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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    796
    Heading to a fs cabin up towards wolverine this weekend. Might bring the bike and hope for the best weather wise(not looking too promising for bike weather though). And also try to not forget my orange like usual...

    Thanks again for the pics guys!

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    228
    Cool. My GF and poked around on those Gravelly trails last year, and I’ve been curious about putting together a whole ride down to the river.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    It was a great ride for sure. I think the dirt in some of the meadows would be sticky mud if wet. Seems there are lots of other trails to explore but not sure what deadfall would be like. No issues on Wolverine and just a few downed trees on Gazelle most with ride arounds already. 406 was wishing we had headed up to Freezout Mtn as a side trip which would have added some nice extra credit and summit points, but we didn't know how the rest of the ride would go at that point. The final descent down to the river was awesome and a great contrast to the rest of the ride. As I said above if you can't shuttle I would just climb up that section of trail and then do the loop we did as a lollipop.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    Day 6 – Bridger Divide

    Bridger was my other must-do ride on this trip. Such awesome views and high mountain slope riding. Weather was looking a bit iffy but it seemed like the storm that should have come through afternoon/evening after the Wolverine ride petered out and the next one wouldn’t hit until we would be mostly done this ride. Drove up the road to Fairy Lake CG, it was a bit much for the rental van but we made it.

    We got woken up around 3am hearing footsteps outside the tents. Whatever it was ran off when 406 stirred but he didn't see what it was. Too noisy to be deer. I had to pee so got up too, and I could see numerous eyes reflecting off my headlamp from the next campsite. Too many eyes to be a big cat or bears. Mountain goats. They came back through our camp an hour later and I had to throw rocks at them to get them to move away.



    Soon after the goats left the skies opened up and it rained steady til 10am. Got out of tents to see snow capped peaks above us and the sound of falling rock from a number of directions. Thought our tent pad would be ok but turned out to be a bit of a low spot so things were a little wet. Took a while to set things up to dry and since the weather seemed to be holding the ride was a go. Trying to drive out on wet slippery road wasn’t a good option at this point anyways….



    Trail connection right from camp to the Fairly Lake trail



    It is a stout climb right from camp with much HAB and not so much riding. But we sucked up a few short sections for the TR







    We got funny looks from the hikers as you do on these sort of rides. None seemed aware there was any trail up here aside from the one going to the peak.



    The wind picked up big time as we approached the saddle and made the decision for us to skip the peak, another 900ft gain over a mile or so with full exposure



    Adding some layers we pushed on south on the Bridger Foothills Trail



    Not a huge accumulation of snow but enough to make riding tricky by hiding loose rocks



    Soon we were back on clear ground



    As we got toward the first descent our tires started picking up mud. Should have known the trail up there would get a bit sticky when wet. It made for a few interesting moments and we had to walk down a couple slick sections, but mostly it was ok.



    406 staring down the Devil’s Crotch. Yeah the sidehill was pretty steep with narrow trail. Definitely didn’t want to fall



    Switchbacks were mostly fun. This is a moto trail and some were a bit torn up which made things interesting



    Great views



    The trail stays high up on the valley wall for what seems like ages and then traverses along through the trees



    More moto damage than I remembered made switchbacks hard but otherwise it was mostly rideable



    Last time here we continued south and dropped down the west side down Truman Gulch. In addition to making for a heinous shuttle I thought the trail south of Ross Pass was kinda “meh”. So I was stoked to see a newer trail on Trailforks from Ross Pass heading back toward Fairy Lake.



    Footage of the descent on Bridger Foothill Trail and Ross Pass Trail:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493885/
    https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493886/


    It turned out that Ross Pass Tr was not just a useful connector but also a hell of a lot of fun, good flow and no sustained climbing. It took us over to the Fairy Lake 500 “trail” which was actually old doubletrack, but not terrible for a 3mi / 1000ft climb back up to Fairy Lake.



    First time seeing Fairy Lake and I was impressed. Pretty nice



    It was a bit cold for a swim but fortunately our stuff had dried out, so we packed up and headed out toward the next ride.



    406 found the only spot open for miles around in Two Dot MT. It was actually pretty good. Diviest dive bar I think I’ve ever been in. Would go there again.


  5. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    Day 7 – Elkhorn Mountains – Helena

    Prior night we made the drive up to Big Snowy Mtns planning to do the Ice Caves ride. Roads had been a bit wet but we didn’t clue in that the trail might be too wet top ride. After getting up 406 realized that fact and since it was mostly cloudy the sun wouldn’t be much help to dry things out. Apparently the Ice Caves ride has some peanut butter dirt up top that wouldn’t we good to ride if wet. So we grudgingly changed plans and headed over to Helena.

    I didn’t know much about the Helena area except that the Elkhorns is another area threatened by closure to bikes, this time due to wildlife concerns. Apparently the USFS has thrown us a bone in that the management plan does include an option to allow bikes in the local WSA, but would ban them under all options from the Elkhorns due to wildlife concerns (yet they allow cattle grazing of course, go figure….)

    As we were about to start the ride 3 school buses came rolling down the road and stopped nearby, then 120 or so kids came hiking down the trail we were about to head up. So the trail user count was a bit skewed on this one. Since we saw zero people after that I’ll mark it zero.

    Climb started off easy through thick forest



    It soon opened up on Casey Meadows Trail and we got first views of today’s objective Casey Peak



    The climb up was steady and had enough rock to keep things interesting



    Did see a few trail users actually, all bovines



    Once on the Teepee Creek Trail things got delightfully rocky



    Lots of it was rideable with a few short pushes. But once we got onto the Casey Peak trail it was mostly HAB



    406 does a short ride for the TR



    Getting serious



    Trail was pretty nice with almost no downed trees to this point



    We started getting more of those up top in an old burn area but most had been cut out.



    It got a bit hard to follow towards the top. There were some cairns which helped as the tread was rocky and faint, and braided around some downed trees.



    Got distracted by wild raspberries that were next to the trail too



    Almost there. Lost the trail through this rock field and just pushed cross country



    Views up top were great





    Pano shot looking north and NE



    Dropping in. What a fun descent. A bit of painful climbing as we continued west on Teepee Creek Trail then it was all downhill. Fun chunky riding up top and fast buff singletrack lower down.



    Video sampler of the descent:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493891/
    https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493893/

    Headed south after the ride with a pit stop in Butte for 50cent Rainiers


  6. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    228
    Hope you got a Wop Chop at the Freeway. And Two Bit is a quality stop in a place with no alternatives. Great TR, and thanks for documenting what we stand to lose.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    Were both starving so we each ordered two wop chops, but she only brought us one each. Probably better off with just one

  8. #33
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    Day 8 – CDT Bannock Pass

    The original plan had been to head back to SLC Friday night and do a ride there which would leave plenty of time to drop 406 at the airport Saturday night. But we decided to get one more MT ride in instead since it’s harder to get up there and SLC is an easy trip. We had everything timed out with a one-hour cushion in case anything went wrong (like me being slow). But were a little late getting started at first light.


    I need to get up for sunrise more often



    Looking back down to Bannock Pass



    The singletrack was pretty nice grade most of the way



    Fence more or less divides ID from MT



    Crossing to the other side now



    Eventually we emerge from the trees and traverse some open hillsides



    Views open up to the west



    The ride was basically two main climbs separated by one descent. We wouldn’t make it all the way to Goat Mtn which was another descent and climb away, but where we stopped had good views and was a logical turn around. Trail that continued on was enticing though….



    Interesting wood, reminds me of the ancient bristlecone forest on White Mtn here in Socal



    Riding back went pretty quick. 406 powered on ahead since he had to disassemble the bike

    Footage:

    A bit from the ride out and some from the ride back - https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493899/
    More from the ride back - https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493896/



    He was half done when I rolled in. My only job was to down the post-ride beer



    A hunter pulled up and handed us each a bud, hoping for good karma in his hunt. Who are we to say no, but we at least waited til we were on the Idaho side to drink it.



    Since we made good time we had time for a swim and found a good swimming hole down in the valley below. Cold water but not the worst for the trip



    Getting a swim in was nice but also had time for side trip to REI and quick dinner before heading to the airport. After dropping 406 off I headed to a car wash to clean out the van and get more or less packed up myself.

    Stats for the day I think were around 20mi and +/- 2,000ft

  9. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    Day 9 – Perry Canyon to Grizzly Peak to Northern Skyline via Ben Lomond

    I did this ride during a big 2012 road trip and it has stuck out in my mind to this day as one of my favorite rides. I’ve tried to include it in a few other trips but it hasn’t worked out. That first trip was extra memorable because I used public transit to close the loop then rode into goat head hell and had two flat tires within minutes of entering the trail system. I had to limp a few miles into town on partially flat tires to the nearest bike shop to with tubes and sealant. Got back on the trail around noon and finished the ride right at dark.

    No issues with goat heads this time, but buses didn’t seem to be running on Sunday so I had a long pavement pedal to get to Perry Canyon. Rather than do the whole 15mi pavement pedal I went for a bit of extra credit singletrack on Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Though nicer riding it would add extra time and 1000ft extra climbing to the route.

    The peak in the distance is Ben Lomond where I’ll top out, though I will be approaching from the opposite direction



    BST is a pretty nice trail through here, contoured and well graded. I skipped a harder 5-mile section that would have added 1,200ft more climbing, which left me with around 10mi of easy pavement



    Got started just before sunrise so I caught the first rays coming over the mountains



    Classic trail sign at the bottom of Perry Canyon Trail. Yeah, 9 miles and 4,500ft to Grizzly Peak. Off we go!



    Goat heads weren’t stopping me today. Only pulled one out of the tire. Maybe more traffic keeps them clear now?



    Rather than take Perry Canyon on the way up I saw a trail called White Rock on Trailforks that looked interesting, rated less difficult so I figured it might be easier if not too overgrown.



    It was pretty nice at first, traversing across open sage scrub hillsides. Definitely more raw than Perry Canyon but was in pretty good shape



    Higher up it got tougher. Parts were overgrown, it got hard to follow through a basin, and switchbacks above were torn up some by motos. But mostly it was pretty nice.



    Nearing the top the grade mellowed out again and the trail was nice. Decent amounts of shade were found and there was a nice breeze to keep things cool.



    Back on Perry Canyon Trail things got tough. North aspects had soft dirt that were often chewed up by motos who seemed to have a hard time staying on the singletrack bench. Overgrowth didn’t help and no doubt tugged at their handlebars. Once higher up the views really opened up especially toward Willard Basin



    Beyond Grizzly Peak was a couple miles of narrow jeep road and regular forest road. There were plenty of side by sides tearing ass all over the place. Found a spring to fill up on cold water at, which was nice.



    Wasatch Crest Trail, here??? Last time I took the dirt road around all the way which led to some miserable extra credit climbing. This time I climbed up a moto trail through the upper basin which was much nicer. There was a side trail that appeared to be non-motorized and was pretty nice.



    View from that side trail was pretty awesome, after climbing above the lake



    Continuing on I traversed around Willard Peak which brought great views down to the valley below



    Pano view



    And the other way



    Trail traversing south. Such an awesome section of trail



    Getting to the top of Ben Lomond summit, looking north from where I came



    Summit shot



    It was at this point I re-checked my mental math on timing. It was now 5:30 and my flight was at 10, with an hour to disassemble bike plus pack and a 45min drive to the airport. This left an hour and a bit to descend to the van. Should be ok? We’ll see…

    Ben Lomond part 1 - https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493912/
    Ben Lomond summit to N Skyline - https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493936/
    Northern Skyline part 1 - https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493938/
    Northern Skyline part 2 - https://www.pinkbike.com/video/493910/

    Turned out the descent took right on an hour. Had to settle for a bird bath at the trailhead using remaining water jugs and some snacks at the airport. Skipping a dinner stop and swim I got to the car rental 90min before flight which was pretty much perfect. But well worth it to get this ride in. Most switchbacks on the trail were completely moto-fucked it was still a great descent and a definite happy ending not just for the ride but for the whole trip. I was stoked to get in so many great rides in one trip.

    Stats for the day - 45mi and +/-7,000ft

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    10,782
    Nicely done. Good thing you take it easy

  11. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,136
    Haha. After ACL surgery back in May I got cleared to ride trail just after labor day. Five days later started trip with 9 straight days riding. A bit of pain the first 3-4 days but knee passed with flying colors. All the cheating I did last couple months may have helped 😁

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