Caliente Area Mountain Bike Alliance (CAMBA) will host the Second Annual Caliente Mountain Bike Fest on Oct. 1-3.
The event, which will showcase the more than 30 miles of purpose-built trails in the area, will also feature a catered dinner, raffles, and shuttles to trailheads.
The expanding trail network features a wide variety of trails to suit multiple riding styles. Barnes Canyon, located on BLM-managed land, features 13 miles of singletrack ranging from beginner flow to expert technical. A connector trail to link the Barnes network with Kershaw-Ryan State Park, which now boasts over 10 miles of singletrack, is in progress and is partly rideable from both ends. Riders attending the fest can take shuttles to both Barnes Canyon and Kershaw-Ryan trails.
In addition to the existing trails, the BLM is currently supervising construction on a 24-mile descent trail off nearby Ella Mountain, a 7,400 foot peak. The first 8 miles will be ready in time for the 2021 bike fest, and CAMBA plans to offer shuttles on that section. Riders should be prepared for a remote backcountry ride with panoramic views and varied terrain.
The bike fest will be headquartered at Super Park, which offers a mountain bike skills park in Caliente. Among the vendors in attendance will be HANDUP, a popular glove and apparel company started by local Caliente couple Cody and Jamie Wallis, now based in Chattanooga, Tenn. Jamie says they are excited to see their hometown embracing mountain biking and “can’t wait to see all the good that comes out of it”.
This year’s event will build off the success of the first Caliente Bike Fest, which took place in 2019. Organizer Christine Harrington reports that over 130 people from five states attended the inaugural event, and they are hoping for an even wider reach this year. She says that visitation increased during the COVID shut-downs because riders were looking for remote, uncrowded trails and a new experience. “People were coming from as far away as Reno and Salt Lake City for the weekend,” she said. Harrington credits the high-quality trails and friendly small-town atmosphere for bringing people back.
“This type of place is hard to find anymore. It’s a little gem”, she said of Caliente. Information and registration for the fest can be found at www.calientemtb.org.