On October 9th, 2001 I stashed my mountain bike near the South Ridge Trail parking area (6500’) just as the sun was rising. About a half hour later I parked my truck up near the end of Apple Canyon Road in order to access a connector trail to the PCT. A very enjoyable loop can be started from here (5200’). From the Zen Mountain Center, hiking commenced upward to the PCT and on to the consecutive summits of Antsell Rock, South Peak, Red Tahquitz and Tahquitz Peak. The historic Sam Fink Trail was utilized in some sections. After descending the South Ridge Trail to its upper trailhead, I located the bike and proceeded to ride down the lower section (legal for bikes) of the same trail. From here, several miles of singletrack dropped about 1500’ to May Valley Road. Some of the trails down in this area are used for the annual “24 Hours of Adrenaline" MTB Race.
Well, true to form I bungled on the navigational skills and befittingly ended up at the Living Free Animal Sanctuary. This was private property of course. I would have backtracked from here, but the threat of darkness was becoming a factor. Hoping to pedal fiercely through this section, I was spotted by a woman who soon gave chase in her car. She caught up to me just as Route 74 was reached. Preparing to suffer through some sort of denunciation, I was pleasantly surprised to hear her calmly mention the fact I was trespassing. After briefly explaining my plan/blunder, she kindly offered to give me a ride back to my truck. After thankfully declining, it was then up and over Keenwild Summit to the Hurkey Creek turnoff. From here it was an 800’ gain back to the truck.
Aside from the screwups, this was a great trip. If the final 800’ gain was initially done on foot, (providing there was no one to help with a shuttle) and the correct bike trails were used, this would be an even better trip.