The Hole in Ground Loop is a 17 mile epic that features a variety of terrain, from humble fire roads to technical rock gardens. It's a favorite among expert and advanced riders but not so wickedly wild that intermediates can't have a great time. A whole lot of lungs, explosive leg power, and plenty of hydration will help bikers master this demanding loop.
What Makes It Great
Hole in the Ground is one of those trails that comes with some serious bragging rights. For those with strong fitness, solid technical skills, unwavering focus, and good navigational skills, this trail will be an excellent challenge. Climbs can be relentless, especially under the summer sun. There are technical sections with some gnarly sequences, including several perilous, rock-riddled descents. Add into that some zippy singletrack, fantastic mountain views, and a few merciful fire roads and you have a monster of a ride. It's tough but a whole lot of fun.
While this is not a trail for inexperienced riders, intermediates (especially those with good lungs) can enjoy Hole in the Ground, although they should expect to dismount for some of the more heinous technical sections. The high point of the ride is over 8,000 feet and with all the rolling terrain, there is over 2,100 feet of vertical gain. There are also a few confusing sections along the way, so consulting the MTBProject Hole in the Ground page can help ensure you stay on the proper trails.
Who is Going to Love It
Advanced riders with good endurance and strong technical skills will absolutely love this trail. Bringing the full quiver of your skills is a must. Expert riders can complete the loop in around 2 hours, but normal humans shouldn't be shocked if this loop takes 4 - 5 hours, despite the modest mileage. Make sure to bring plenty of water (100 oz. or more in the summer), food, and a first-aid kit. A GPS or smartphone GPS navigation app is highly advised.
Gutsy intermediates can have fun on this trail, but newbies will likely get eaten alive. Knee and elbow pads are a good idea for all levels.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Since it's a loop, there are several places to jump in but the Boreal Ski Area, located at 19749 Boreal Ridge Rd, Soda Springs, CA 95728, is a standard start / finish point. Take Highway 89 north to I-80 west and take exit 176 for Boreal Ridge Road/Castle Peak. Turn left to enter the parking lot.