Follow the links to detailed trail descriptions and directions.
Just out of town is Millerton Lake Recreation Area. I ride up here often
when I don't have the time to go elsewhere. It has a fun trail that anyone
can ride (beginner) that goes around to the marina and back. We'll call
it the Marina Trail as I haven't heard any other name for it. If you start
at the Historic Millerton Courthouse parking it is 9.4 miles. On the Madera
side of the lake there is a shorter and bit more intense trail. Let's call
it the Madera Trail, which is 7.1 miles if you ride the long way that includes
3+ miles on pavement.
I met some local bike club members, Patrick, Clay, Daniel and Dean at Whiskers
for this ride. The ride was to Shuteye Peak which requires a need for adventure
from the rider. Ranks high on the tuff scale for conditioning and technical
abilities. For me only the scenery makes this worth doing. This was my second
trip and there will have to be a good reason to do it again. I would like
to get up there on a clear spring morning. The ride is 20 miles if you start
Just out of town at Millerton Lake is the Sky Harbor
to Squaws Leap ride.
It is a 20+ minute drive from Fresno to Sky Harbor but then requires a long
shuttle to Squaws Leap. This is a late fall, winter or early spring time ride
unless you commonly ride the desert in the summer. Even in the spring you
need to bring as much water as you can carry so I can't imagine how much water
would be needed in the summer. Even though it is only 15 miles there is a
lot of climbing. At the very least this is a difficult ride.
The Squaws Leap Loop ride makes a great late fall, winter and early spring
ride. I have ridden this trail many times and have seen or talked to riders
that have seen rattle snakes on this trail. I've never heard of anyone being
bit. Moderate difficulty with a few tuff spots scattered along the 7.5 miles.
Starting from the same parking area and on the same trail as the Squaws
Leap Loop is the Temperance Flat Trail. I really like this trail better than
the Loop. It's longer and requires more climbing but the climbs are shorter
there is just a lot of them. This can be a long ride, 12.5 miles, and is moderately
difficult so plan to do it on a cool day and bring plenty of water.
Another ride in close proximity of Fresno is at Hensley
Lake. This is an
easier ride than most but still offers some technical sections and a fair
bit of climbing. There are many different loops to ride here. A beginner to
intermediate ride that is around 6 miles depending on what loops you take.
Near Yosemite there are two rides, Lewis Creek and Big
Trees. They are
an hour+ drive from Fresno, a few miles north of Oakhurst off Hwy 41. Both
of these are great rides spring, summer and fall. The only thing that might
rate these as moderately difficult is their distance, one is 17+ miles and
the other is 20.
This is one of my local favorites. The 0007 trail is just above the east
end of Bass Lake and about an hour from Fresno. I guess you can call this
difficult if you ride to the top. If you don't mind walking your bike through
the difficult sections it could be considered moderately difficult or less.
Just across the lake from the 0007 trail is the Goat
Mountain ride. There
are a few ways to do this but here is one I take. Nice ride with a fast fun
downhill. This isn't a hard ride but it's not a beginner either. The single
track is narrow but clean and firm most of the way other than a few rocky
sections. The gnats/flies are terrible in the fall and there is poison oak
along the trail. Just less than 11 miles.
Another classic is up near Shaver Lake on the way to Dinkey Creek, also
about an hour from Fresno. They hold races at the Tour
de Granite every year
in early August. Walking the granite wall, which all but hardiest do, is what
makes this ride difficult. If you walk a couple other sections it's moderately
difficult. It's a short ride, just under 8 miles, and seems to go by quickly.
I do not guarantee the accuracy of any trail descriptions so always go