Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MTB- Tish Tang

Distance: 18
Climbing: 3,826 feet
Difficulty: Hard
Start: Willow Creek

This is a popular mountain bike ride, which is about an hour drive east of Arcata. The course is covers the majority of the expert race course from the old Tish Tang Mountain Bike Race. The trail was established and maintained for many years by Willow Creek mountain bike pioneer John Dostal.

To get to the start take Highway 299 to Willow Creek. Turn north onto Country Club Road, which is the cross street at the Chevron gas station. At 0.9 miles turn left on Patterson Road. Continue on the main road which will pass the Bigfoot Golf Course and wind its way into the forest. At 3.4 miles the road narrows so drive carefully. At 5.1 miles continue straight on Forest Service road 8N03 towards Horse Linto Campground. From this point on the road is poorly maintained. During the winter of 2008 a slide deposited on the road, which is still passable with a 4X4 vehicle or vehicle with good clearance. Horse Linto Campground is located next to Horse Linto Creek and is a simple pit toilet site with no running water. There are three campsites if you choose to spend the night in bigfoot country.

Listed below are some map points. The distance between each point is shown as well as the distance to some of the points from the Horse Linto Campground. Here is what each point represents:

1- Bottom of the downhill trail.
2- Bottom of the roller trail.
3. Intersection of the downhill trail.
4. Intersection of the 8N37 road.
5. Top of the roller trail.
6. Sign Board Gap.
7. Intersection with 7N09 road.
8. Intersection with 8N03T road.
9. Turn right on singletrack beyond the corral.
10. Bottom of singletrack and intersection with 7N09 road.

The most popular ride would be to climb the fire road all the way to the corral trail at point 9, descend down the corral trail to point 10, climb back up to point 7, descend to point 5 on the fire road, take the "roller trail" from point 5 to point 2, ride up to point 3, descend down the "downhill trail" to point 1, and return to the campground. This would give you a total of 18.2 miles and 3826 feet of climbing. However, there are several other trails that are worth checking out. The shale trail is accessed from sign board gap on the 8N14 road. The upper section is steep with a loose shale surface which is very challenging. The upper downhill course is steep and challenging as well. I don't highly recommend it because of its steepness and low frequency of maintenance.

Tish Tang A Tang Map Overview, Click on the image for a larger view or to print it out in landscape view:

Horse Linto Campground:

The top of the roller trail is difficult to find because of recent logging. Look for a large oak tree with a burned out hollow in the base. Head straight downhill to the right of the oak tree and you will pick up the singletrack.

At the top of the corral trail you will enter an old growth Douglas-fir forest:

The main fire road has seen little to no maintenance by the Forest Service and is starting to revert back to nature. At some point we are going to have to clear the main road too:
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