February 25, 2018

Yuma: Sugarloaf Mtn.

Yuma, AZ. What comes to mind? The Sand People from the original Star Wars? A territorial prison from the pioneer days? Heat? Sand? A gas stop on the way to San Diego? Perhaps all of the above. I had heard of some trails there years ago, seen some pics and it looked interesting at the very least. It was never a place I'd consider driving 3 hours just to check out. I figured if I was ever passing through the area with both my bike & a bit of time to spare, I'd give it a whirl. The time had come.
I must be getting close!! The Imperial Sand Dunes rise above the I-8 corridor along the border in CA.
I thought Sugarloaf Mtn. would be a bit more pronounced from afar, but it blends into the surroundings and looks more like a series of hills or folds in the landscape. I drove north of town a few miles on two-lane farm roads to find a few cars parked at the trailhead. This must be the place.
Very cool stonework. Found out later that it was done by a friend's father who lives in Yuma.
My plan was to keep it short, 1 1/2 hours max. I also wanted to ride the high point of the system to take in the views. I found a route online that fit the bill, a CCW loop just under 10 miles.
There's not much vegetation here, but what grows is the heartiest around.

The Lunar has landed.

More craftsmanship with trail markers.

I may have missed a turn or two, but the plus-sized tires didn't mind the short sandy wash sections.

Considering how rocky this place is, the trails are relatively smooth.

Pop the champagne, top of Sugarloaf!!

Ocotillo are one of the few local residents.

Champagne trail carves a path along the upper ridgeline.

The trails rode very well, great routing too.

Party spot on a Friday night.

I didn't find any Gold or Silver, but struck it rich in singletrack.

One final up & over on the way down to the trailhead.

The Azul hues of the Gila Main Gravity Canal seemed so foreign to this land.
I finished up right on schedule, then realized I forgot about the 1 hour timezone change on the drive over. I had promised I'd be home around dinner, ok maybe a late dinner now. 

All in all, I had a great time on the Sugarloaf trails and would love to come back and ride the rest of them. I'm guessing you could easily link together a 30, maybe 40 mile ride to hit everything without a ton of overlapping. I also really lucked out with the weather as it was in the high 60's with a light breeze. This is NOT a summer ride!!

If you have time and a bike the next trip through Yuma, give the singletrack a look. It's worth it.

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