Once I finished on Santa Rosa Mountain Road I didn't quite feel like quitting for the day, so I drove about 3 miles downhill to the start of the Pinyon Flats trail.
I parked the car on the side of Pinyon Drive across from the entrance to the Pinyon Flats campground in the San Bernardino National Forest. You can find it on the map here.
The trailhead where I started was right behind this sign. MountainBikeBill.com describes a loop you can take in great detail. I didn't have enough time to do the full 11 mile loop, so I just went out for about 40 minutes, and then turned around and headed back to the car.
The singletrack here was well maintained and fun to ride. There were a few technical areas here and there, but this was just mostly fun riding. I understand that if I had gone a little further down the trail I would have been rewarded with incredble views of Palm Springs 3500 ft below.
This is the view of Santa Rosa Mountain from Pinyon Flats. At this point it was still hard for me to fathom that I had just been riding up in that snow, and now I was dodging cacti.
The bushes and cacti overlap the trail in many places. This one doesn't look like much but they can do a lot of hurt if you hit one too hard.
This picture doesn't do justice to what my finger looked like 5 minutes later. I had run into a bush just like the one pictured above and it sliced on hell of a paper cut into my finger. By the time I got back to the car my hand was a bloody mess. I don't like to wear gloves that cover my fingers, but I think I'll get a pair before I ride in the desert again.
More singletrack candy with just enough slope that you can get your speed on without having to worry about when its going to end.
This was a pretty fun way to spend a day in the sun. The real fun would come the next day at Nobel Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest outside of San Diego. Laura "Sunny" Drexler of Sunny Rides in San Diego guided me down some truly amazing singletrack. Once I get the pictures (and movies too) I'll put another post here describing it all.