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Loon Lake Death Loop!

Average Rating:    (3.92 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 12

This whole ride is really nasty and cannot be ridden by riders without a sense of adventure!! The first 1/3 of the ride is granite. It is a lot of fun though very technical in some areas (4-6' drop offs, etc). The second 1/3 of the ride is on the Rubicon Jeep trail. Also very very technical and steep in areas. Some walking required. The last 1/3 of the ride is all single track. Again, very technical!! The first time I rode this loop, I got spanked. I hated the whole experince. However, I went back and worked on some of my bike handling skills and it is by far my favorite ride anywhere!! You may want to get a forest map of the area since there is a section where you have to walk a quarter of a mile (in manzanita) to locate the single track. This is at spider lake just past the tunnel (the army core of engineers bored a 10' diameter tunnel from spider lake to loon lake to extract water from spider lake, very cool to see). I prefer to do the loop clockwise since I like to do trials on the granite when I'm fresh. The loop takes 2.5 to 4 hours depending on how much you want to goof off. The scenery is very cool. Be prepared for changing weather. Also have a plan ready in case someone gets hurt. The area is very desolate so beware! Enjoy!!
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Latitude
38.98228899383994
Longitude
-120.31450867652893
Trail Directions
Drive west on Higway 50 leaving Placerville. Just before highway 50 turns into a two lane highway, there is a road on the left hand side named Ice House Road. Take Ice House road north for about 30 to 32 miles (it's a long drive back there but it's worth it). Follow the signs to Loon Lake. Follow the road past the power plant until the pavement turns to dirt (watch out for that pothole, KEEP LEFT!!). You can park at the end of the dirt road.
Trail Length
16 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Unknown
City/County
Placerville
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
November 6, 2013

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Scott ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Tunnel goes to Buck Island.



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Review Date
April 14, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Nakoosa , from Concord, Ca

Summary:
I have backpack-mtb'd from Loon L. to Spider L., and also done many several hour trips from Loon to Spider and back. Summer -- be prepared for hot, dry air with a lot of dust in yer throat. Winter and/or early Spring -- terrible for components, yet quite possibly the Best time of year! Rain, snow, puddles, wet and solitude! My Australian Cattledog and I love the snow patches and the intermittent rain and snow flurries with sub-forty degree temps. No matter how you slice it, it's a tough ride. Adventurous, difficult, fun. Big boulders, plenty of river rock, loose sandy soil, drop-offs and Amazing views. Plus you get to watch the Jeeps do some crawlin', then show them your stuff and get there quicker and more in shape than they.
If you know how to ride, clipless is the way to go. You must be seasoned and determined to do this ride. No matter your skill level, your post-ride abilities will be Much, much better!
Take the adventure challenge, just remember to be kind to the environment, have as little impact as possible.

Recommended Route:
Loon L. access to Rubicon Jeep trail to Spider L. and back

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Barrett Lake Jeep Trail (Wright's L. Rd); Strawberry Canyon -- Jeep trailhead up (serious up!) to Caples L. overlook then a Very fun but forearm busting downhill back to trailhead and access road.



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Review Date
December 4, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: Paul , from Running Springs, CA

Summary:
I love this ride. Lots of technical rock gardens that will have the average rider walking his bike. But if you're strong, balanced, and dedicated in how you ride, you'll have fun. Trials riders will have a great time here. This is a place you can challenge your riding partners as each rider tries to clean a nasty section.

Recommended Route:
Start at Loon Lake. Follow the Jeeps onto the Rubicon trail. Head through granite bowl, and just keep following the oil stains on the rocks. When you get to Buck Island Lake, either turn around and go back, or pick up your bike and head west, hiking through the rocks and brush until you come to a "road". Once on the road, go uphill. The road narrows back to single track, and eventually spits you out at the wilderness parking area at Loon Lake.



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Review Date
October 6, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: JB , from El Dorado Hills, CA

Summary:
This is one of - if not thee - best, action packed rides around... period. Plan a whole day around it. Play on the granite. Re-ride sections you almost cleaned. Have a blast. Bring spare parts. Bring plenty of food. A water purifier is good too. Wear pads if you have them. Bring a first aid kit. Don't bring people that are not VERY comfortable riding really technical terrain, up and down. Don't bring people that blow up or bonk after 2 hours of riding. Stick together. The guys I rode with today and I figure that probably less than 1% of all mt. bikers would ride this adventure...and like it. I love it.

Recommended Route:
Counter clockwise

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Barrett's Jeep Trail to Wright's Lake is very similar from a techical stand point. More climbing though.



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Review Date
July 3, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Eric , from Granite Bay

Summary:
This is not a beginner's trail! Be prepared for a tough day for both rider and equipment. I would advise switching from your clipless pedals and shoes to platforms and decent hiking shoes-because you will be walking at least 25% of the time! Also, if you are riding anytime in the summer, bring LOTS of water. All in all, a very nice bike/hike with extreme technical sections and rock gardens like I have never experience in my 17 years of mountain biking!

Recommended Route:
Loon over the ridge down to Spider Lake

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Loon to Van Vleck bunkhouse-much more rideable with greater elevation changes and less rocks than the Loon loop.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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