This is a recently converted BLM spread that is being used for open space and some ag science experiments (How to keep down Star Thistle). The ride starts with a short climb and then a long downhill to a hunters' cabin. At the cabin, take the trail to the right (the one on the left dead-ends in a creekbed after about a mile). The trail to the right is an abandoned farm road. There's a loop, if you get to the cliff and make a right, but I've never made it that far. The ride out to the cliff is about a 13-mile round-trip using the same trail to come back. If it's windy in the Bay Area, it will be extremely windy here. If it's hot in the Sacramento Valley, it will be just as hot here.
Lots of wild things out here, turkey, quail and during hunting season, the people who hunt them. There are also on occaison cows grazing. The trail varies from cow rutted to smooth, with some technical spots, creek crossings and some drop-offs you can jump if you want to.
Summary: There's more than one ride near Cache Creek. One is the BLM's Fiske Creek Trail, part of a set that includes Frogpond and Blue Ridge trails. See this site, which has a link to maps: http://www.blm.gov/ca/ukiah/cachecreek.html.
I wanted to ride Fiske Creek and Blue Ridge but Fiske Creek took long enough that I had to give up on Blue Ridge. I rode Fiske Creek from north to south. It's about four miles long. This is a very nice singletrack ride, even though at the halfway point it becomes hard to follow, and I ended up wading through Fiske Creek for a couple of hundred yards. I don't know whether I missed a turn or that's the required route. If the latter, you'll get plenty wet as you search for the southern exit from the creekbed. Once the dry trail resumes, it climbs steadily to the junction with Fiske Creek Road.
I originally planned to go left (east) on Fiske Creek Road to the junction with Blue Ridge Trail. It was getting late, though, and the BLM map suggested that going right on Fiske Creek Road and back to Rayhouse Road (County Road 40) would be an easy return. Wrong! Fiske Creek Road climbs 1,200 feet from Fiske Creek Trail and is a slog if it's hot, which it's likely to be much of the year. Near the summit, though, there's a spectacular view of a good part of northern California; I thought I could see Mt. Diablo in the distant south, and the nearby mountains and Lake Berryessa are majestic. As you proceed north on Fiske Creek Road toward the junction with Rayhouse Road, you pass beautiful Fiske Lake.
This ride was only 16.5 miles but it took me three hours in the July heat (and it was a cool day for July, about 90 or 95 degrees) and with the mysterious middle section of the trail. The trail is a very good ride even in its current rugged, unmaintained condition, but with some attention from the IMBA Trail Care Crew or a local club it would be worth an extra chile.
If we keep access to these trails, we can thank IMBA for it. This is an area that could someday become federal wilderness, and IMBA has been letting the BLM know we don't want to lose access on the trails around Cache Creek. See this article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/10/03/SP100045.DTL.
Recommended Route: From the Bay Area: take I-505 north to Calif. Hwy. 16. Take Hwy. 16 past Esparto to Rumsey. About five miles north of Rumsey, turn left on Yolo County Road 40 (also known as Rayhouse Road), a dirt road, and drive down to Cache Creek. There is a low-water bridge there, and if it's negotiable, park on the other side. Ride up County Road 40 about 2.5 miles to a junction with Fiske Creek Trail on the left.
Review Date March 4, 2002
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Visitors rate this review 4.50 of 5,
Reviewed by: T-Bone
, from Ukiah
Summary: The area has a lot of different trails. Your best bet is to stop by the BLM office in Ukiah, and pick up a map of the Cache Creek area. The main trail takes you up a singletrack for 1.67 miles to a split. You have 3 choices, head towards Williams, head towards Clearlake, or go back down the trail you came. I suggest you head towards Clearlake. This trail follows the mountain ridge. Cool rolling singletrack with a couple chances to see some bald eagles. If you are new to the sport or just recreational rider(there is nothing wrong with that either. We all start somewhere), I suggest that you go back down the same hill and let er' rip. YEE HAW!
Recommended Route: I came from Ukiah, so I take I 20. Look for the Cache Creek BLM sign. Start looking for the sign after 7 miles out of Clearlake Oakes.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Boggs Mountain is a great place to ride. It offers lots of different vains. Lake Mendocino has a trail that goes around the entire lake too.
Review Date September 19, 2001
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Please Select
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: mike
, from mccarthy
Summary: The "trail" is actually not currently designated as a bike trail. It is instead a system of old dirt roads on the Payne Ranch holding, purchased during the past two years by the BLM - the agency that manages Cache Creek. The only practical trailhead at this time (Sept, 01) is about 1 mile west of the intersection of highways 16 and 20. It's easy to miss because its just a dirt turnoff on the left (south) side of the road. The BLM hasn't signed it, fearing that motorists headed west will collide with eastbound traffic. Be careful. The trail is great in spring or fall, assuming hte cows haven't rutted it up. Just follow the main road and turnoff at side roads to explore, if you wish. BLM has been so quiet about the ranch that you won't see anybody there as a rule, except for hunters in season. Beautiful vistas all around. The cows are plentiful in spots, but harmless. Bring water and a windbreaker for sure. Avoid the hottest part of summer unless you are ready for hot riding, which can also be fun. The trail is fairly flat, with only few slightly long uphills. It's good for beginners, but it's best if they have some savvy about the outdoors. This place has been totally deserted when we've been there. Be ready for emergency's. It's not technical, unless you count cow hoof marks dug into the road. Check with the BLM office in Ukiah if you have questions. There might be some question of usability during the elk rutting season. I give it four stars because the cow hoofs can put holes in the road, although it's otherwise a good hardtail track.
Recommended Route: CACHE CREEK
Review Date May 17, 2001
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Every few months
Visitors rate this review 4.50 of 5,
Reviewed by: Moab Mark
, from Sacramento
Summary: The trail varies tremendously. After the rainy season, the cows do a number on the trail, and it is extremely rough and rutted. The cows tromp through the mud, and the trial gets to be a washboard when it dries. After a couple of months, the cows wear the washboard down into a nice trail again. I was out there May 11, and it was washboard rough. Give it a month or so.