A little Oregon, Idaho and Utah

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by BBJohn, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. BBJohn

    BBJohn Member

    Took a little vacation up north. Never enough time on these things, EVER.

    Day One: North Umpqua Trail Roseburg OR
    This trail is about 70 miles long in total. I got in 16 as an out and back from the Swiftwater trailhead to the Tioga bridge. The trail rolls out relatively benign thru a beautiful fern forest.

    It meanders along the river for a while

    and the moves away from the river area for a bit. Tons of poison oak on this one and there is no way to dodge and weave around it, you will get in it.

    After about 3 miles the trail climbs steeply, well only if you consider 33.3% grade steep. It isn’t a long sustained climb, but after not riding for 5 weeks and jumping right into this one, plenty steep for me. It climbs to a point called Bob Butte.

    I rode to the black vertical line on the profile.
    The trail then drops down the other side thru 10 switchbacks, these were a blast. Near the bottom it goes back into a covered canopy and swoops and twists to a small climb to a near fireroad width trail to the Tioga Bridge.

    The climb back up from the bottom of the switchbacks, you can vaguely see the trail cutting across at the upper left of the picture.

    Overall the section I did was a great trail and would love someday to do the whole 70 miles.
    After the ride we hit a Subway (who would have thought that they would have put one right in the middle of the road, luckily no damage) and drove to McKenzie Bridge. We stayed a few nights at The McKenzie Riverside Cottages. <a class="postlink" href="http://www.mckenzieriversidecottages.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.mckenzieriversidecottages.com/</a>
    We stayed in the Old Man River cabin.

    Wow, I can’t say enough good things about this place, the accommodations, the view or the owner Jean. She was just simply awesome!!! I set this up a few months in advance and when I called her she took my info over the phone. I told her we would be paying cash and she said “okay that’s it”. “Wait, okay that is it? What about a credit card to hold it?” She said “No need, I’ll send you an email confirmation.” WTF who does business like this in this day and age, I knew immediately that I would like her. One day in talking to her she said she has no problem accommodating someone for only one night on a weekend if she can. Most places like this require you take at least Friday and Saturday nights or your SOL. I highly recommend this place if you ever plan on heading up there!! Only 7 miles from the end of the McKenzie River Trail.

    Day Two: McKenzie River Trail McKenzie Bridge OR

    Not much to say about this one other than simply outstanding. So many RR’s out there most of what I would say would be redundant. Julie (dare I say shuttled me) took me up to the upper trailhead just north of Clear Lake.

    The trail is lots of fun, I skipped the Lava Field (east side) on local advice and hit the west side trail around Clear Lake. Glad I did as by the time I hit the total 26 miles and rode another 7 back to the cabin I was toast.

    The trail can be challenging in sections.

    A bit exposed in others

    And always just beautiful

    Since it was a Sunday there was a lot of hikers, most of whom were more than courteous and just stepped of the trail and told me not to stop. Some on the other hand had looks on their faces like I should not have been there or maybe they just ate a lemon not sure which. Met some really cool folks along the way hikers and other bikers alike.

    Day Three: King Castle Trail to Castle Rock McKenzie Bridge OR
    I had planned to ride the IMBA epic O’Leary Trail but was honestly really feeling two long days in the saddle after such a long break. The King Castle trailhead was 6/10ths of a mile from the cabin and is the end 4 miles of the longer O’Leary Loop. This trail was prettier than the North Umpqua in my opinion. Shaded and lush, no river but just as gorgeous.

    Not as much poison oak either, still here, but not as much. Other than Julie and our Golden Dixie didn’t see a sole. It was awesome. As I climbed I was loosening up and was feeling pretty good. Hit the intersection where the O’Leary comes in and it dropped down the other side so I took the up trail to Castle Rock.

    Castle Rock was the site of an old fire lookout that was removed in 1974. Should have known this one would be steep to the top, but it was so pretty and the trail was in such good condition I didn’t care.

    My starting point was at the far left of the picture in the middle top/bottom. Two small open areas near the tree branch below the golf course area.

    View looking back up at the top on our way to dinner. Takoda's is an excellent restaurant, casual, good food and huge portions.

    This was only a 6 mile up, but with a 2800’ gain. Six mile up translates to six mile down also, smiling all the way! Luckily the next day was a LONG travel day to McCall Idaho and no riding as we got in pretty late.

    Day Four: Huckleberry Bay Trail McCall ID
    This trail is in the Ponderosa State Park on the east side of the tranquil and beautiful Payette Lake. The house we rented was about two blocks away from this area and we went through <a class="postlink" href="http://www.inidaho.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.inidaho.com/</a> to get this one. Again a great experience and would definitely use this service again. Heck the house was 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, fenced back yard for Dixie and the use of the detached garage. House was spotless and in a nice neighborhood with deer just roaming the streets at all hours of the day all for $145 a night. We seriously live in the wrong place!
    Back to the ride. This one started out at the visitor center and wound around near the lake on paved path, trail that could pass for a fire road and then kind of a nicer alpine trail. It climbed up to Osprey Point a really nice view from up there. I was rather disappointed in the trail to this point given the trail quality of the few days prior. Headed across the fire road to pick up the trail again. It took off and I was like a kid in a candy store. This one went down through some tight steep switches and was rocky, rooted and sweeping trail through the forest. It was great, in fact it was so good I lost all since of direction, but just kept riding. Went up slight inclines over rocks back down near the lake and back into fern forests. Eventually hit the end at a trail head sign. I seriously was turned around was looking at the north end of the map and cussing under my breath that I wish they had a “You are here marker” Ah duh hey idiot down here . Well lookie there I was about 1500’ from another visitor center, maybe a ¼ mile from where I started. Rode back the way I came still smiling all the way. This trail followed one of the peninsulas on Payette Lake.

    Only picture I got of this one, guess the first part of the trail put me to sleep. :D

    Day Five: Loon Lake Loop McCall ID
    This ride is about 45 minutes north of Payette Lake and the road is paved from McCall all the way to the upper trailhead at Ruby Meadows trailhead. We opted to drive the additional 8 dirt road miles down to Chinook campground so Julie and Dixie could hike the Secesh River trail, this is where the trail ends. Quite honestly this trail was not technical at all except maybe 3 or 4 spots in the entire 24 miles and the first 8 were climbing back up to the top trailhead via the fire road.

    What I will say is that it probably was the most fun trail I have ever ridden. Slightly wet decomposed granite on a well maintained trail made for a really fast and sticky trail. In sections I was going way too fast for someone out in the middle of nowhere by himself, couldn’t help it. The trail drops first down to Ruby Meadow with an incredible little lake. I came around the corner and just stopped and dropped the bike, it was breath taking!

    The trail winds through meadows and a 7 yo burn area. Amazing what a difference a few years and climate make in a burn zone. I just wish the Station Fire area would look this good in 2 more years.

    Got over to Loon Lake and was looking forward to hiking over to see the crashed WWII era B-23, but there was way too much dead fall to HAB over and it was having a very negative effect on the shoulder so I opted out. I probably went over 30 trees and still had a mile to go to get to the site.

    Back on the main trail

    it passes through a few small aspen areas

    it then drops down steeply and hits the Secesh trail and follows the river north

    The Secesh trail climbs, drops and continues the same all the way back to Chinook CG. Got to say it was really hard to concentrate on the trail and not keep looking down at the river below.
    Here fishy, fishy

    Nice spot along the way to sit, get a bite to eat and just enjoy.

    Simply gorgeous and only saw two hikers out near Loon Lake and one biker at Chinnok CG, other than that not a person around.

    Day Six travel day

    Day Seven Armstrong/Mid Mountain/Ambush Park City UT
    Parked down in the town at the really nice city park. First day on the vacation that the weather was a bit sketchy. Rode out and up the one way Armstrong trail

    evidently the folks out trail running didn’t get the “one way” memo. Wasn’t an issue as they were all really nice. You’d be nice too if you could afford to stay anywhere around here, not me we had hoteled it down in SLC. I’m sure that the dumpster behind the 7-11 might have been affordable option. Sheesh!! Anyway, the trail climbs though the ski resort

    it is a pretty easy climb even though it is at altitude. Remember I spend time in BB a lot so elevation isn’t usually an issue. The sign systems here are great and every trail intersection was clearly marked. I took off on the Mid Mountain trail, fun, fun, fun. Nothing to technical, but there are a few rock climbs and drops to keep you honest.

    It crosses the paved road to some homes up in Canyon Resort. Those poor folks, how could anyone stand to live in those houses, cryin shame I tell ya! It must be nearly unbearable to have to live like that. The trail weaves through some beautiful Aspens that are just starting to change colors in a few areas. Got over near the bike assist lifts (Bwahahahaha Dirt Bags don’t use no stinking lifts) at the Canyons Resort and it started to rain a bit, nothing heavy and it was relatively warm out so it wasn’t a big issue. Got to the Ambush trail and okay this one is a screaming decent on a really fast trail, you hit one small uphill fireroad section and the back to a swooping screaming decent through some well planned and fast switches.

    Nearly ran over two girls jogging up the very end of the Ambush trail, I stopped in time and they hopped up on the hillside. I said “darn haven’t got hiker in a longtime was so hoping today was the day.” They both started to laugh, I apologized for scaring them (no Vaporman Super Bell :oops: ) and then they apologized to me for slowing me down. Huh, what?? that never happens. Also they were very easy on the eyes. I might have stayed and talked all day, but I really like the other ½ of the stuff I own and Julie and Dixie were at the park so off I went back to the park. We drove down to Panguitch to spend the night and stayed at Harold’s Place Inn at a cabin. <a class="postlink" href="http://www.haroldsplace.net/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.haroldsplace.net/</a> What a surprise this place is! There are 20 cabins and not the Ritz, but a damn large step up from a Super 8 or the like chain motel and it sits only one mile from the Red Canyon Area, can’t beat it.

    Day Eight Thunder Mountain Hatch UT
    What a way to end a trip, if it had to end this was the one. By this point the legs were getting tired from lack of any conditioning prior to the trip. Again I was (shsssshhh shuttled) to the top and the girls went back to investigate and hike around the Red Canyon visitor center. No, not the girls from Park City you Dirt Bags!! My wife and golden, get your damn minds out of the gutter. :lol:
    Rode out the fire road to the trailhead and a constant 16mph+- head wind made for slow ride.

    If you haven’t ridden this one, like some the rest of the ones on this vacation it is a must do once if you are in the area.

    Not from the stand point of technical or that much fun but the scenery is just incredible.

    When I got over near the hoodoos and formations I couldn’t believe that bikes are actually legal to ride here. Great trail, not long enough, just wished the formations and scenery went on.

    This ride was over to quick, but I was done, didn’t have much more in my engine left after so many good rides in the past few days and zero conditioning.
    This trail could easily be ridden as a loop from the lower trailhead via the paved pedal path to the upper trailhead and down. Riding it as an out and back from the lower trailhead and back would be a rather daunting experience with some definite HAB along the route.

    All n all this was an awesome trip and hit some great trails. Just never long enough to hit what you want. Took it easy on most of it and still nowhere near 100%, but I wasn’t going to miss any of these rides.
    Thanks for reading a long arse report.

    North Umpqua Trail.jpg

    NU 1.jpg

    NU 2.jpg


    NU 3.jpg

    NU 4.jpg

    Old Man River.jpg

    McKenzie River Trail.jpg

    MRT 1.jpg

    MRT 2.jpg

    MRT 3.jpg

    MRT 4.jpg

    MRT 5.jpg

    MRT 6.jpg

    CRT 1.jpg

    CRT 2.jpg

    CRT 3.jpg

    Castle Rock Trail.jpg

    CRT 4.jpg

    CRT 5.jpg

    CRT 6.jpg

    Payette Lake.jpg

    Loon Lake Loop.jpg

    LLL 1.jpg

    LLL 2.jpg

    LLL 4.jpg

    LLL 5.jpg

    LLL 3.jpg

    LLL 6.jpg

    LLL 7.jpg

    LLL 8.jpg

    LLL 9.jpg

    Mid Mountain PC.jpg

    MMT 2.jpg

    MMT 1.jpg

    MMT 3.jpg

    Thunder Mountain Trail.jpg

    TMT 1.jpg

    TMT 2.jpg

    TMT 3.jpg

    TMT 4.jpg

    TMT 5.jpg

    TMT 6.jpg

    TMT 7.jpg
    littlewave likes this.
  2. El Immigrante

    El Immigrante Member

    Current Bike:
    Wow! Wow, WOW!

    I'm penciling in this trip on my calendar!
  3. ddmansprty

    ddmansprty Newbie with Hope!

    Santa Clarita
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel
    What a horribly awful place! Just kidding, WOW!!! That was some tasty trail porn!
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Good looks AND you can write... :lol:
    ...No doubt this is ride report of the month. What an awesome journey you just took us on. Felt like I was there. Dang, WISH I was there! :(

    Thank you so much for taking the time to take the pics and weave a great story in between. This is a GREAT ride report.

    Based on this we have to at least figure out a way to hit some of this up as Dirt Bags.

    Thanks John!

  5. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Most excellent! Thanks John, you a lucky man! And another thanks for taking me back to Thunder Mountain! :cool:
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Hey! The least you tightwads can do is give the guy a "THANKS". I know how much effort goes into writing a report like this...
    Give the guy some lovin'! Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeshhh! :D

    Heck! I'd give 'em 2 thanks if I could. Hey wait.... :idea:
  7. BBJohn

    BBJohn Member

    Bwahahahaha, thanks Mikie, but don't sweat it. I was glad to put it together for you guys. Honestly it was hard to figure which pictures to put in here. I took a ton except for around Payette Lake.
    I now have real respect for the ones you put together, these are a lot of work, the rides are far easier. :lol:
  8. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    Great RR BBJ! Oregon is the only western state in which I have not ridden yet so now I really want to get up there! McCall is a great town! I rode at the ski area, Backside Moto trail and Lake Fork trail last year. I've ridden Thunder Mtn many times, most recently in June on my way to Moab for my "School's out for Summer" road trip. I looped it on the paved path which was an EZ climb even for me. Saw a herd of antelope just past the horse campground on the dirt road. Such a unique trail with all the hoodoos! Thanks for the RR!
  9. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Wow, wow ,wow!!!!! I actually had to read it in 2 tries, too much to take in!! I've only ridden park city and that was awesome. Thx BBJ!!!
  10. BBJohn

    BBJohn Member

    Maddog, I kind of scheduled Thunder Mountain in on this trip after our conversation on the ride in WW. Had seen pics before but you telling me about it put it in the vacation. I was close and just added one more day away from home.
    Similarly Scan your pics posted either here or over on that "other site" :lol: actually put PC and Mid Mountain specifically on this trip.
    Big thank you to both of you!!
  11. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    You're welcome BBJ! Thunder Mountain is pretty easy to get to. Only 90 min. or so off I-15. Glad you got to add it to the trip!