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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its not horrible - Gold Creek was in perfect shape except for about 8 blowdowns.

Dungeness is still hanging in there but has about 15 large blowdowns. Unfortunately they seem to be strategically placed to ruin the flow of the climb. Dungeness used to be one of the most challenging climbs in the PNW what with horrible steeps containing a smattering of tech at the worst times and most challeningingly these pitches were connected into one large flow. Back in the day if you could clear this trail from the bottom of the switchbacks to the top of the climb you were such as a God riding the earth. Between the re-routing of the wind storm a few years ago though a lot of the barely rideable sections are now unrideable, and even if you accept the dab, you cannot link the lung busters into a contiguous whole.

That being said, its amazing how little this trail has changed in 20 years. Forget the one washout which really isnt that bad, all it needs is to remove these blowdowns and some treadwork in a few spots and it would be back to its old glory. Don't let this report keep you from going down there either, I've never ridden it in the dry as it was historically an early season ride, and its absolutely beautiful and wonderful to be down there in the Olympic rain forest and downhill and flatter sections are open and free of blowdowns.

We also took the Spooky Hollow trail in. This is road converted trail but still very nice, peaceful, with lots of rhodendron flowers and lush growth, birds and pheasants along the way. However as an approach to Gold/Dungeness its hard to recommend because its 8 miles long, adding 16 miiles to the journey, and our full day at moderate but still efficient pace was 8 hours for the entire lollipop, and not compelling enough to ride it again this way. Its kind of a shame as there is no other use for this trail as it doesn't go anywhere particularly interesting except the Gold Creek trail.

YOu could pair it with Mt. Zion which leaves from the same parking lot to make a day of riding though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes it saves about 20 minutes of driving and adds 3 miles to both ends of the ride which is nice as the whole DG loop is only about 4 hours. I haven't been down it in a couple years but the TF report sounds like its still running. Its a bit rough in spots as its based on an old road that washed out but that actually makes it pretty interesting as you traverse at least 3 giant drainages. Its bushy and the tread is that typical "rough old rocky road covered with underbrush so you can't see the obstacles". The worst part is you have to end the whole ride on a climb back to the car but that is still the only way we've done this loop for years now. And the climb back to the car ending is kind of growing on my lately strangely enough. That's certainly the way yesterday's ride ended. Who is to say that doesn' make the sight of the truck that much more thrilling ?

Anyway, is it worth it ? That's a question you have to answer for yourself. Its not a jump laden flow state berm fest, just a nice trail through the forest and grasslands.
 

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As much as I have hiked in that area, somehow I have never actually done this ride. What is the up-to-date recommended route for this ride? I've heard recommendations to start at 3 o'clock ridge and skip the lower section of the Lower Dungeness. Where do you recommend parking and starting this ride?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Starting at 3 o'clock ridge would just be lame. The traditional route is to park at the bottom of Lower Dungeness. the road down to the original parking lot used to be washed out but evidently its been repaired. Ride up lower Dungeness, then up the road to the bottom of the Tubal Cain trail ie the top of Gold Creek, then ride down Gold Creek back to lower dungeness. Its about a 4 hour loop. If you want more, park at the start of the trail called "Gold Creek extension". This adds 3 miles out and back to the same route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd guess 8 on Gold Creek and 15+ on Dungeness.

I think only one of them could be described as huge (4' + in diameter). I remember thinking most of them wouldn't be to hard to cut.

If you started at lower DG TH, and work your way up, by the time the trail goes downhill you're done, ie there isn't too much they all seem to be on the hill climbing.
Then work your way up Gold Creek and once you reach the Spooky Hollow turnoff that's 90% of them, I think there are only 2 above that.
 
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