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General Information: Located off Interstate 80 at the Soda Springs exit, this ride is both fun and challenging. It has a bit of everything including steep climbing, technical downhill sections, beautiful lakes, nice smooth single-track, and some dirt and paved road riding. The trail is well marked and exceptionally well maintained. It is popular and receives a fair amount of traffic, especially on weekends. The length and vertical gain are in the immediate range of difficulty, but the sections of technical riding push this ride into the advanced category. However, an intermediate rider could safely complete the ride if he/she walked the difficult areas.

Click here for a map and vertical profile

Where To Start: Exit Interstate 80 at Soda Springs. There are several options for starting this ride, but if you are not shuttling a car, it makes little difference. From the off-ramp, turn left (north) and then make a quick right after the underpass. Look for a sign board on the left side of the street where a trail intersects this road. This is the END of the ride. To avoid a few miles of road riding, shuttle a car to the Boreal Exit. Park on the road to the north of the freeway.

Trail Description: From the starting place mentioned above, cross under the freeway, past the 76 station and continue on this road for 3 miles or so. Look for the California Snow Survey building on the left side of the road. Turn left onto the dirt road and follow it for 2 miles up to the parking area for Boreal Ski Resort. Cross back under the freeway and up the paved

road towards Castle Peak. This road quickly turns into a dirt road with Castle Peak to the east. Follow this dirt road for a mile or two until you find a sign board with a map of the "Hole In The Ground" trail. The single track just to the left of this sign is the beginning of the ride. The trail climbs steadily through a series of switchbacks up to Andesite Ridge. The climb is steep but reasonable. The trail tops out on Andesite Ridge with a great view of Castle Peak. From here, the trail descends, sometimes steeply with some intermediate technical riding. This part of the trail is mostly through mixed coniferous forest and is very pleasant. At a trail junction for the PCT, continue on towards Sand Ridge Lake. After a few miles of mostly descending trail, a turn-off for Sand Ridge Lake heads left. This lake is a small but beautiful classic alpine gem with grasses surrounding the lake. The main trail continues straight however. This next section continues mostly downhill or flat with some smoother single-track sections mixed with more rocky technical riding. A few miles farther, another turn-off heads right to Lower Lola Montez Lake, a diversion well worth the few mintues required to get there. Back on the main trail, more wonderful single-track riding that finally turns into a gravel road after 3 miles or so. Following this road you will see a trail sign (and a private road sign as well) that marks the easily missed turnoff to a single-track trail. This section is probably the steepest, sandiest, and most technical on the ride. Intermediate riders will want to walk this short section. The single-track again turns to gravel road. The road clibs a bit then on the descent, a sign again marks the turnoff to the final single-track. This final short section exits onto the paved road where you parked your car.

Environmental Concerns: The trail is well maintained, but has many steep, rocky sections where skidding causes tremendous erosion. As many signs along the trail implore..."Ride it, don't slide it!" Stay in control to avoid skidding.

The trail to Sand Ridge Lake is marked on the map as a no mountiain bike riding trail.

Advisory: Don't drink the lake or stream water without filtering or treating it first!

 
 

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NOTICE: While the information on this site is thought to be accurate and reliable, it is offered only as a guide and cannot replace sound personal judgement.

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