Where to start on this one? I will admit that this ride doesn’t rank really high on my list. If you are looking for a good grind, then this one might be worth considering. However, most of the climb (going up Second Gulch) is double track and pretty gradual until you hit the last stretch and then the climb turns into a serious muscle burner. Once you go past the Bailey turn off, you are starting what is known as the Hardscrabble Mountain Rd climb and you climb approximately 628 ft in 1.6 miles (with the steepest at the end and grades over 25%).
Every year I do this trail and every year I ask my self ‘why did I do that?’ when finished. The descent can be a total blast or very technical due to the ruts and grooves created by the mountain bikers and the Motor Xers. It really kind of depends on the time of the year, how much rain we have had, and or how much travel this trail has seen. Most of the time, the descent is a controlled skid, at least it is for me on my cross country bike. I have often wanted to get a dropper seat or something with more suspension and really let it rip on the downhill, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Once you get to the bottom and connect to Pipeline you can turn right and let it roll down to the Arroyo Drive parking lot or you can turn left/uphill and climb up to the top of Pipeline.
If you take the right turn and head down to the parking lot, I would recommend doing the Turniphead trail as it is a fun single track that flows mostly downhill until you get the golf course and have one last climb up over the ridge back to second gulch.
If you start at the Brush Creek Elementary School parking lot, you are looking at just over 13 miles and 1,698ft for elevation