May 23, 2014

Jacob Crosscut Re-visited

Last time I was riding the Jacob Crosscut trail, Larry and I were bikepacking the Salty-Gila Tour and I was pleasantly surprised to see some trail work had been done. I wasn't sold on the entire trail being rideable that day, so we stuck to the route & bailed to the neighborhood.

Of course this piqued my interest and I finally found the time to head back out to check on rest of the trail. I figured while I was at it I'd also pay the West Lost Goldmine another visit as well. Would these trails finally be worthy for inclusion into bigger routes? I hoped so.

I started my loop in Gold Canyon near the De La Cruz Mexican Gille and immediately spotted a 2-track heading west a bit farther from US60 than the dirt frontage road. This worked out nicely as the 2-track then presented me with an option to take a short singletrack climb on the flank of Silly Mountain. The very top had some rubble, but it was good otherwise. I then dumped onto the paved neighborhood roads of Apache Junction, where they typically dead-end into dirt connectors. A few zig-zags and I was at the start of the bailout trail, not sure how rideable it would be in the uphill direction. Again I was surprised to find the trail very rideable, only the last 100 feet or so had an overabundance of loose chunk on the trail.

I was now at the Jacob Crosscut trail ready to continue south.
Start of the Jacob Crosscut trail for this day.
Towering views of the Superstition Mtns.
Saguaro invasion!!
So far so good.
The biggest improvement I saw was the clear trail easement, no scratchy bushes to constantly deal with. The trail was still a challenge, but this time a good challenge. It tests your technical riding ability, but nothing extreme. Roughly 2 miles later I reached the point where the trail turns abruptly down the slope. This section is rough, like riding on softballs. The good news, it IS rideable since it's downhill and only 1/2 a mile long.
There are only a handful of times I long for a full squish bike, this is one of those times.
The W. Lost Goldmine trail starts off great....
Junction of the Jacob Crosscut & W. Lost Goldmine trails.
Down at the W. Lost Goldmine junction you have a choice, go right and exit at Broadway Ave about a 1/2 mile to the west or head east into Gold Canyon. The trail pointing east in tantalizing, enviting, but be warned it's chock full of techy goodness!! I felt really good on this ride and only dabbed a handful of times, momentum is key on this trail.
This sign is not in the correct location!! The Wilderness boundary is 300' to the right & not on the trail!! It should be a sign stating entrance to the Tonto National Forest.
Almost a mile of this with some smooth sections tossed in.
W. Lost Goldmine ends here, on Cloudview rd, this cool trail marker shows the entire length of the Lost Goldmine trail. This marker is located at the bottom of the vertical line on the map.
As soon as I reached Cloudview rd I had my mind made up with regards to Jacob Crosscut & W. Lost Goldmine, they would be added to future long distance routes. I'd keep both in for the East Valley Traverse, but I'd bail to Broadway Ave for my bikepacking loop in favor of re-supply options in Gold Canyon.

I finished this loop off by riding the connector singletrack in the Gold Canyon trail system down to the Apacheland entrance then cut through the neighborhood on Golden Rim / Don Donnelly tr. and down to De La Cruz.
Evening light approaches.
Nice pad with a view!!

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