Sunday, December 31, 2006

La Jolla

Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

In Mexico, good singletrack is hard to find. You're either on a cow track or a 4x4 road. And if you happen to stumble on a prime stretch of trail, chances are it'll dead end at someone's shanty in about 50 feet.

But overlooking Sonora's capital city is a glorious trail network that looks like something you might find in Aspen during the off-season. Indeed, La Jolla is set up like a small ski area with most of the trails crammed on the front face of the mountain. This is great for spectators during La Jolla's frequent races -- including the Tremos 24 hour race -- but it also makes the whole experience feel sort of frivolous. When you get on a mountain bike, you want to ride somewhere, you want to get AWAY. But at La Jolla, you can almost always look down to the parking lot and see your car waiting for you.

So if you don't require that illusion of wilderness, then you'll have a blast shredding these trails. They are fun and a great place to stop if you're heading south.

How to get there: Driving south into Hermosillo on the 15, the highway follows a complex route around the city on its way to Guaymas. As you first enter town, you'll come to a four-way intersection with a Pemex station, where the highway turns left. Turn right instead and head uphill for 2 km until you see a huge sign for La Jolla. Turn right into La Jolla and go through the security gate. The trails will be right in front of you.

Length: ~10 miles, 1-2 hours riding.

Trail Conditions: Great, well-maintained.

The Map:

The Ride: According to the map at the trailhead, there are four loops, Norbi, Diamond, Nathan, and Roller Coaster Maverick. With some new development on the west side of the mountain, Nathan appears to have been axed or at least re-routed. I couldn't find it. The other trails are fairly easy to follow although its not always clear which trail you're actually on.

Trails crisscross the hillside at La Jolla


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