Rebel's Ride


Wilder Ridge Loop to Twin Oaks to Eucalyptus Loop to Enchanted Loop to Baldwin Loop to Wilder Ridge Loop to Zane Gray Cutoff to Wilder Ridge Loop
8.3 miles; max elevation: 620 feet

Bike recommendation: Full suspension or hard tail

Breaking the rules without breaking the law, this 8.3 mile ride traverses some of Wilder’s most scenic trails in the opposite direction of usual traffic, thereby offering up plenty of technical variety on trails groomed for a different flow. Between the rolling meadows of Twin Oaks Trail and the steep, rocky descents of Zane Gray, intermediate riders will get a steady workout replete with vista points and a sense of the park as a whole.

From the cow gate just north of the Highway 1 underpass, make a sharp left at the first junction onto Wilder Ridge Loop. After a steady 1.6-mile climb up over 300 feet on a fire road, veer right onto Twin Oaks Trail just before the fire road gets shaded and steep. Head through a small meadow followed by a mile of alternating wooded and open single track. Veer right at the unmarked junction and join Eucalyptus Loop for another picturesque .4-mile, mostly flat journey through wooded canyons and open meadows to the Enchanted Loop. Take the trail counterclockwise for a half mile of undulating meadows descending 300 feet ever so gently on a banked, narrow path before passing through a shaded meadow at the base of the canyon. A steep, rooted trail lets you climb out of your 300 foot hole back to join the Baldwin Loop Trail (less skilled and/or masochistic bikers might opt to take this loop in the opposite direction). Head northeast (up) on the fire road for .7 unexciting miles and over the short paved hill to meet the upper Wilder Ridge Loop. Veer to the right for a .5 mile fire road descent to meet the Zane Gray Cutoff trail, the top of which boasts one of the better vista points in Wilder. Zane Gray is a steep and rocky .9 mile descent either open all around or tightly hugged in by poison oak and made narrow by deep ruts. Beware of horses and bikers climbing up one of the more technical and popular climbs in the park. Continue eastward for 1.2 miles traversing two gulches and the border of the privately owned sand quarry just south of the trail before meeting Wilder Ridge Loop. Descend for your last .8 miles of fire road back to the cow gate, and give yourself a pat on the back for surviving one of the more technical rides on offer at Wilder.

Highlights: Standing out from most of Wilder’s topography is the rocky, dry landscape of Zane Gray Cutoff, proffering views of the bay and a good long session free from fire roads. The view at the top of Zane Gray is stunning. The climb through Enchanted Loop is a sweaty challenge in the comforting shade of redwoods.

—Brooke Wright

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