For the past year one of the most popular (and best!) mountain bike rides in the area, Brown Mountain and El Prieto, has been officially closed by the National Forest Service due to unsafe conditions created by the Station Fire that swept through the San Gabriel Mountains last August.
The original closure order was set to last through the end of September 2010. The mountain biking community has been eagerly awaiting this late summer reopening date (except for those of you that have been sneaking in illegally.)
However, this patience will need to prevail a little longer. The most recent update issued for the burn area keeps the Brown Mountain and El Prieto trails off limits for an additional five months, until December 30, 2010.
The Forest Service has recently been able to reopen limited areas of the burn area including the Magic Mountain Wilderness, a majority of the Pleasant View Wilderness, the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, Rincon Shortcut Road, Millard Campground, Chilao, Bandito, Horse Flats, Meadow Loop, Manzanita Loop and Coulter recreation areas.
For the next several months those looking for accessible mountain bike trails in the area might consider rides starting at Chantry Flats and/or Monrovia Canyon.