or the rider that is not willing to hand muscle his/her bike around a bit. Your bike needs to be well protected for this ride because you are going to bang it up in the rocks.

Me and my son rode down for a good hour or more and while taking a break, a guy on a Gas Gas trials bike came along and told us some more about the trail. This was about 2.00 pm and we were telling him how we intended to go down to Bucks meadow and then catch another trail that takes you back up to 10N13 and then back to the truck. He pointed out that the connecting trail between 17E17 and 10N13 was a Hiking only trail. No OHV's allowed. He also pointed out that we were still probably a couple of hours from Bucks Meadow. Damn!!! Maps can be deceiving!! We decided to turn around and go back up 17E17. Boy what a ride! Or rather a struggle! We got it done but had to lift the bikes over several un-ridable (going up) obstacles.

It sounds like we went through hell but really, we had a great time because that's just the kind of riding we like. That guy on the trials bike compared the trail to those "divide" trails a Downieville.

For any of you hardcore single-track nuts, go ride that trail. We'll be back ourselfs but this time we will start way early am! Cya out there, Al

Reply by damone on 07/10/2003 11:56:55 AM
Sounds like some good stuff. I haven't been out there off of US50. Everything I hear is good and someday hopefully I will make it for an overnighter, but it is 3-4 hrs from my home.

I have been riding a lot locally and up in Lake Almanor and when I get tired of it (not likely) I will try new spots. I'll stray elsewhere after that and the 2 or 3 trips to Stonyford each year.

We have a trail locally that sounds similar and way up on top of a granite section there is a sign that reads "Corvette Parking Only". To me this section is one way, but with some muscle you can go anywhere. Have fun on that

Reply by ridge-runner on 07/11/2003 5:29:03 PM
Hey Damone, good to hear from ya. it's been a while. That hunk of trail I rode was off the hwy 88 but it could be gotten to from the 50 also although it would be some long trail ride to get over there. Sounds like your having a good time localy. Ddid you ever get over to Pi PI valley? I still have not got to Stony or Downieville. I'm gonna try for both by the end of the year. Later Al

Reply by damone on 07/15/2003 09:02:43 AM
I have yet to make it to Pi Pi Valley. Now that the summer has heated up the valley I have been spending most weekends at Lake Almanor. Don't think that I leave the bike at home. Me and the buds have been tearing up the hills quite well.

This guy has blazed some trail and ribboned the whole thing so we could follow, but we still havn't been able to ride the whole thing. We have found about 10-15 miles of some guys homemade single track. This trail is as good as I have ever ridden. I can't wait to meet this guy on the trail so he can show us every turn. We get mixed up when the trail comes out on a road for a spell then darts back into the forest. This trailblazer is tricky. He uses bright ribbon along the trail, then uses a light purple or white ribbon when along a road(the loggers use the same ribbon, so it looks as though it belongs and isn't the start of a trail), so at road speeds it is easy to roar by the lighter ribbon. I don't mind,because then the yahoos don't find the trail and screw it up.

We have been told there is single track from my towm (Paradise) all the way to Lake Almanor (30-45 miles as the crow flies) 90 miles by road. Some day we will have the wifes drop as off at the staging area 5 minutes from the house and we will meet them Lakeside at the cabin.

That would be a ride. Anyway, enough rambling. I can't get enough of the mountain singletrack. How do those guys ride in the dessert all the time? We will be planning a ride to Stony come October (stay away from the heat), I will post about it for sure though. Later, D

Reply by russ on 07/19/2003 07:24:25 AM
Hey Damone, where do you ride up at Almanor? Is there any one spot? I live in Portola and I keep reading about you riding up there. If you could help me out that would be great. Heading to Downnieville tomorrow to show the buds around.

Reply by damone on 07/22/2003 08:43:25 AM
The riding in Almanor is mostly on the west shore between Almanor and Butt Valley Resevoir. There are good hills between the two lakes and plenty of roads if that is what you are into. If your going to Downieville I expect you like the singletrack. You can park where SR89 and Prattville Rd intersect and ride from there. There is some singletrack that we have found (less than 10 miles though). Most of the riding is like hills and berms and stuff. If you are coming from Portola head north on SR 89 to Prattville/Butt Valley Rd. turn left (towards Butt Valley Res.) Park at the dirt road on your left. If you ride from there follow the dirt road back south (Shadows highway) for for a ways. If you pass the beginning of the trail then go to where the first road goes off to the right and keep right. There are some berms and better traveled trails back that way. Continue turning right and eventually you will come back out on the pavement. Cross the pavement and the other side offers hills galore and berms. You can get to this from the truck by crossing the road and following the powerlines downhill.The start of the trails are not well defined, but they are marked if you are looking.Most of the riding is on both sides of Pratville/Butt Valley Rd towards Butt Valley Res.

I was driving home from Almanor and we went through Greenville. It looks as though there was some fun trails next to the highway between Greeneville and Almanor. I wonder what they are all about.

I have heard that there is singletrack from Almanor to Quincy. I would have to believe there is singletrack from Quincy to Portola right??? That would be a ride from Almanor to Portola, Damn.

I'm a little afraid of the divide trails. I've ridin them, but not sure if I will do it again. Post about your ride to Downieville.

Have fun. Later, D

Reply by ridge-runner on 07/22/2003 7:19:11 PM
Hey Damone, Don't feel bad. I have read several accounts and talked to a couple of other serious single-trackers that got wobbly legs up on the Divide trails. Probably not much shame in having second thoughts.

I sure would like a guided tour up there. Why don't you host a ride up there some time as you seem to know it the best??

I rode off hwy 50 this weekend out of 42 mile tract / Strawberry area next to Lovers Leap. There is a single tract that goes from the campground to the top of Lovers Leap overlooking the 50 and Strawberry Lodge. Right across the hwy is Pyramid Mountain. Pretty awesome. Didn't ride much single track but it is there. We just rode regular trails / dirt roads trying to learn the place. Lots of riding and you can ride all the way over to hwy 88 and everywhere in-between.

10 minutes from the truck, first ride, I wadded the chain. It went through the case saver and broke off the top mounting lug on the center case and chain and saver then mashed all the wires going into the stator. It took me all the rest of the day to fix all that so I could ride Sunday. I'll probably need a new left center case now as I'm leaking oil somewhere in there and definitely a new wiring harness. That's riding though he he. Later Al

Reply by Tony_A on 07/22/2003 9:00:24 PM
RidgeRunner, Have you done the trail from Peddler hill to the back side of Silver lake?
I ride a BRP(aka XR650L)it doesn't like real tight single track but it'll get the job done, anyway I live in El Dorado County and want to do that loop within the next couple of weeks and want to have fun, is it doable on my L,? or am I just kidding myself?

Reply by russ on 07/22/2003 9:04:04 PM
Whats up, Downnieville was as usual AWESOME. We were on single track most of the day. I know the area real well and still found a trail I haven't ridden. We started out on Lavalozza (you try to spell it)trail climbed it up to a place called the "A" tree. We went out across into Gold Valley. From there we went down a trail called big boulder canyon. That was a narrow singletrack with many switch backs. It took us out on to the third divide. We did about forty miles in six hours. That was enough for the day. The group I took up there really enjoyed the day. We got up a little to late for 2nd divide the shuttles were in full force. Hope to head back up there in four to six weeks. I want to ride about double the miles the next trip. All we need is some rain.

Reply by ridge-runner on 07/23/2003 6:39:42 PM
Tony A, I have heard about the trail but have not done it. A couple of guys I was riding with were talking about it but no mention of how hard. I guess there's only one way to find out. Al

Reply by DHH on 07/26/2003 6:27:54 PM
Al, when are we going to ride Elkins Flat again?

Reply by ridge-runner on 07/26/2003 7:43:17 PM
Hey Darin! I thought you had dropped off the map or something. I emailed you a couple of times after I moved and finally got on the net again but never got a reply.

I'll be up Pi PI way before to long and certainly if it rains a bit but that's not likely for a while. I am riding when I can throughout the summer but when I do, I figure if I'm gonna ride in the heat and dust it might as well be somewhere new so me and the kid have been hitting a few new areas.

We've found some awesome stuff and guess what Darin. Some of it is close to your house up the 50. You'll have to get up there with us when we go back and both your kids would have no probs either. There's a good mix of trail levels and stuff.

Anyway, I'm down for at least this weekend and next probably. I need parts (new stator and the wiring loom) for my bike and have to wait for Honda to get them to the dealer. They want 235 bucks for the stator and wiring but my dealer is going to cut me some slack on the price. He's a really good guy to know.

Are you still at the same phone number D ? I'll dig up your no. and give you a call this week sometime. Al

Reply by DHH on 07/27/2003 06:27:55 AM
Al, my phone # is still the same, but you must still be using my old e-mail address. When you call I will give you the new one. I have only ridden 1 time since we had our Elkin's Flat adventure and I'm anxious to go riding soon (although I'm not to excited about the dust or this heat!!). I'll talk to you this week, I should be home every night but Wednesday & Friday - Sunday (next weekend).

Reply by ridge-runner on 07/27/2003 11:03:48 AM
O.k. Darin, If my ageing memory banks will function long enough, I'll call you Tues night. You've gone way to long without riding.

I got the oldest kid a ttr 125 and I'm starting my middle one on the xr80. He still needs to grow into the 80 a bit but it's fun watching him wobble around on it. He really needs to learn what brakes are for though. So far, he keeps using his brand new 140$ boots as brakes. That's got to stop soon. He'll drive me into the poor house.

Little Al thinks he's RC, chad reed and Kevin Windam all rolled into one on his new TTR125. I'll have to admit he's doing really good and riding it much faster and better than the XR80. I only have about a year now before he's completely smoking me! Talk to ya this week. Al

Reply by ridge-runner on 07/29/2003 8:29:00 PM
Darin, I can't find your phone no. I had just found it the other day but it's gone missing. E-mail me with ur phone and I'll call you as soon as I get it. Thanks, Al

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