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Henry Coe State Park IMBA Epic Route

Average Rating:    (5 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 5

See review for detailed description. The route described here follows the plan for the IMBA epic ride in spring of 2003. (The ride was canceled because of rain.) Here are a few important tips: Henry Willard Coe State Park is remote, rugged, and often very hot. Dehydration and heat exhaustion or stroke are serious risks. No potable water is available in the interior of the park, and streams may dry up. Cell phones are unlikely to work. It is essential to buy a park map via the website listed below; you'll need it the minute you enter the park. You should also carry a GPS or a compass. Follow the advice printed on the map, particularly the warning to turn around when you've used up one-third of your drinking supply. Watch for rattlesnakes. Do not go alone -- this is one park that you should only ride with one or more other persons.
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Latitude
37.4419
Longitude
-122.1419
Trail Directions
Take Calif. Highway 152 to Bell Station, about four miles (7 km) east of the Casa de Fruta exit if you're coming from Gilroy. Bell Station is on the north side of the highway, which is divided at that point. Park in the small parking lot up the gravel road just west of the Bell Station restaurant. Ride up the road, past the "Henry Coe State Park" welcome sign, and climb over the first of two locked gates.
Trail Length
35 miles (60 km)
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Gilroy / Los Banos
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

Review Date
September 18, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
3.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: boulder creek fuel rider ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The cancelled epic of April 2003 was re-scheduled for Sept. 20/21 of 2003. Probably the worst time of the year to ride Coe. Sat was trail work day. We worked Dutch's in the high 90's knowing we would get to ride it the next day. There are some good swimming areas off dutch's- Purple Pond has water in the late summer. Sunday morn we divided up into 3-4 groups. The more serious left first, a good move as it was heating up fast. I picked a nice little group of guys and girls and we headed out to start our 25 mile epic. Starting at Dowdy is tough as everything heads down in a big way, guaranteeing a big climb at the end of the day. Within the first 6-8 miles we had lost both the girls, and and hour or two later we had 2of the guys quit. I would have guessed the temp to be 100-105. We had water support and jeeps ready to pick you up if you wanted to stop. The long review on this site is very accurate as to trail names and conditions. Yes, I would agree that the Alquist is the best sgl track in this part of the park. I rode 19 miles that day-3 of the original 11 made it that far. The earlier groups with the strongest riders who left an hour before us made the entire 25 miles. They were very smart to take advantage of the cool time.(what little there was). Later found out that temp record was set for that date-103 in Gilroy. It was as close to serious de-hydration as I have ever come.

Recommended Route:
I would never even consider riding from Bell Station to start this epic. You are adding almost 15 miles of hard packed wide,boring,sometimes washboard road to an already very tough ride. I attended the Coe back country weekend in the spring of 2005 and there are signs that Dowdy could be accessible by car. They are doing substantial construction of ramadas and day use style picnic areas. Even if they do open this road its a tough side of the park to explore. Your best bet for easier access and quality sgl track is from the Gilroy/Hunting Hollow side.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Tie Down- MustangCut-off- Orestimba Creek Trail-



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Review Date
March 17, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: imtnbke ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
In response to Bob's review of July 6, 2003: You're right, Bob; in the future I'm going to carry a water filter. There are some times of the year it might not help, though; I think many (or all) of the water sources may dry up seasonally.

As for where to get a map: you can buy one from the Pine Ridge Association, and it's both excellent and essential. It costs $8.50 for the plastic version (recommended). Go to this website: http://www.coepark.org. Click on "park maps."



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Review Date
November 2, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: HAMMER THROW ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
The first couple mines in straight up but after that it was great. Went as far as downey but will go farther in the future.



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Review Date
July 6, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Please Select

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Reviewed by: Bob

Summary:
Ted..try carrying a water filter.You speak of "maps"where can I find a map with all those little weenie trails you speak of?



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Review Date
May 19, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
1.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Ted , from Oakland, Calif., USA

Summary:
Here's the detailed review promised in the introductory section. The route described here involves approximately 6,900 feet (2100m) of climbing, much of it steep and some of it on slippery grass. The ride begins at Bell Station, but the IMBA epic route officially begins at Dowdy Ranch, about 7 miles (11 km) from Bell Station. You'll climb some 1,600 feet (500m) to reach Dowdy Ranch from where you've parked your car. From the Dowdy Ranch clearing, Max's Corral Trail is a faint trace that descends steeply to the North Fork of Pacheco Creek. The turnoff for Max's Corral Trail is unmarked, and the trail is so overgrown that without a map you may not be able to locate it. (As mentioned in my introductory comments, you cannot ride in Henry Coe State Park without a map -- you'll become lost.) You proceed west along the creek on the tiny and sometimes overgrown North Fork Trail, fording the creek several times. Eventually you reach Kaiser-Aetna Road, a main thoroughfare. At the road, you ride northwest about 0.3 miles (0.5 km) to Pacheco Ridge Road. You descend to the left and cross the North Fork of Pacheco Creek again. Then begins a steep, arduous climb. About 3.4 miles (6 km) later you reach the intersection of Coit Road. Continue straight on Pacheco Ridge Road another 0.5 miles (0.8 km) and watch carefully for the unmarked and obscure turnoff on the right onto the tiny Phoneline Trail. Descend on the sometimes barely perceptible trace of the Phoneline Trail to its intersection with Coit Road and proceed uphill about 1 mile (1.6 km) until you reach County Line Road. Go north on County Line Road another three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) and turn right onto Alquist Trail, a wonderful singletrack with many switchbacks that takes you over to Orestimba Creek Road. I think the Alquist Trail, which is about 1.7 miles long (2.7 km), is the highlight of this ride. At Orestimba Creek Road, go south a short distance and turn left at the Mustang Cutoff, proceeding uphill on that tiny and grassy track. You'll reach and be back on County Line Road. Go northeast up the road about 1.3 miles (2.1 km) until you find the turnoff for Dutch's Trail, and take it. Dutch's Trail is a great singletrack with much steep descending and panoramic views. Take it south for 3 miles (5 km) until you reach the Yellowjacket Trail, which continues south (I think the intersection is unmarked, and I don't remember even seeing it). On the 0.6-mile-long (1 km) Yellowjacket Trail you'll pass a small, reed-filled pond on your left. The next intersection, reached after a short, steep climb to the west, is the Tiedown Trail. You'll ride this about 0.8 miles (1.5 km) back to the North Fork Trail that you rode earlier. Retrace your steps back to the Kaiser-Aetna Road. Turn south on the road, in the direction of Dowdy Ranch, and in about a third of a mile (0.5 km), if you watch carefully, you'll spot a turnoff on the right onto the Scherrer Trail. Take that turnoff. Scherrer Trail goes uphill, steeply in places, for about 1.2 miles (2 km). Shortly after beginning the climb you'll see an intersection; you should go right and slightly downhill to stay on the correct track. You'll climb to an insection with Center Flats Road. Turn left and proceed east on that road a little more than a mile (1.7 km) until you see a turnoff for the Burra Burra Trail on your right. Take the turnoff. The Burra Burra Trail, a nice singletrack with a combination of moderate climbing and descending, is about 1.2 miles long (2 km). It takes you back to the Kaiser-Aetna Road a bit south of Dowdy Ranch. When you reach the intersection with Kaiser-Aetna Road, you'll know to turn right and head back down the hill to Bell Station and your car. I carried more than a gallon of liquids on this route and still ran out with 10 miles (16 km) to go. The last portion was a struggle against worsening dehydration. Be careful, and carry as many ounces of electrolyte-replenishing liquids as you possibly can.

Recommended Route:
The IMBA epic route provides a fine introduction to Henry Willard Coe State Park.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Henry Coe State Park has many possible routes, but I don't know them well enough to be able to comment on them usefully.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)
 


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