Mountain Biking Sequoia National Forest

Single Track in a Truly Enchanted Forest

Of all the mountain biking regions in Southern California, this is probably the most untapped. The Sequoia National Forest occupies a huge chunk of Southern California, over 1.1 million acres, and yet it's barely known by the state's cyclists. Indeed, the area is so commonly confused with nearby Sequoia National Park that some cyclists — citing the national park policy of banning mountain bikes from single-track paths — believe that there's nothing of value to ride here. That's a shame, for this national forest is home to an impressive amount of choice mountain biking territory, from the grasslands of the Kern River area to the soaring peaks of the southern end of the Sierra Nevada.

Though it is bigger than Sequoia and adjoining Kings Canyon National Parks put together, Sequoia National Forest is often neglected by outdoor enthusiasts. Yet like its two national park neighbors, the forest features giant sequoia trees that soar to over 200 feet in height with equally impressive diameters of 40 feet. The same fast-running, undamned rivers and streams course from park to forest, heedless of government designations. Similarly, black bears, mountain lions, golden trout, and (unfortunately) early mosquitoes are abundant in the forest and parks as well.

As far as mountain biking is concerned, the only differences worth mentioning are that it's much more fun and easy to bike in the forest instead of the parks. Whether you seek single-tracks like the family-friendly Unal Trail, tree-lined dirt roads with amazing views such as the Boole Tree ride, or combinations as typified by the Black Gulch Rabbit Ramble, this is an area that's due for more exploration.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 3 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »