Mountain Biking in the High Desert
by Daniel Hayes
Our location here in Southern California affords us with some very unique landscapes. As such, the high desert is a wonderful place for certain outdoor activities, many of which are considered to be a part of the extreme sports persuasion. For this issue, we are focusing on the mountain biking community, and why this sport is such a favorite in this area that many of us call home.
First, we asked local riders Josh Staggs, Hunter Lent, and Dallas Dunn a few questions about the local scene and what their favorite areas are for mountain biking, as well as what the most positive aspects of the High Desert mountain biking scene are. Josh Staggs tells us he started around 2012 as a way of conditioning for Motocross racing. He says it's just fun to get out with friends and family and now he’s working his five year-old son into the scene, and feels it's an awesome way to spend father and son time.
Hunter Lent has been riding about nine months now. A lot of his friends from the motocross scene were doing it, so he jumped on board. One of the most positive things is there are always people out riding at any of the local trails, so you always have someone to ride with. Dallas Dunn had a basic mountain bike in 2012, but then just started riding again in 2019. Most positive thing about the local mountain bike scene is seeing how it grow in the future. There is so much potential for growth of this sport with the environment we have to work with.
When asked about their favorite local places to ride, I was given a few vague answers. The reason is that at some of these locations, the riders themselves have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to build the trails, and if everyone found out about them, they would probably get overrun by too many people. They do all agree though that SkyPark at Santa's Village up in the Lake Arrowhead area of the San Bernardino mountains is a great trail to ride. Along with multiple trails in the surrounding foothills and mountains, there are also a few mountain bike parks on private property, including, but not limited to Snow Summit in Big Bear, and Mt. Baldy.
What makes these parks appealing to ride is that they are usually kept up very well and have access to chair lifts to take the riders and their bikes back to the top of the runs, thereby allowing the riders to not wear themselves out as quickly. Mountain Biking is a wonderful sport and doesn't have to be done to the extreme. It is a great sport to get much needed anaerobic exercise, all while having a lot of fun doing it, and it’s something that can be done by the whole family. So get out there, and find some trails to ride; the weather is getting cooler so this is the perfect time of the year for it.