The Palisades Reservoir dirt bike trails were a lot of fun. There was a large single track trail system that had a really diverse landscape. You could ride through flower filled meadows or along mountain crests. We rode along a few streams, as well as in a stream for part of the trail. This area had it all. Unfortunately, having it all also means it had some rocky non-fun sections as well as large rocks randomly tainting awesome single track. I guess in hindsight, you can’t have it all, but it was still fun.
I was the only rider who didn’t have a kid with them, so I enjoyed the trails more than the rest of the group. Turns out you notice the bumps and rocks way more when you have a kid strapped to your chest.
There were quite a few river crossings (likely why Bade’s brother Z recommended these trails). As a terrible river crosser, I spent most of the ride wet up to my knees with sloshy water-logged boots.
My sister-in-law is much more skilled at river crossings and dirt bikes in general (she does have around 20 years of experience over me…oooh… that ages us…), so she clearly did not get her feet wet at all. Go Em!
If I were to recommend these trails to others I would say 2 main things. The first is that in order to get to the fun and expansive single-track Palisades Reservoir dirt bike trails you first need to ride on many miles of plain old dirt road. It took us about 10 miles of dirt road, from both directions we went, to access the trail system. Second is that the trails are amazing, if it weren’t for those chunky rocks in the middle of the trail much of the way. We went in June, so likely the trails hadn’t been cleared yet. Maybe these trails would be best ridden at the end of the season when all those rocks have been pushed off to the side of the trail.
Oh, Em would have me mention that if you are planning on including Bear Creek in your loop, make sure you go from the Four Forks trails down to Palisades Reservoir, NOT from Palisades Reservoir up to Four Forks. You are side-hilling for around 10 miles (that distance could be off, but we were side-hilling for a long long time), and the hill is on the same side the entire time. Riding from Four Forks down to the reservoir puts the uphill on the left/comfortable side.
Here is the Bear Creek Trailhead area where we started (but we would suggest that you end here).