On day 2 we took a lap around the north end trails. Starting at the Lower City Creek trailhead again we pedaled up the North Fork to The Grove/Outlaw/Black Cairn/Switchback/White Cairn/Lower City Creek. This ride was only slightly longer but has around a 1000' more vertical. Both laps are really fun and have some great trails with a good mix of everything.
Day one we did a loop on the south side of the network. Starting at the Lower City Creek trailhead we rode Fenceline to Death Valley/Bump/Serengeti/Sullivans/Mushroom/Upper City Creek/911/Life Flight. This ride was around 8.5 miles w/nearly 1500' of climbing which was just about perfect for the first ride of the season.
If you're interested the map and stats for those rides can be seen here: South City Creek Mountain Bike Ride - 4/27/2013 or
North City Creek Mountain Bike Ride - 04/28/13. I also uploaded some photos to an album here: Pocatello, ID - April 2013
Next I made my way down to Logan, UT. I spent the better part of a week there hanging out with friends and riding some of the lower trails like Green and Providence Canyons. Both of those are pretty short and mellow but still around 8.5 - 9 miles round trip and between 1200' - 1500' of climbing. I rode each one twice while I was there. I hear there are a few bigger rides in Logan Canyon but those all still had snow or mud while I was there. There's a photo album for that part of the trip here: Logan, UT - May 2013.
I came back home and spent the next couple weeks riding things that usually aren't ready until much later. Several laps on the lower Horseshoe Canyon trails, an out and back on Aspen, Putt Putt to Hagen, Ferrins, and Mill Creek were all open and riding great. Then I had to go back to work.
I've still been riding a lot and have even updated the map with quite a few trails since last summer. I'll try and get back on here soon and put another post up w/more info on those.
But this week I had the chance to ride the two newest trails in the area. Both of which are at Grand Targhee Resort, which has been ridiculously busy cranking out the trails this summer. Neither Bullwinkle or Peaked are technically complete and probably won't be until next summer, but both are ride-able and the latter is actually riding awesome already especially considering most of it was only cut in over the last month or so.
As I mentioned, I rode Targhee the last weekend the lift was operating for the summer. After taking a one last lap on all of the other downhill trails, I rolled down Bullwinkle from the top. This trail starts at the second intersection of Buffalo Drop, Sticks & Stones, and Sidewinder and finishes on the Powder Reserve Traverse just above the entrance to Lightning Ridge. Harlan Hottenstein, who has been a key trail builder on Teton Pass, was commissioned by the resort to carve this beast of a trail into the hillside. There is still a lot of work to be done on the upper half of the trail but the resort enlisted the Snake River Mountain Bike Club out of Pocatello to assist in buffing out the lower half for use in the Targhee Enduro Mountain Bike Race that they wrapped up the season with. This is sure to become their most popular downhill trail once it's complete. It's wide, sort of like the interstate of bike trails, and loaded with rollers and head high burms.
Not long after the downhill starts the trail merges with the Goat Path. Once you hit that continue south for just a minute over a small rise and you'll see the singletrack veer off to the right, from there you won't be pedaling for quite a while. What comes next is insane. I count 51 switchbacks from the summit of this trail to the bottom where it re-connects to Colter's and Mill Creek. This makes the 15 on the way up seem like nothing. Be prepared for some awesome terrain and amazing views over the next couple of miles. Where this trail ends the ride is far from over, you still have all of Mill Creek to descend.
Speaking of Mill Creek, the second re-route of this trail was completed back in August. This added a little more distance and quite a few flowy turns to what used to be a straight and narrow shot through the meadows. After a few rains and a lot of tires this is all in great shape and doesn't feel like new trail at all. I hear this re-route gives you some views of the canyon but to be honest I didn't notice, this was riding so fast I didn't have time to take my eyes off the trail.
This whole ride, with perfect fall weather on a Sunday afternoon, which included one of the valley's most popular trails, I saw only one other couple at the trailhead for Mill Creek and a solo guy on the way up Lightning. If you haven't been out riding lately you're missing out. It looks like the temps are going to take a dive this week with highs in the upper 40's but with no rain in the forecast we still have some biking left this season. I'd suggest taking a lap on Peaked while you still can.
I updated the trail map pages for Bullwinkle, Peaked, and Mill Creek (includes latest re-route). I also added photos of the new trails to the gallery.
The first part of the downhill on Red Creek is ridiculously fun. It's sort of like a mini slalom course through tight trees down to the bottom of the drainage. I really should have stopped in there to take a few photos but I just couldn't make myself do it. From the bottom of this section you take a left across the gully and keep heading down. This span doesn't allow you open it up as much b/c of the even tighter trees along w/a few really sharp turns, but it's still pretty fast.
After exiting the trees and crossing the bridge over the creek the trail mellows out a bit. This section is very scenic with some neat rock formations and views down into the North Fork Pine Creek drainage and of the ridge beyond that. It's also narrow and overgrown in a few places so you definitely need to keep your eyes open. There are also a few creek crossings that can be a bit challenging depending on the amount of water, the last of which is stays challenging b/c of the steep banks in and out of it.
In order to connect this back to Corral Creek you take a left on the Sheep Driveway ATV trail. After pedaling up a short climb there's a fun downhill loaded with water bars that you can launch off. Hang another left just before the creek crossing and the next uphill and you're on the west end of Corral Creek which takes you back to Spooky.
I added a few photos and updated the map page for Red Creek. Next up for this area will be Grove Creek and Drake Creek.
G-Money for a ride around a couple of the Pine Creek Pass trails. Starting w/Spooky we pedaled up to the junction of Corral Creek and took a left heading West. From there we rode down to the Sheep Driveway. This half of the trail is super smooth, fast, and flowy. In order to map this one we pedaled back up past the turn off for Spooky. The east end of this trail is a little more challenging. The grade gets a little steeper and there are a few short technical climbs to grind up, one of those being the last quarter mile up to the Crest trail. With the exception of one creek crossing that most people will probably have to walk, this trail is entirely rideable and . We continued on past the turn off for Red Creek up to the saddle where the Big Hole Crest and Grove Creek meet before turning around and riding back down Spooky to the car.
In order to make a loop out of these trails most people ride Spooky to Corral heading east, then over to Red Creek and down to the Sheep Driveway before pedaling back up the west half of Corral and back to Spooky. You could also take Corral Creek west to Grove Creek, Drake Creek, or Rocky Peak and ride those down to the valley but these options require riding up or shuttling Pine Creek Pass.
BTW, these trails were in great shape, probably the firmest dirt I've ridden most of the summer. I'd definitely recommend taking a lap up there if you haven't done so in a while.
I updated the trail map pages for Spooky, and Corral Creek, and added photos of both to the gallery. I'll probably go back to ride/map Red Creek on my next days off.
This Weekend I started exploring the trails of the Snake River Range. I had never gone into this area w/o a pair of skis before this. Parking at Mike Harris I rode up the power line access road, taking a small detour along the way to lap one of the side trails. From there I headed over to Pole Canyon and then up. For those of you who haven't ridden this trail before, it feels much longer than 3 miles. This could've been due in part to the extremely sandy and loose conditions of the trail, or the ridiculously heavy smoke in the air which was making me feel like I couldn't catch my breath, or just the fact that you're gaining 3,000' at nearly 20% grades. Either way it's a beast of an uphill that will have you off the bike and pushing more than once, although the views from the top are a more than worthy tradeoff. In one direction you can see straight down the canyon to the valley below, in the opposite direction you have miles and miles of untouched wilderness. I can imagine riding down this trail would be a blast. A few really technical rock and root drops, and some long, straight sections you could scream down. But instead I chose to keep going up Pole Canyon to Mikesell.
At the summit of Pole Canyon you take a left, pedal 20 yards or so, and then dismount the bicycle. You'll be scrambling for a little while before you're able to ride again. Once you're over the first big hump it gets a little easier but not by much. Be prepared to hike the bike up a few more steep pitches before it's over. Three plus miles later you reach the junction of this trail, Mail Cabin to Mikesell, and Mikesell Canyon. It's all downhill from here, but by no means does it get easier. It's narrow, loose, rocky, drops off on one side, and has a several waist high root drops. That said, it's still incredibly fun. Near the bottom of the canyon you follow the drainage through the trees and can really open it up for a few minutes. This trail spits you out at Mike Harris so I'm right back where I started from.
The next day the the wind had blown the smoke out of the valley and I talked Beth into riding Mail Cabin to Mikesell Canyon w/me. Mail Cabin, up until just past the fork to East Mail Cabin (where the hike-a-bike starts), would be awesome to ride as a short, easy out and back. I'm not sure why more people don't ride this. The trail is smooth and easy to climb but does gain some elevation so the way back would be fast. Instead of turning around, we kept going. As I mentioned, there is quite a bit of pushing involved once you reach the back of the canyon. After crossing the saddle the trail turns into Mail Cabin to Mikesell. From there it's up and down for another 4.5 miles before reaching Mikesell Canyon. While most of this stretch is ride-able there are more than a few pitches that will have you on your feet shoving the bike up the hill in front of you. We ended the ride with Mikesell which was even better after having ridden it once since I knew what to expect.
It probably all depends on the person but for most people these trails are not what you'd consider an especially fun ride. Once or twice I was reminded by Beth that she was not having the best of times. But, if it's a tough workout, an adventure, great views, or solitude in the wilderness that you're looking for, these trails just might be for you. For those of you looking for a leisurely uphill and smooth sailing back down, believe me: this is not that.
I added photos and updated the trail map pages for Pole Canyon, Mail Cabin, Mail Cabin to Mikesell, and Mikesell Canyon. I kind of screwed up when riding Pole Canyon to Mikesell and forgot to stop/restart the GPS track after merging into Mikesell Canyon. I'll have to take another lap on that at some point. Maybe I can go up West Pole Canyon to get there next time so I can be finished with that area for a while.
The entrance to Mahogany Creek was a little ugly. Lots of fist sized gravel chunks rolling down the trail, bouncing off the spokes. But after the first quarter mile or so everything was all good. The upper half of this trail is rather technical, some sections make Phillip's Canyon look tame, from then on things get a little smoother. We hadn't ridden this trail in several years so I kind of forgot just how long it was. At nearly 5 miles and ~2,000' of decent, you feel like you get your money's worth. Riding the whole loop makes for a long day, with +3,000' of elevation gain over 21 miles you'll want to be sure to fuel up before hand.
On Saturday I took a lap on the lower Horseshoe trails so I could re-map Channel Lock to include the re-route which was completed earlier this summer. I usually start w/Bovine and ride the loop clockwise ending w/Channel Lock, but decided to switch things up a bit and rode it in the opposite direction, ending w/one of the area's newer additions. I'll leave out the details for now but I will say that it's going to be a really fun downhill once it's buffed out.
On both days I didn't see a single other user on any of the trails I rode. I know the smoke has been bad but seriously, where is everyone? Oh, and the conditions for all of these trails as of yesterday: Dusty, better bring your moon boots. Hopefully that rain we had last night knocked that down some but I doubt it. A solid week week of torrential downpour might help. One other thing, the cows are out en masse on the lower Horseshoe trails. Watch out for those meadow muffins.
I added photos and updated the trail map page for Mahogany Creek and a couple of others in the Horseshoe Canyon area. I also updated the maps for Channel Lock to reflect the re-route. Next up for this area will probably be Twin Creek and Mount Manning. Has anybody ridden these this summer? If so, let me know in the comments. Speaking of comments and trail conditions, I think it would be awesome if readers of the site were to use the comment boxes on the trail pages to post the current conditions. Just take a sec to let others know how things are riding.
We saw a couple walking a dog near the trailhead but other than that we were the only users. Kind of makes you wonder where everyone else is. Most of this trail is in the shade which is nice on a hot day. It does pop out on the face of the butte a couple of times where you generally have some nice views of the valley but all the smoke in the air made it hard to see past State Line Road.
I updated the trail map page for Aspen and added a few photos of it to the gallery. Next trail I hope to ride in this area is Dead Cow. It's basically supposed to be an extension of Aspen that continues north from Spring Creek to Teton Canyon. I'll try to get that in after work one day this week.
Sunday Beth and I drove over the pass to Jackson. On the way we say a whole lot of cars at the Phillip's/Jimmy's trailhead which we've come to expect on the weekends. At 10am, finding a parking space already looked like a challenge. It seems that the pass trails get more popular every summer. We kept driving and unloaded the bikes at the Cache Creek trailhead. Usually this area is just as busy if not more so on the weekends but for some reason this wasn't the case today.
We pedaled up Cache Creek past the turn off to Game and out to the Gros Ventre Wilderness Boundary, the entire way there we saw only two people. I think I've only taken Cache to the end one other time and that was quite a few years ago. Usually I just take this to get to Game Creek which I suspect is the case for most bikers. It's pretty obvious that the trails sees much less use past that point. From there on it narrows down from a Jeep road, to an ATV track, and finally to a narrow singletrack. This trail is great for beginners as a straight forward out and back that gradually increases in difficulty but can still be a good workout at 11.5 miles round trip with over 1,600' of elevation gain.
After riding Cache I took the turnoff to Game Creek. I hadn't ridden this trail for a couple seasons at least so I'm not sure when this happened but it's been completely re-routed from the summit to just short of the junction w/West Game. It's now much wider with lots of swooping turns. This makes a great ride even better. There's still a long stretch of doubletrack at the bottom end of this trail but it's fast and you can launch the cattle guard. But it would be awesome to see some singletrack cut in paralleling the road.
I took the paved bike path back to town and turned up KC to Linda's so I could GPS the latter. I then rode Sink or Swim back towards the Cache trailhead.
The trails were all just a little dusty but still firm for the most part, we could definitely use a little more rain though. There is a lot of smoke in the area from all the fires around us.
I updated the trail map pages for Cache Creek, Game Creek, and Linda's and added photos of all top the gallery.
I have to say that all of the trails that were added to the north side of Teton Pass over the last few years are awesome and a great addition to that area. But, after the completion of Arrow the original route to Phillip's Canyon, which took the Ski Lake to Phillipp's Pass trail, was closed to biking. That was a great climb with a couple of really fast downhill sections and the best view of the canyon. I 'll definitely miss this route for biking.
Phillip's Canyon hasn't changed much over the years. It's still one of the more technical descents in the area with lots of rocks and roots. It does look as though a couple sections have been re-routed and a log bridge was installed over the creek crossing about halfway down. Otherwise, nothing new here.
The trail conditions are pretty optimal considering how dry it's been, all of the trails I rode were still very firm. Phillip's Ridge has had some improvements made to the uphill since the last time I rode it. It's definitely nowhere near as technical as it was. Most of the jagged rocks have been removed and the larger rocks have all been ramped up to. It looks like someone even took buckets full of gravel up there and patched all of the potholes. I kind of liked it before but it's definitely easier now.
I updated the trail map pages for both Snotel and Phillip's Canyon as well as adding several photos of each to the gallery. I've also started to combine the trails I do have into a larger area map. Keep in mind that I have a lot of trails to map still so this will be very incomplete for quite a while.
Pierre's Hole 50/100 mile mountain bike race. This race is part of the National Ultra Endurance MTB Race Series. Troy took first place in 2009's men's 50 mile open class and also took a win for his age group in the Sea Otter Classic this year. I would've ridden it myself but... who am I kidding, this thing looks brutal.
Troy said that this year's course is "all time" adding that, "all of the rain we've received recently has the trails in awesome condition". He also likened the downhill on Bustle Creek to a "BMX track", and mentioned that, "riders may want to watch their speed through the jumps on this section".
Race coordinator Andy Williams says that, "with the addition of the resort's new trails such as Lightning Loop and Colter's Revenge, the race now has more climbing and singletrack than ever". With more than 5000' of vertical gain in nearly 26 miles the course has grown by at least 500' and half a mile. Andy also noted that he expects the lead time to be around 2:15 per lap.
Registration: Athlete360.com Event Blog: http://ph100.org/
Staging for the race is from the Grand Targhee Resort, where there is ample lodging and necessary amenities available for racers. The Pierre's Hole 100 consists of a 25-mile loop, each lap features over 4600 feet of climbing on mostly single and double-track trails. Racers may register for the 50 miler (2 laps) or the 100 miler (4 laps). Only the 100 mile race is part of the NUE series. The village at GTR will be full of pre- and post-party events, including a band after the awards.
The 2012 Rendezvous for the Battle of Pierre's Hole 100 will take place on August 4, 2012. Registration is now live for the first 325. Stay tuned here for details.
COME RIDE IT IF YOU CAN.
Staging for the race is from the Grand Targhee Resort, where there is ample lodging and necessary amenities available for racers. The Pierre's Hole 100 consists of a 25-mile loop, each lap features over 4600 feet of climbing on mostly single and doubletrack trails. Racers may register for the 50 miler (2 laps) or the 100 miler (4 laps). Only the 100 mile race is part of the NUE series. The village at GTR will be full of pre- and post-party events, including a band after the awards.
After just three years in existence, after building a reputation as one of the most challenging MTB endurance races in the country, the Pierre's Hole 50/100, held Saturday, August 4, 2012, will join the 2012 Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series.
"The races that have been added are outstanding, more western located venues," said Ryan O'Dell, NUE Series Organizer to Cyclingnews.com. "With four races in the West, Western racers now have great opportunity to complete the four-race minimum without the necessity to travel to the East." The change comes in response to racer requests for additional western venues. The races that have been added this year have been described by racers as well managed events along epic courses."
Located on the western slope of the Tetons at Grand Targhee Resort the Pierre's Hole 50/100 offers a 25 mile loop of mostly single-track gaining a blistering 4600 feet in elevation on each lap. Each loop starts at the resort, descends into Mill Creek and ascends through Teton Canyon, with distractingly spectacular views of the mighty Tetons.
Contact Information Name: Andy Williams
Phone: 1 307.353.2300 ext. 1309
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