Yeah, Why Not
After all we were going to be in Riverside anyway, so why not? After dropping the kid off at campus, why not just continue on to Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park for a little mountain biking? I had never ridden there, but have been wanting to for a month or so now, before the summer heat makes mid-day rides in that area unbearable.
As it turns out there is an actual "main entry" to the place, along with many other "lesser" access points. The only one I had researched, however, was the one just around the corner from Jenson USA. That entry was not obvious from my parking spot in front of the shop, so I ambled over to the doors and gave a pull, hoping to get directions. Closed, of course; it is Memorial Day after all. Fortunately one of the guys in the warehouse noticed and came out to point out the way to go (though the shop was closed, there were still folks working on mail orders at the warehouse). Helpful even when closed. Cool.
I have seen plenty of photos of Sycamore so had an idea of what to expect, but this was still mostly going to be a ride of discovery. We must have spent a couple, or three hours, but would probably have needed another half day see everything, and would have still missed an unknown number of side trails. Those trails criss-cross the hills, down into and back out the the parks' namesake ravine, and many smaller ones as well. As you would expect for an area this big, the trails vary in technicality, but there was only one (keeping in mind that we kept away from the more technical area in the northeast) that I did not feel comfortable riding - a steep drop down into the canyon bottom from a high point along the parks' western border. Point is, all that ability to just ride, added up to create a morning that was beyond fun. My only regret - that we are so far into the hot season of the year that I may have to wait for the end of year cool down to get out to that dirt again.
which way would you go?
too steep for the mrs.
unfortunately many of the interpretive panels are old and faded, or damaged by vandals
some of the areas namesake trees
a species of mallow, I believe
helpful couple pointed out the various pluses and minuses
of the different trails heading away from this junction on the western boundary
the shallow draw on the right had the ruined hulk of a car in it but I wasn't going back to have a look
the long road
Little Moab - me hoping my new sunglasses arrive soon, she taking hers off