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Just roll it......
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellas,

I need your advice. I'm getting my xc bike running again this week (first time it's been running in several months) and I'm looking to get a good ride in on Sunday. My gal (CBX) is doing the padden race so I'm free to go as big as I want. I could, of course, do the usuals like up DG / down MR, up Ranger / down Palisades, etc., but I'd like to get something new (to me) in.

My criteria would be:
- Good climbing (alpine preferable) with epic views
- Great descending (of course)
- decent distance, but no 5 drainage rides. More like 15-20 miles.
- within 3 hour drive of Seattle

Nice to haves (for my dogs - otherwise, I'll leave them home):
- periods of shade
- creek crossings or some alpine lakes (they're in superb shape, but need water stops for cool down sessions)
- no paved road riding (FR's are ok, but not ideal)

Some ideas based on what I know. Esmerelda, Miller Peak, Crystal Mt. (haven't done this in 10 years - CCW or CW??), Christoff trail (could I event find it?), Lttle Bald Mt., Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham/Smith Cr.....

Thanks for the ideas.
EBX
 

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You didn't ask for my opinion, but...

... I'll chime in anyway, from dog ride point of view. ;)

We took our dog, Cassie, for an Esmeralda ride last summer, thinking the route was perfect because it had enough shades and tons of snowmelt creeks to keep her cool and hydrated, and was relatively short at 12 miles or thereabout. Wrong. She ended up cutting her paws on the descents that were filled with sharp rocks and it took us like 6 hours to get back to our car, stopping every 100 ft or so to nurse her paws. Up til that day, she had been riding with us quite frequently for up to 20 miles or so, so we thought she could handle it, but those rocks were killers!

Plains of Abe will have similar problems with that sand-like pumice that is very abrasive for dogs' paws, plus virtually no water and no shades.

Crystal via Northway out and back (Silver Creek side is reported to be still under snow) would be nice because you are in the shade probably 80% of the time and the trail treads are dog friendly until you get near the top. Only problem is that there is no water along the way once you leave the TH.

Both Little Bold Mt. and Christoff are not alpine, have no water, and no epic views.

Miller, depending on how you loop it, will have access to water on and off on Iron Bear and Miller Creek trails, and both of these trails are in the shades. Once you reach the ridgeline though, it's open and dusty with no water.

In conclusion, my suggestion would be to leave your dog home and enjoy the ride of your choosing, worry free. :)
 

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ebxtreme said:
Fellas,

I need your advice. I'm getting my xc bike running again this week (first time it's been running in several months) and I'm looking to get a good ride in on Sunday. My gal (CBX) is doing the padden race so I'm free to go as big as I want. I could, of course, do the usuals like up DG / down MR, up Ranger / down Palisades, etc., but I'd like to get something new (to me) in.

My criteria would be:
- Good climbing (alpine preferable) with epic views
- Great descending (of course)
- decent distance, but no 5 drainage rides. More like 15-20 miles.
- within 3 hour drive of Seattle

Nice to haves (for my dogs - otherwise, I'll leave them home):
- periods of shade
- creek crossings or some alpine lakes (they're in superb shape, but need water stops for cool down sessions)
- no paved road riding (FR's are ok, but not ideal)

Some ideas based on what I know. Esmerelda, Miller Peak, Crystal Mt. (haven't done this in 10 years - CCW or CW??), Christoff trail (could I event find it?), Lttle Bald Mt., Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham/Smith Cr.....

Thanks for the ideas.
EBX
Those are some good ideas. Here's my thoughts:
Esmeralda / Miller --- Both are exceptional
Ape/Plains ---- no shade on the Plains, can be very hot
Crystal --- inferior to these rides
Little Bald ---- easy road climb, ok (not top 5) descent
Icicle Ridge --- strenuous but oh so worthy!
Nason Ridge --- Merrit Lake to Kahler Glen. Excellent mini traverse
Basalt Peak Loop --- CW Rock Creek, Rock Tie, Finner Creek. No road
Kachess Ridge --- Fun loop with easy road climb only an hour away..
Dungeness / Gold Creek ---- must do ride
 

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Just roll it......
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bruiser said:
... I'll chime in anyway, from dog ride point of view. ;)

We took our dog, Cassie, for an Esmeralda ride last summer, thinking the route was perfect because it had enough shades and tons of snowmelt creeks to keep her cool and hydrated, and was relatively short at 12 miles or thereabout. Wrong. She ended up cutting her paws on the descents that were filled with sharp rocks and it took us like 6 hours to get back to our car, stopping every 100 ft or so to nurse her paws. Up til that day, she had been riding with us quite frequently for up to 20 miles or so, so we thought she could handle it, but those rocks were killers!

Plains of Abe will have similar problems with that sand-like pumice that is very abrasive for dogs' paws, plus virtually no water and no shades.

Crystal via Northway out and back (Silver Creek side is reported to be still under snow) would be nice because you are in the shade probably 80% of the time and the trail treads are dog friendly until you get near the top. Only problem is that there is no water along the way once you leave the TH.

Both Little Bold Mt. and Christoff are not alpine, have no water, and no epic views.

Miller, depending on how you loop it, will have access to water on and off on Iron Bear and Miller Creek trails, and both of these trails are in the shades. Once you reach the ridgeline though, it's open and dusty with no water.

In conclusion, my suggestion would be to leave your dog home and enjoy the ride of your choosing, worry free. :)
Thanks Bruiser.....much appreciated. I was just asking the usual cast of characters that post the big reports.

Yeah, I'm smart enough to not take them on certain rides - hence my asking. Sounds like Plains and Esmerelda would be too tough on their paws. They can do rides like up the Gulch and down MR or up Ranger and down Palisades due to the quantity of water and the amount of shade (they did palisades loop 2 weekends ago with my gal), but I am particularly sensitive to them riding in the heat of the summer.

Sounds like Miller might be an option with them, but I could always just leave them at home too. How much of that ride is exposed? Sad to say, I haven't ridden it. :madman: :confused:

Cheers,
EBX
 

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Just roll it......
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gearz said:
Those are some good ideas. Here's my thoughts:
Esmeralda / Miller --- Both are exceptional
Ape/Plains ---- no shade on the Plains, can be very hot
Crystal --- inferior to these rides
Little Bald ---- easy road climb, ok (not top 5) descent
Icicle Ridge --- strenuous but oh so worthy!
Nason Ridge --- Merrit Lake to Kahler Glen. Excellent mini traverse
Basalt Peak Loop --- CW Rock Creek, Rock Tie, Finner Creek. No road
Kachess Ridge --- Fun loop with easy road climb only an hour away..
Dungeness / Gold Creek ---- must do ride
Gearz,

If I recall, Nason is up near Chelan, correct? Might be a bit too much driving for me this weekend. Where's Basalt Peak loop? That sounds interesting.

I might try to get a post-work Kachess ride in this week! :thumbsup:

EBX
 

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ebxtreme said:
Gearz,

If I recall, Nason is up near Chelan, correct? Might be a bit too much driving for me this weekend. Where's Basalt Peak loop? That sounds interesting.

EBX
Basalt is my favorite little ride out in Lake Wenatchee area, across Minnow Creek from Chikamin and such. Pretty much 100% dog-friendly singletrack and mostly shaded, but alas, no water once you leave Rock Creek trail and I don't think it's been logged out yet. Killer views though. Highly recommended when you want to get the feel of highcountry ride but don't want to do a marathon ride. :thumbsup:

I was thinking of suggesting Nason too, the way Gearz described, from Merrit Lake TH via Merrit Lake then up to the lookout and down to Kahler Glen . Water access on and off on the uphill and your dog will love swimming in the cool alpine lake. Downside is that (1) it's a point-to-point ride assuming you don't want to ride along Hwy 2 with your dog, and (2) the downhill is looong and unless your dog can run full speed for 6 ~ 7 miles or so, you'd have to stop and/or modulate your speed and hence not be able to enjoy the killer downhill to the fullest extent.

Out-of-woods portion of Miller ride could be anywhere from 2/5 to half of your time away from the car, which can be anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, both depending on how strong a rider you are and how much time you spend at the peak.

The joy and dillema of riding with dogs... ;)
 

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meh....
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ebxtreme said:
Originally Posted by gearz
Those are some good ideas. Here's my thoughts:
Esmeralda / Miller --- Both are exceptional
Ape/Plains ---- no shade on the Plains, can be very hot
Crystal --- inferior to these rides
Little Bald ---- easy road climb, ok (not top 5) descent
Icicle Ridge --- strenuous but oh so worthy!
Nason Ridge --- Merrit Lake to Kahler Glen. Excellent mini traverse
Basalt Peak Loop --- CW Rock Creek, Rock Tie, Finner Creek. No road
Kachess Ridge --- Fun loop with easy road climb only an hour away..
Dungeness / Gold Creek ---- must do ride


If I recall, Nason is up near Chelan, correct? Might be a bit too much driving for me this weekend. Where's Basalt Peak loop? That sounds interesting.

I might try to get a post-work Kachess ride in this week! :thumbsup:

EBX
What gearz said, that's what I do. Both Nason and Basalt are near Lake Wenatchee. Basalt is a nice loop, more buff trail than Nason Ridge, and the descent down Finner Creek is ludicrous speed. Nason Ridge/Merrit Lake loop will have some pushing and more technical riding.

Icicle Ridge, substantial push on the climb, killer downhill.

Kachess probably still be snowed in in the back meadows, do some checking on the hiker web sites.

Dungeness/Gold Creek, great climb (don't do the road to the middle of Dungeness), great descent. If you want to pad the ride, do the loop then climb the road, drop into the middle of Dungeness and descent back to the car. I've heard it's a good addition.

Monte
 

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The flip side is that there's some really good doggy booties out there now too. I was thinking about taking Rex on the Esmeralda loop and will now also consider the bootie thing. The less rocky, obviously, the better.
Knowing you guys, I would pass on Monte's "skip the road" part on Dungeness and just drop 3 o'clock into the upper part and save yourself the push.

Yes, the last week reports of Kachess were that it was still snowed in and not logged out.
Personally, I think that ride is crap anyway. But, what do I know? :)

P.S. Miller Peak kicks ass. (Unfortunately, mine.) But, I love it. :thumbsup: I wouldn't take the dog on it though. Unless you went out od 97 on Iron Creek tot he 4 way and then just up to the false summit and back. Still pretty damn good.

Basalt sounds like the ticket you're looking for. Camp there and do the lower Nason stuff the second day... Or Freund.
 

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Just roll it......
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
FM said:
Miller peak sucks. :rolleyes:

Might as well run stairs for a few hours and then hit the burk-gillman.
I hear ya, FM, but it seems to me that 1/2 love it and 1/2 hate it though. It almost feels like one of those rides that is totally dependent on the direction you ride it and how you link up certain trails. From what I've heard, there's a more favorable way to ride this trail, no?? Can't remember the route though......

EB
 

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ebxtreme said:
I hear ya, FM, but it seems to me that 1/2 love it and 1/2 hate it though. It almost feels like one of those rides that is totally dependent on the direction you ride it and how you link up certain trails. From what I've heard, there's a more favorable way to ride this trail, no?? Can't remember the route though......

EB
Hehehehe. The "most favorable" would be from the edge of the river with a cold beer in your hand. Looking at it from a distance. The most populare CCW or CW versions both have thier own heaven and hell secxtions. I've done both and will likely try the out and back from Iron Creek up Miller and back the next time.
The kicker about Miller is probably the 360 degree view from the top. Pinch Flat actually hauled his heavy ass bike up there just to ride from the top. Got a great picture of that too. Over 3000 feet above the top of Rat Pac, just a few miles away...
 

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Borneo said:
Hehehehe. The "most favorable" would be from the edge of the river with a cold beer in your hand. Looking at it from a distance....
LOL, too true.

I have only ridden it CW.... many times. Threw up and took a nap at the final summit once. we had a shorter route and a longer one that added a nice 1k' climb and drop before accessing the main route, Albrecht could hook you up with details. The scenery is certainly great. It's just a lot of difficult climbing for a quick & not very technical descent. there is a brutal hike-a-bike part thats similar to teh poach but after like 4x as much climbing. Kind of like doing comfortabley numb backwards; only the techy bits are rutted out moto trails so not very gratifying imho. Even if you rode it CCW, too rutted to really enjoy.

Just head for Entiat! :ciappa:

Or maybe up minnow ridge & down chikamin- thats closer. probably super dusty too!

PS, the 66 went off to Vancouver today, looks like they are going to hook me up.
 

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FM said:
I have only ridden it CW.... many times.... The scenery is certainly great. It's just a lot of difficult climbing for a quick & not very technical descent.
CCW makes the quick downhill a short little push and the descent is way longer and has more flow. I've only done the ride once and did it CCW, I wouldn't do it CW. Ruts? Just get there earlier in the season.

Monte
 

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Monte said:
CCW makes the quick downhill a short little push and the descent is way longer and has more flow. I've only done the ride once and did it CCW, I wouldn't do it CW. Ruts? Just get there earlier in the season.

Monte
I think you got that backwards...:eek:
CW is the ticket! :thumbsup:
 

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Just roll it......
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, some good input here. Basalt Peak, Nason Ridge, Esmerelda Basin to Gallagherhead Lake (via fortune pass), Chickamin/Minnow.....all good options.

The doggies will likely stay home on Sunday unless I do one of the already known rides like Ranger/Palisades/White River, etc.

Cheers,
EBX
 

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El Malo
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Dude, Kachess :nono: see my report of 2wks ago.
It was a crazy mosquito infested snowfest above 3,500ft and slogged for another 100-200 more before it the novelty quickly wore off. I doubt all the snow is gone now.
The singletrack climb was fun and challenging, especially on the Dare, but I imagine that once the top opens up and the shuttle freeks have access, that trail will be nearly impossible to climb.

I'm being lured from everywhere and still haven't decided what I'll ride this weekend... cAnAdiA? Oregon? Leavenworth ? so much to ride, so little time :(

You know what trail you need to do ? Icicle Ridge... there's no water up there and I wouldn't wanna put Baker and Shasta on that 9mile road ride leading up to the 4th of July creek trailhead. Just leave them behind but still ride that. It's likely my favourite Leavenworth ride, with amazing views of the Stuart range, Enchantments, Tumwater canyon and cleear out beyond Peshastin towards Wenatchee. Also the closest you can get to riding in the wilderness area... then, if you camp out, you can complement that ride the following day with the local FR stuff... it's buff right now... see the report I sent to the list this morning...
 

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Bruiser said:
Both Little Bold Mt. and Christoff no epic views.
Not true. You can see Mt. Stuart and Mt. Rainier from the tops of both rides. And you can see Downtown Seattle from Christoff as well, usually too much smog to notice.... But there are multiple places on both rides to stop and get a great view. Unlike say for instance a Dungeness/Gold Creek.:)

Monte said:
do the loop then climb the road, drop into the middle of Dungeness and descent back to the car. I've heard it's a good addition.
Great idea!

i'm riding with John L's BBTC Icicle Ridge ride in Leavenworth. It'll be my first time and it's on Saturday, reschedule and tag along.:)

i've been working way to hard so my brain is fried. i'll just agree with whatever else anyone has said in this thread.:D But if you want some detailed info on something specific i'll help if i can.:)

And by the by.... You know about the Boulder descent goodness (i think you mentioned you ride there before??). You can do a figure 8 loop by adding the final drainage of Gearz gargantuan loop. aka Esmerelda loop. Fortune Creek, drop DeRoux, climb up Esmerelda, descend down Boulder. Fortune climb, DeRoux is a worthy descent, Esmerelda trail sucks but the views and exposure make it super nice, then a real DH descent in Boulder to finish.
 

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Icicle Ridge?

Was in great shape a week ago Sunday.
Contrary to what Armando says there is water up there. There is a spring with a pipe about ten minutes below the saddle at the top of the first climb that was flowing nicely and a mile or so into the descent where the trail crosses over to the east side of the Ridge drops a bit and crosses Power Creek there is water at the creek crossing.
Skooks you're gonna love that climb up Fourth of July! :p
Just keep telling yourself the downhill will be worth it. It is. :thumbsup:

Only 2 pictures before my battery died....:mad:
 

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gearz said:
Skooks you're gonna love that climb up Fourth of July! :p
Yah i'm buying some sneakers just for the climb. i've never packed extra shoes for a ride before.:)
 
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