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GEAUX TIGERS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've ridden alot of trails around here and a ton in northern Cali. and I have never encountered a trail as rocky in sections as Larch Mtn. Is this because of motorcycle poaching? That section that starts decending by the lone picnic table is nothing but rocks, its not even a freaking trail, its a rock trail!

QUESTION: When you get to the top of the fire road and take a right the Larch Mtn trail, does the left (across the road) take you to Tarbell trail?
 

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Cannonball!
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That trail system is a little confusing, several names for the same trail, bedrock roads that parallel the trail, and fairly hidden intersections. That being said, the single track sections totally rock, and the roads are almost totally rock! The section by the picnic table is called Flintstones and we tried to talk the trail crew into smoothing it out but we couldn't figure out how to get the dumptruck loads of dirt in there, go figure! Actually fat tires help to smooth out the ride a bunch. I am not an expert of this trail system but have ridden it a few times and found that it helped to go with people that did know it well. At any rate this trail may not be a big "destination" ride but it is certainly a nice after work ride.
 

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GEAUX TIGERS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, the trail kicks arse after that picnic table on top, but I'm not really a fan of riding through all those loose rocks at the top. (f-ing motorcycles) There is also a really cool "stick house" that someone built close to the bottom. Is the Tarbell Trail as rocky in sections?
 

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There is a Larch Mountain trail in Oregon, and it is very very rocky in sections as well. On the Washington side of Larch Mountain I actually do shuttles and ride down the moto trails occasionally. It's really fun, but the rocks will beat the heck outta your hands after 3 runs or so if you don't have a large travel bike.
 

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coiler-d said:
That trail system is a little confusing, several names for the same trail, bedrock roads that parallel the trail, and fairly hidden intersections. That being said, the single track sections totally rock, and the roads are almost totally rock! The section by the picnic table is called Flintstones and we tried to talk the trail crew into smoothing it out but we couldn't figure out how to get the dumptruck loads of dirt in there, go figure! Actually fat tires help to smooth out the ride a bunch. I am not an expert of this trail system but have ridden it a few times and found that it helped to go with people that did know it well. At any rate this trail may not be a big "destination" ride but it is certainly a nice after work ride.
Thank you for not ruining that challenging scree field by "smoothing" it out.The descent from the top is probably the only "hard" descent around.Trails do not need to be sanitized for maximum enjoyment.In response to Hagen's question about motorcycle poaching in this area my experience has reflected an excess of baby-head size rocks on the climb from Grouse Point due directly to the throttle impaired...those rolling obstacles can make a stiff climb sooooooo much harder.BTW...YOU HAVE TO CLEAN THE SCREE SECTION...it is easy if you do not stop.:D
 

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Respect Your Trails
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That has east coast riding written all over it. Rocks, boulders and slate that breaks off in sheets if you brake on it....just keep on going and stay off the brakes. Good stuff. That trail system is great for a quick loop or a few shuttle runs...or even great climbing practice.

I'm trying to think of where your referring to in order to answer your question. If you are on the double track (motorcycle trail) at the intersection where you can either climb up to Larch Mt. or start the downhill back to FR1000 (past the stick house) then yes to both directions. If you climb up toward Larch you will link up with the Tarbell Tr. Likewise if you take the downhill bombing singletrack down to 1000 (also titled Tarbell Trail), then cross the road, the Tarbell trail continues there too. Hope that helps.

Hagen said:
I've ridden alot of trails around here and a ton in northern Cali. and I have never encountered a trail as rocky in sections as Larch Mtn. Is this because of motorcycle poaching? That section that starts decending by the lone picnic table is nothing but rocks, its not even a freaking trail, its a rock trail!

QUESTION: When you get to the top of the fire road and take a right the Larch Mtn trail, does the left (across the road) take you to Tarbell trail?
 

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GEAUX TIGERS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dahoos said:
That has east coast riding written all over it. Rocks, boulders and slate that breaks off in sheets if you brake on it....just keep on going and stay off the brakes. Good stuff. That trail system is great for a quick loop or a few shuttle runs...or even great climbing practice.

I'm trying to think of where your referring to in order to answer your question. If you are on the double track (motorcycle trail) at the intersection where you can either climb up to Larch Mt. or start the downhill back to FR1000 (past the stick house) then yes to both directions. If you climb up toward Larch you will link up with the Tarbell Tr. Likewise if you take the downhill bombing singletrack down to 1000 (also titled Tarbell Trail), then cross the road, the Tarbell trail continues there too. Hope that helps.
I actually rode up the fire road to the Larch trailhead at top. Here you take a right and climb 2 more ROCKY miles then bomb down Larch. I was asking if you take a left at this intersection from the fire road, does this take you to the Tarbell Trail.
 

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I actually rode up the fire road to the Larch trailhead at top. Here you take a right and climb 2 more ROCKY miles then bomb down Larch. I was asking if you take a left at this intersection from the fire road, does this take you to the Tarbell Trail
Are talking about after you cross thru the yellow gate? If so then yes and you by pass the flintstones and some fun sections of the trail. But there is some rocky sections going down that road to the trail.
 

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Hagen said:
I actually rode up the fire road to the Larch trailhead at top. Here you take a right and climb 2 more ROCKY miles then bomb down Larch. I was asking if you take a left at this intersection from the fire road, does this take you to the Tarbell Trail.
Yeah it is confusing since the whole area is called the Tarbell Trail System that consists of the Larch Mt. trail section (sounds like the one you rode), the Tarbell trail "proper" (from Grouse Point NW to Tarbell picnic area, about 8 mi of one-way, that has about 1.5mi of it demolished from clear cutting at MP 5.5-7.5 roughly), and Cold Creek trail (3 mi of rough, horse damaged trail from Tbell picnic area to Rock Cr. CG and about 2 more miles from SW side of Rock Cr. CG by horse stables to bottom of Larch Mt. TH off of FR-1200?.

The whole thing is a bit confusing, since recent logging over past couple of years has just thrashed the place and altered TH's a bit that changed previously riding routes.

Sections of trail worth riding:
- Larch Mt. trail o/b to "Flinstones" picnic bench (the massive, slated rock field). If O/B, I usually ride up dk near trail up about 3/4 of the way, then up trail to Flinstones and back, roughly 9miles.
- Tarbell O/B from Grouse Point Vista to Sturgeon Rock and back, all good sk about 8miles total, or
- Tarbell O/B from Tarbell Picnic area to Hidden Falls and back, all good sk, with a little overgrown patches while climbing up the saddle, and watch out for horses when bombing back down to picnic area, total ride about 10 miles with two good descents and two moderate climbs each way.

Section to avoid:
- Larch Mt./Tarbell trail section heading SW from Grouse Vista point, about 2-3miles that is hammered from moto's poaching with tons of chewed up, loose rock sections
- Cold Creek, both sections due to horse damage and creek wading in Rock Cr.
- Tarbell trail MP 5.5-7.5 roughly, due to clearcut, trail obliveration, it is obvious where the trail in not passable.

Options to make ride longer:
- Tarbell/Chinook/Silver Star trail O/B (Tarbell picnic area TH), about 16mi with about 3,500' total climbing and some steep, loose rock sections, but the views are so worth it.
- Bluff Mt. trail, runs 7.5mi along beautiful, above treeline ridge to Silver Star.

It's best to copy off a map of the area off of Gifford Pinchot NF Silver Star Section or Rock Cr. DNR. Hope that helps.

I would also suggest check out Larch Mt. Oregon as well, I have been riding there at least 1x/wk lately to avoid the heat, it is usually 15-20 degrees cooler up there and a great loop with fast, fun sk decents and nice, techy, rooty and rock sections. Kind of like Brown's Camp loop, but a little shorter altogether with longer sk sections and more challenging root/rock sections. I think it is a great, somewhat close by weekday loop, only 30 mile from PDX at elevations 2,600-4,050ft.

Would be happy to show you the loop if you want, since you can get easily turned around up there with all the connector trails to make the loop if you don't know where you are going. Can PM me or post if you would like to hook up. I have been riding there, usually sometime after 5p on Tues or Thu lately. The loop is either 6 or 7 miles (if going to viewpoint and back) and only takes 1.5hr to ride tops and it is about a 45min drive from NE PDX and about 35 min drive back. It's nice since you can ride the loop CW or CCW or even o/b if you want like I did last time to hit the two sweet, 2-mile sk descents and the view of Oregon/WA cascades from the top at Sherard Point is second to none.

A great, skill building, underated ride during the summer, in my opinion that is somewhat close by to town and a great place to avoid the heat and dust. A true, natural trail ride with the best of all terrain.

Today, looks like I will be hitting Post Canyon, due to recent rain padding down that east cascade dust and to get my FR groove on.

JG
 

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It is confusing because both trails are technically named "Tarbell". But, to answer your question, YES, if you go left instead of right at the top of the fireroad it will take you on nice singletrack back down to the campground (named Tarbell in some trail books). Last fall they were doing some logging on the lower part of that trail, just past the falls. I haven't ridden it yet this year and am not sure if it is open or not.

I love the lower section of Larch, but hate the 2 miles of rocky hike a bike, so usually ride that as an out and back (up to the flintstones section) from the campground.

Hagen said:
I actually rode up the fire road to the Larch trailhead at top. Here you take a right and climb 2 more ROCKY miles then bomb down Larch. I was asking if you take a left at this intersection from the fire road, does this take you to the Tarbell Trail.
 

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Another option: Climb the Bells Mt trail from Lucia Falls, then take a brief section of Tarbell to RD1000, next climb up an old double track (Upper Murphy Grade also signed as Skidder Trail just past clear-cut). The double track intersects with the Tarbell trail after 2-3 miles, then bomb the Tarbell trail (Cold Creek) back to Rd1000. Back track to Lucia Falls via Tarbell/Bells Mt or bailout on Rd1000/Dole Valley Road.
Drop me a PM if you need a modified map.
 

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SNOWRIDER
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AllOver said:
There is a Larch Mountain trail in Oregon, and it is very very rocky in sections as well. On the Washington side of Larch Mountain I actually do shuttles and ride down the moto trails occasionally. It's really fun, but the rocks will beat the heck outta your hands after 3 runs or so if you don't have a large travel bike.
Grady they are talking out over at Cold creek were we rode the first time I met you. The last couple times we rode we did the ORV park at Jones Creek.
You haven't rode the upper section (Flintstones) that is a great section of trail, but for us big bike guys its about a 2 mile hike to the top from the yellow gate.
And not to stick up for the moto guys but there is not as much motorcycle poaching on that trail as you think. That is just naturally a very rocky area, We (CCMTB) did actually buff the section from below flintstones back down to Murphy's Grade last year....(and I liked it better forehand.....And as far as mobbing through Flintstone :thumbsup: LOVE IT

I'll show you that upper section some time but you may need pull my old a$$ up the hill, I don't know about you granny gear guys:p :p

Duane
 

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Deweydude said:
Grady they are talking out over at Cold creek were we rode the first time I met you. The last couple times we rode we did the ORV park at Jones Creek.
You haven't rode the upper section (Flintstones) that is a great section of trail, but for us big bike guys its about a 2 mile hike to the top from the yellow gate.
And not to stick up for the moto guys but there is not as much motorcycle poaching on that trail as you think. That is just naturally a very rocky area, We (CCMTB) did actually buff the section from below flintstones back down to Murphy's Grade last year....(and I liked it better forehand.....And as far as mobbing through Flintstone :thumbsup: LOVE IT

I'll show you that upper section some time but you may need pull my old a$$ up the hill, I don't know about you granny gear guys:p :p

Duane
I've actually witnessed motos poaching the section from Grouse vista to Larch Mt. and a group poach Larch Mt. trail down flinstones to dk and back. I don't ride Larch WA as much as I used to, but I personally loved and miss that steep tech, rock-slab section at top of trail that was buffed out, now you just have loose, scattered rock amidst the trail (probably from poached motos) and flinstones (slate, flat loose rock fields are nothing to brag about in my opinion.) Larch WA is just not the same anymore, for the worse. I much rather ride Larch OR.

JG
 

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SNOWRIDER
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jgusta said:
I've actually witnessed motos poaching the section from Grouse vista to Larch Mt. and a group poach Larch Mt. trail down flinstones to dk and back. I don't ride Larch WA as much as I used to, but I personally loved and miss that steep tech, rock-slab section at top of trail that was buffed out, now you just have loose, scattered rock amidst the trail (probably from poached motos) and flinstones (slate, flat loose rock fields are nothing to brag about in my opinion.) Larch WA is just not the same anymore, for the worse. I much rather ride Larch OR.

JG
Yeah I know ! I liked that section better before it was buffed myself. I am not saying moto poaching don't happen motorcycles are allowed on Murphy's Grade (the old fire road) , I have seen a few on the single track sections were they are not allowed but most of them are pretty good about not poaching
 
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