I rode this Trail today, and what a fun climb it was.
The views are amazing. It is really cool to start with the cactus, and end up in the Pines.
I put my ride on MotionBased.com if you would like to get an overview of the ride. This includes maps, as well as graphs.
The trail is a rocky dirt road. Don't expect singletrack. It has lots of ruts, and washed out sections, so it is better than just riding a regular dirt road.
bishopburr a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Stumpjumper 120 expert E-mail:this user
Posted on 09/12/05
Rode up this road twice over the weekend of Oct. 25-26. Had hoped to go up the Santa Rosa Rd. and make the connection on Sunday AM, but by then Santa Rosa Rd. was closed due to fire danger (this was the weekend the huge fires in San Bernadino NF got started). This is a great ride--I'm not an expert, but I could make it almost all the way without getting off the bike. There are some rough, challenging portions. It's just under 6 miles to the Chimney at the top, all switchbacks on dirt road. Some people drive trucks all the way to the top, but I wouldn't want to do that to my 4WD. I met some guys who'd driven their Xterra up, but they stopped at about 4 1/2 miles. You start at about 4,000 feet and end at about 6,200 feet. The ride down is a blast! Parking lot is at N 33 34.794, W 115 27.0. You need an Adventure Pass to park there.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 6 miles Elevation change: 2200 feet
Gitken a 52 year old riding a GT I-drive 1.0 from Simi Valley, CA
Posted on 10/31/03
Figured out the connection - By riding up Mt. Santa Rosa Rd., a signed road 4 mi. west of the Sawmill trailhead on Hwy 74, I discovered the connection between Sawmill and Mt. Santa Rosa Rd. It is 5E03, a signed trail at a noticeable right on Mt. Santa Rosa Rd. located about a 1/4 mi. after the turn down to Santa Rosa Spring, about 10 miles from the bottom of Mt. Santa Rosa Rd. It is twisty and somewhat technical, long (4 mi. I think) and kickass, but quite overgrown in spots. There are at least three felled trees over the trail and some little ones growing out of the middle of it. This interrupts the flow. It connects to Sawmill by the chimney via a rocky doubletrack. If you are descending, go rt. from 5E03 on the rocky road; if you are ascending, take the right "turn" by the chimney down and up said rocky road and go left on 5E03 when you see the sign. This rocky road is the connection. Either way, consider riding up to Toro Peak uphill on Santa Rosa Rd. for a killer view of all So Cal. Really nice and rewarding ride. It is a tough one though if you include Toro.
Posted on 09/27/01
Sawmill Trail - I rode up this today and was really impressed with the views, but somewhat disappointed. I have heard that there is a connector trail b/w santa rosa mtn rd and sawmill. I went up sawmill, thinking i'd climb then descend this trail from the top but after the chimney and horse watering station(?), and the no bikes wilderness area post, the obvious trail seemed to disappear. No bike treads, not much else. There was an obvious old road, overgrown and rocky, but trees were felled over the road and not removed. i tried to scope out the turn I missed, but nothing. Did I miss something? Or is the trail really wilderness? I'd like to finish this one. Still was awesome. The climb was gruelingly beautiful, the tree area nice, and the descent awesome.
Mike Kim from Carlsbad CA
Posted on 06/01/01
Sawmill Climb and other trails.. - Over this past Labor Day weekend my family and I went down to the Palm Springs area for a little getaway time. During these four days of fun and recreation I was able to slip away and get a couple of rides in.
The first ride I decided to venture onto was the Sawmill trail. The Sawmill trail is basically a 7-mile switchback fire road. The trail is located at roughly 2000 ft above sea level and ends somewhere between 4500 and 5000 feet. Also the trail ends at the National Forest boundary line. The road keeps on going, but it looks like most everyone stops to respect the boundary line. A couple of cool things about this trail are 1) it starts in desert surroundings and ends above the tree-line, among tall Pine trees and lush green vegetation and 2) this "fire road" is hardly driveable by any fire dept. vehicle. In fact most people with 4WD's (including myself), would enjoy this "fire road." It had lots of sections, where I could envision my Jeep being crossed-up due to the rock gardens and cross ruts. Also, there were a number of spots on the trail that had carins piled up on the side, indicating other trails. I tried a couple of these, but just ran into dead ends. Overall, I really enjoyed the climb up, and the ride down was fast and fun...but was over way too soon.
My second ride came from the recommedation of two LBS in the P.S. area. I don't know if this area has an official name but I'll call it the Gene Autry goat trails. The reason for the name is, the area is located just to the left of the Von's market at Hwy 111 and Gene Autry Blvd.
The first mile to this playground is up a granny-gearing grunt of a very steep fire road. Once you make it up this, there are more hills to climb but not as steep or as long. The fun thing about this area is all the criss-crossing "goat trails" that litter the hillside. No matter where you look, you can see single-track paths going up and down and all across the landscape. The way you pick and choose the trails is up to you. The fire road is the main artery to the rest of of the trails. As you are riding up the fire road you will see little trails branching off from the main one. All you have to do is choose which one you want to ride. For all trails funnel back down to the bottom. The more you ride around these hills the more trails you find. These little goat trails are a blast to ride on!! The have tons of short (read approx. 50 ft) technical sections. On each trail you find a handful of these sections, not just one or two. And in between these fun sections the trails switch back and forth to get you down the hill. The biggest drawback I find to this area is it's just a big ugly barren hillside, that is kind of dumpy looking and actually not too pleasing to the eye. But the fun and excitement of the trails totally outweigh the eye soreness factor. Next time I'm in the area, I will defintely put this area on my list of things to do. Lastly, make sure you bring lots of H2O and have a great time. See you out there, TEP
Posted on 09/05/00
Its not Called Sawmill Trail - Its a "fireroad" and its just numbered, not named.
there is a mecca of "singletrack" at the bottom.
Its a great climb, but a better downhill. and if u really want some more mileage and to maybe loop it,
take the Santa Rosa Springs fireroad(9miles) thats further west, and come down an epic singletrack to where this other person describes.....trust me...
Im from this area and if you are not, and would like to ride here and enhance your experience, please drop me an e-mail and i'll help you out.....ride on!!!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Pinyon Paul a 32 year old riding a On A Tank made of alloy from The Palm Springs Resorts area E-mail:this user URL: My Homepage
Posted on 04/08/00
Sawmill Trail - This trail is just one continous uphill climb! And what a climb it was! You start off where you park your car seeing a lot of catus and dried desert plants BUT when you do reach the top, wow! You will see pine trees, green lush vegetation everywhere!
After reaching the top, you go down the same way you came up and what a descent that was! This is truly one unique ride!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: Elevation change: 3000 feet?
KHS dude a 26 year old Weekend Warrior riding a KHS FXT Sport from Reseda, CA
Posted on 12/19/99