Glass Mountain Ridge is an interesting ride with spectacular views. To access it, you take Benton Crossing Rd. for about 15 miles from the Green Church. Pull off here at the intersection with Owens Gorge Rd. Park here, cross Benton Crossing Rd. and start riding north up the dirt road.
It’s an out-and-back. I did it on the SS 29er, geared at 34:17, rigid. But next time I do it, it’ll definitely be on the Fat Bike. Why? Like many forest service roads around these parts, the ATV’s and motorcycles have deteriorated the trails, making them very sandy, and not much fun on a mountain bike. Perfect for a fatty though!! After a short descent into a canyon, you steadily start climbing up to a spot known as “Four Trees”. From there, you climb up through a few knolls, a couple of which are pretty steep with a little hike-a-bike due to sand. But once you get to the top of the “Third Knoll”, it’s pretty awesome. 360 Views. Glass Mountain, Bald Mountain, The White Mountains, Casa Diablo, Volcanic Tablelands, The Sierra Crest, etc. It’s quite impressive. There’s even a mountain up there called Squaw’s Teat. I just like saying it. You can actually continue this ride, and turn it into a loop of Wildrose Canyon. I chose not to on this ride, but will do it next time I ride it with the fat bike. Anyhoo, the descent is pretty fun, although it’s mostly doubletrack, you just pretend the other track doesn’t exist and voila, you’ve got mind-generated singletrack. Who woulda thunk it?
Once it’s said and done, this ride is a little over 11 miles with 1,800′ of climbing. Throw in the sandy conditions, and it’s definitely a lung and leg burner in parts. Great ride to stretch out those climbing legs, and for the views – but not for the “pure bliss” of mountain biking. It’s a great early season ride, as the snow melts off in this area pretty early – I just rode it in early March of 2013. Ok, gotta go plan the next one 🙂