Go east on Hwy. 74 from Hemet (west from Palm Springs). In the little commuity of Thomas Mountain look for a "Ramona Trail" sign on the south side of the road. This singletrack climbs about 1600 feet in aproxamently 5 miles to the top of Thomas Mountain.
- Trail UpdateBlazingly Buff Singletrack!!!-This ride is your reward for enduring up the tedious 8-mile (2.5hr) Thomas Mountain Fire Road climb. Total singletrack distance is about 6.4 miles.
From the top of Thomas Mountain and all the Pine trees - make the descent down swoopy and twisty singletrack which gracefully snakes down the mountain. The first third of the descent is mostly moist, loamy forest singletrack, the second third is tricky, tight and loose switchbacks with multiple boulder crossings and the final third is rock garden madness complete with rutted, off-camber sections....FAST AND FUN!!!!
The BEST part of this trail is that you just NEVER KNOW what lies around the next corner, due to tall, brushy overgrowth, tight, banked berms and occasional fallen trees. This ride will have all your senses and reflexes literally maxed on overload as you swiftly navigate all the various terrain. Just make sure you bring enough water and extra inner tubes...even if running tubeless.
Even though I made the Thomas Mountain climb without incident, my 46-year old body gets beat up on such slow ascents(and I climb like a goat!). Shuttle two vehicles and this ride makes everything WORTH IT from wherever you came from.
Zachariah a 46 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 2005 Cannondale race hardtail from Palm Desert, CA
- Trail Update9-8-06-nice hike,ran into mountain lion about two miles up the trail.be especially carefull if going up in early a.m.
- Trail UpdateThis trail is amazing!! Theres a bit of a climb to get to the trailhead, but it is more than worth it! The descent is just under 8 miles, but is is very technical with great views. The trail is in need of a little restoration. There is a fallen tree about .9 miles into the trail that will mislead you a bit. When you go around the tree, follow it hard to the right through a few pines and you will find the trail again on the other side.
fastjamis28 a 28 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Kona Caldera from Sun City, CA
- Trail Updatehey me and my husband went on this trail on april 2, 2006 it's a really nice traio. just alot of curves and a bit rocky. a lil bit over 2 n half miles a mountain lion came out of no where i got really scare, but the moumtain lion seem more scare than me and left back up the trail. never in my life have i been scared that much. but difinely i will go again
- Trail UpdateThe trail is in great shape now. Someone cleaned up most of the snow crushed bushes that clogged the trail earlier this year. The mix of terrain and obstacles is perfect.
Everytime I ride here there is always something unusual. Times past it has been deep snow, just the right amount of snow, heat, ect. Today it was the huge bugs. They were intermittent and didn't bite but when you hit a patch of them they were so big you would flinch when they hit you.
- Trail UpdateRamona Trail-I rode this for the first time 8-19-01. It was better than I expected. I had not consulted this board before going. I wish I had based on the 19 mile singletrack post below. Next time. Anyway, the climb to the Tool Box Springs/Ramona trail trailheadwas nice; pretty easy actually. Lots of cows. Seemed like 5 miles. The Ramona Trail starts out deceptively beautiful. Lots of trees, scenery, vistas. Pretty easy going up top. Then it gets fun. The middle part was tight switchbacks with some nice drops. All doable. There is a section where the trail becomes like 2 inches wide and the downslope exposure, while not steep, is long enough to make you think. Just look forward and keep pedaling. The bottom is rocky at times and the rock water bars are big. A water bar precipitated my only fall, should have carried more speed. The conditions were kind of loose, a granite sort of mini pea sized marble thing at times. Very fun. I'll be back to try the longer loop.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Mike Kim a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a superlight from Carlsbad
- Trail UpdateHm. Tried to post this to the Thomas Mountain Loop section last night, but guess I crashed my computer halfway through. Anyway, walked part of the trail last weekend (9-10-00), and it's pretty eroded. Looks like we need some trail work -- does CORBA do trail work this far down? Either that, or MANY more people need to ride this trail to pack it down. But I still think the water bars need to be redone.
See what you think: Here's a link to some pictures I took of two waterbars that are pretty eroded: http://home.earthlink.net/~jonathanv1/Pix1.htm. I have more, so if folks say they're interested, I can post them.
Grinder a 40 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a '92 Specialized Stump FS from LA URL: Thomas Mtn/Romona Trail pix
- Trail UpdateRamona Trail-This ride is incredable. If your faint of heart follow the other directions. But if you want to know "Ramona" personaly start your ride at the trail head on Hwy 74 and grind up, up, up. Approx. 3 1/2 miles you come to a trail marker marked "more difficult". Go right and follow this trail to the rock outcroping that overlooks Lake Hemet. Return going down, down, down the same way.
The top section is smooth and fast with the lower half slightly rocky and technical. It does'nt get much better than this. I suggest riding it with your woman and a blanket because theres alot of bautiful places to stop for a break.
Kevin Allen a 42 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Cannaondale M900/ Manitou from Glendora, CA
- Trail UpdateRomona Trail Loops-Both guys above are very accurate, but i must reiterate one thing, there is a new singletrack section, and its a MUST RIDE!! I am a local to the area and know Thomas Mtn. quite well so here is the bottom line. Now, you can take either way on the road from here and go up the mountain, thats the sweet part. if you choose to go east, its shorter on the road, and overall by a couple of miles and for the most part, an easier climb.
Going EAST, the fireroad(brown) signs well mark the way, while going west has a couple of turns. upon approaching the first camp, u have the option of going down Ramona trail from here(14mile loop), but i highly recommend going further to the new singletrack(19mile loop)that is beyond the first camp about 2miles on the right. And always keep Left at the Y intersections, until u reach the trailhead.
Going West(25mile loop), after the sketchy 3mile street grind, go left up a marked(brown sign)fireroad for a few miles of mild climbing and you will come to a Y intersection, stay left. From here on out its a good pump up to the trailhead on the left, but you can be a complete loser and keep on fireroad to Toolbox, to shorten the singletrack?huh?
Anyway, PLEASE ride the new singletrack section because it needs packing down. There are cows that are part of Garner Ranch that roam the mountain, and can easily rip it to shreds if WE dont act !!
AND IF YOURE LOOKING A WEEKEND GUIDE, DROP ME AN E-MAIL, WE CAN GO FROM THERE, SO RIDE ON BROTHERS !!
Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
Paul Rogers a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Semi-Truck weight SuperV from Pinyon Pines, California
- Trail UpdateRamona-Check this out. There is now more single track. Start at west end of Thomas Road and climb several miles. When climb starts to top out, look for a marked trailhead on your left (about three miles before Tool Box Springs). This trail will merge with Romana trail and adds several miles to the single track. This now makes this one of the better rides in the area. The only bummer is the three mile road ride back to your car. At least this is on a wide section of 74. Enjoy!
Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=30% Paved Path=20%
Chuck a 31 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized SWorks M2 from Seal Beach
- Trail UpdateMark Ross-Ramona trail is some great singletrack but I don't recomend it as a climb. I would recomend climbing the western end of Thomas Mountain road which starts about 1 mile east of Lake Hemet. Climb the main dirt road for about 7-8 miles to the top and then start to descend until you get to Tool Box Springs. At tool box springs campground turn left and you will see the Ramona Trail. Descend Ramona trail about 4 miles to hwy 74 and turn left heading back to where you started. The trail gets very rocky and technical towards the bottom.
Singletrack=35% Dirt Road=55% Paved Path=10%
Mark Ross a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Marin from Huntington Beach, CA