El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space

San Francisco

Arguably the best mountain bike trail network in the Bay Area.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
21 km
Ascent
967 m
Descent
967 m
Low Point
412 m
High Point
731 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Map

Description

"Skeggs Point (El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve) is one of the top candidates for the 'best mountain biking location' award in the Bay Area, and might just be my personal number one,” writes BayAreaRides.com. "The park covers a decent-sized area and features lots of trails, many of them first-class singletrack. These trails also range over a decent spectrum of skill levels.”

In addition to sheer quality of the trails, El Corte de Madera may just be one of the most beautiful areas in the region, too. Towering red woods soar above the singletrack, with the trails snaking between massive trunks in the deep shade of the forest. Dark green ferns and dense undergrowth make it feel like you’re riding through Jurassic Park. While most of the viewpoints are up near the road, the overlooks provide expansive vistas of the deep rainforests covering the peninsula.

The complexity of the trail system means you can create routes of all different lengths and difficulties. The figure 8 ride presented here is one of the longer options that combines the better singletrack trails into one cohesive route. That said, you could break one or the other of the loops in this figure 8 off into its own ride if you’re looking for something shorter.

Overall, most of the trails are quite flowy and intermediate-friendly. However, pick the wrong trail, and you’ll be funneled into steep, exposed root web descents with sharp drop offs. Occasional rock gardens emerge from the forest that are more akin to dried-up waterfalls than they are mountain bike trails. Or does that mean you picked the RIGHT trail? You decide...

Sources: https://bayarearides.com/rides/skeggs1/

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Guidebooks in this area