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Art Smith Trail

Average Rating:    (4.5 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 10

never do it alone, and i highly recommend taking somebady that knows the area well.....scary desert dry rocky, sandy cacti death... trail has a voluntary closure from feb. to june so the bighorns can hump in peace.....
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Latitude
33.02708758002874
Longitude
-117.2900390625
Trail Directions
From Interstate 10 Take the Monterey(hiway74) Exit south and thru town, after climbing a slight grade you will be at the Trailhead(etched in slaterock) to the right....you can stage a vehicle here, or take the road option for a serious XC ride, or go up and back(not recommended)For SHUTTLE: Keep going up the hiway74 to pinon Rd. park here and ride down to palm canyon rd and go Right. decend on a well travel fireroad, there one T intersection, go left..... For Big XCRIDE : Go back down to hiway 111 west, turn after about 8miles left onto cathedral cyn rd. right onto terrace then follow up to a right on valley vista to the fireroad, hop the gate, and start the climb....
Trail Length
15 to 35 miles
Trail Level
Extreme
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Palm Desert
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
February 4, 2011

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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5.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Brad Rodgers ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The local bike shop we rented from suggested the Art Smith trail and gave us a map to assist in finding our way to the starting point in Cathedral Canyon. Once we found the starting point (white gate) up a remote road off Hwy 111 we just followed the bike tracks. At the top of the double wide climb there are picnic tables to have some lunch along side some old machinery left to rot up there. The Art Smith trail is clearly marked but when you do enter the odd wash area just follow common sense (and bike tracks). We brought 3 liters of water each and plenty of food as we stopped twice to refuel plus photo opps. All in all the ride took us 3 hours but we're experienced riders with lots of hill climbing under our belts. Have fun it is a great trail consisting of great climbs and fun undulating descents.

Recommended Route:
Start at Cathedral Canyon up Terrace road, look for a big white gate and from there the bike tracks make it a no-brainer. Once you finish the climbing (about 3 miles) on open double track. You can sit down at a picnic table to enjoy whatever snack you brought. The Art Smith trail head and trail are very clearly marked. Just remember to drink water as you ride and take the needed breaks before you "bonk".



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Review Date
November 11, 2010

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Zachariah ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The Art Smith Trail is NO JOKE. You must:

a)Be in supreme physical shape to do this...NEVER ALONE!
b)Set aside 5-7hrs to ride this trail
c)Be totally prepared in provisions, including food, drink and be ready for any unforseen mechanical breakdown, injury or flat
d)Ride this in COLDER weather. Otherwise, anything hotter than 85 degrees F will beat you down HARD
e)Shuttle either route(see below)
f)Be ready for hike-a-bike sections

Once the above criteria is met - you will be rewarded with a truly memorable epic ride experience. Remember, this trail was built by Art Smith, an avid hiker and horseback rider. I say 80% of this trail is rideable by MTB, at best. Not only is this well-traveled trail signed in all the right places, but the breathtaking scenery is unlike any other in all of Southern California.

Recommended Route:
Stage a vehicle at the Art Smith Trailhead along State HWY 74, in Palm Desert. Go west about 7 miles and park on Channel Drive at the top of Cathedral City cove. Begin the grueling 4-mile Dunn Road fire road climb(it's an average 18% grade in the first mile alone!). Take as many breaks as possible, to conserve water and energy. Bear left along the mountainside after the climb crests and pass an abandoned Earth Mover(left @1973) at mile 3.7 and approach "the wall"...a 16% grade that goes up about a quarter mile. To your left will be the ART SMITH TRAIL 1977 sign, picnic tables and Mike Dunn's deserted International Harvester Pullman bucket loader/Bulldozer(it broke down in 1971).

Follow all signs accordingly and see your car about 6 hours. The descents are full of tight switchbacks and rolling ridges....

There is not very much WOW factor in this ride, but if you value your cardio fitness and enjoy the rawness of Mother Nature....this ride will make you SMILE!

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Palm Springs Goat Trails
Hahn Buena Vista
Vanderventer
Wild Horse
Garstin
Hurkey Creek Park (The Desert's finest MTB playground!!!)
Palm Desert Cross/Bump & Grind
Hopalong Cassidy trail
Alvin Meadows Idyllwild
Humber Park



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Review Date
June 27, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Lord Mortis ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
My riding buddy and I tackled the Art Smith trail this weekend knida by mistake. We ment to ride the Hahns Buena Vista trail. When we got to the picnic area we ran into a couple of locals who told us that the best way back to my truck would be the Art Smith to the 74. The 74 is a high speed down hill into Palm Desert. Our hotel was on Monterey which is the 74 so we planned to go strait to the hotel and pick up my ride later cutting off the 8 mile ride to Dunn rd. By the way the locals we spoke with said they had been riding the trails here for about 14 years and have never seen a Big Horn Sheep, EVER! I told them that they could check out some Big Horn at the Living Desert Zoo!
They got a bunch there!!
I gave this trail 5 of everything because I almost died on it!
The Art Smith is longer than the Hahns so we didn't bring enough water and by mid morning it was pretty hot, I was told by my wife upon our very over due return to the hotel that it was 106 deg. At the end of the trail, but not the end of the ride, we were both out of water (started with 4 liters between us). There is a welcome center at the 74 where the dirt ends. There we found a drinking fountain and a gift shop that had three bottles of warm water at a dollar a piece. drank all three in the a/c and filled the camelbacks at the fountain. rode to the hotel filled both tubs with cold water and taped my last will and testament on the digital camera. What an awesome ride! The guys we met at the top comented on how "they"( insert your favorite eco-terrorist group here) wanted to keep bikers off the trail. Which is evident by the one mile strech of Dunn rd. which is marked by "no trespassing" signs and a bunch of "Please let the sheep hump" signs (note the word "Please" on all the signs).What I thought was odd was the BLM signs on the "privite" land. Check out my gallery for all the signs I take pics of.
Lots of decomposed granit, sandy washes, and very little shade. stickers thorns and other sharp stuff. bring 2 spare tubes and extra water. I had to change a tube on the trail My buddy had a flat the next morning and today I noticed both of my tires are soft.
The ride down is a blast and we plan to do it again, just not soon.

Recommended Route:
Interstate 10 to the Monterey exit. Take Monterey south to hwy 111. West on hwy 111 to Cathedral Canyon. Cathedral Canyon south to Terrace. West on Terrace to Vally Vista. On the right hand side of Vally Vista as you are headed south you will see a white gate. climb over the gate and ride the sandy trail to the Dunn rd. sign and a collection of warning signs( all of which start with "please"). Climb the rock barrier and start the climb to the picnic area.



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Review Date
December 22, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: johnwww ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Unfortunately Art Smith is now closed from Jan 1st to October 1st. They made it mandatory closure and is enforced by trailhead cameras.

Recommended Route:
Out and back starting from Art Smith trailhead. There are some hike-a-bike sections but most are ridable for an experienced rider.



Comments
Zachariah (09/12/2013)
No cameras here!
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Review Date
December 22, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: john ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Unfortunately Art Smith is now closed from Jan 1st to October 1st. They made it mandatory closure and is enforced by trailhead cameras.

Recommended Route:
Out and back starting from Art Smith trailhead. There are some hike-a-bike sections but most are ridable for an experienced rider.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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