October 7, 2015
Let me start this review off by saying if you're looking for a challenging ride, Hidden Mesa has it. If you're looking for a low key discover and explore ride to just enjoy the outdoors Hidden Mesa is your ride.
The ride starts off pretty easy with some single track that gets a bit wider the closer to the top you get. It's pretty untechnical from here until you get to the climb. Newly put in, there is a trail off to the right which is far easier, more flowy and less technical. But who doesn't love rocks? Our first ascent took us up this new trail. There were a few switch backs and rollers making this a pretty fun, though short downhill.
The real beauty of Hidden Mesa is the top. Once you've reached the top you get a beautiful view and some amazing technical riding. With a huge open area of pick-your-own-line across a wide variety of rocks, you get to practice all those technical skills that are a little harder to find otherwise. Drops can go up to 10ft or more, or if you're a little less adventurous you can settle with 1ft and 3ft drops. Turning those drops into step-ups is more fun. It's a challenging little exercise of footwork and weight balance to throw your bike 3-5ft up into the air in order to make it onto a rock.
This is definitely a ride for skills and trials riding as there is a ton. I ended up meeting a guy named Mark who was doing some really fun and crazy lines. It's always great to meet new folks on the trail who can give you pointers.
My other favorite part of the trail was the beastly climb we had skipped in the beginning. My ride style is down and that's where we went. It's pretty challenging navigating down really loose rock. It'll get your "learn how to break on loose rock" skills up really quickly. If you have a clear path you can catch quite a lot of speed which is really fun when those jumps come. Despite only being a few inches off the ground you can really get some air on them.
Overall it's a pretty short loop but you can really make a day of it. Hidden Mesa is really great for a novice rider to get used to riding, or an advanced rider looking to work on some technical skills.