Soquel Demonstration Forest

The longest single loop available in the Demo Forest.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
20 km
Ascent
781 m
Descent
780 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
206 m
High Point
793 m
Gradient
10˚
Soquel Demonstration Forest Map

Soquel Demonstration Forest, or "Demo Forest" for short, has long been one of the must-ride trails in California. The classic Demo Forest trails can be best characterized as old school freeride descents. Mapped here is the longest single loop that can be ridden in Demo Forest without backtracking, which utilizes the Sawpit trail to descend down the mountainside.

Description

While most of the built-up features can be bypassed, these trails are steep and technical. Optional kickers, log rides, and wallrides abound in the deep forest. Steep, loamy singletrack is the complete opposite of the modern sustainable trail building techniques of today.

According to BayAreaRides.com, "Sawpit Trail loses elevation more slowly than Braille Trail (though not by much), so it's the easier option for descending from the ridge but still a highly technical one, and it's not easier than the much shorter Corral Trail option. One noticeable characteristic of Sawpit Trail is the sheer number of stunts available along its length. I could even claim that it has more stunts than Braille Trail. Most of these are ramps that could allow some serious "air time", though some of them are almost concealed and may take a keen eye to spot on one's first ride here. Tamer riders will be glad to know that all of these stunts have bypasses and none of them will catch you by surprise unless you're carrying too much speed for your own good."

Due to the old school freeride nature of the trails, the features are a bit blind with short sight lines. According to an article on Singletracks.com, "this place should be progressively more fun each time you ride it since you would have a chance to memorize the position of each element and learn how to link everything together into a line as you descend the mountain. Knowing the features would also be advantageous as you could learn the speed required and the amount of air that each would serve up."

Sources: https://bayarearides.com/rides/demo1/ https://calfire.ca.gov/resourcemgt/downloads/Soquel/SDSFBrochure.pdf https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/trail-tuesday-soquel-demonstration-forest-santa-cruz-california/

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

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

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Gap Jumps
  • Wooden Feature

Equipment required

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area