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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Basalt Peak – July 12, 2010

We headed out to the Lake Wenatchee/Plain area to tackle the Basalt Peak ride. We were excited because supposedly this is the only trail in the Lake Wenatchee area that does not allow motorcycles. Rumors of a trail that has a distinctly different feel to it than others in the area were in the forefront of our minds. We parked at Finner Ridge Campground about 13 miles up Chiwawa River Rd. and continued on our bikes up the road about 2 miles to the Rock Creek campground and our trailhead. Our goal was to ascend the Rock Creek trail to the Rock Creek Tie trail and then down the Basalt Peak trail back to our car. The total elevation on the climb is over 3,500 feet in less than 5 miles, which translates to a nice descent of the same magnitude. It took us a little over 2 hours to climb to the saddle so add another half an hour for the last bit to the peak.

All smiles before the climb at Rock Creek Campground



The first 100 yards of trail was moderately steep but then it settled down for the 2+ mile climb to Rock Creek Tie. Along the way there were three creek crossings and one landslide that had been repaired (see photo below). The riding on this section was nice and pleasant with a few steep sections here and there. Overall it was generally an intermediate climb on a nice trail, albeit a bit brushy at times. It is forested and there are not too many rocks and roots.

The only washout along the route, more of a small landslide.



A little ways after the third creek crossing we turned right on Rock Creek Tie and things started to get steeper. There were about 8 or 9 switchbacks from here to the saddle at 5,200 feet and this trail climbed almost 2,000 feet in about 2 miles. At the saddle we turned right onto Basalt Peak Trail and in about 100 yards there was another junction. At this point we should have continued straight, up and over Basalt Peak (5,700 ft), which would have added about 500 feet more of climbing and taken us to our descent trail on the other side of the peak. The riding up to the peak is supposed to be the hardest on the route but when you’re that close to the summit and you can almost taste your epic downhill it usually doesn’t matter how steep the last little bit is. On the descent down the other side there is a spur to the right that takes you to a viewpoint and one to the left that takes you to Rd. 6210. Avoid these unless you want to catch the sights or add on Minnow Creek/Chickamin Ridge to your adventure. Stay on the main trail and continue down the 4+ miles to Finner Creek.

One of three creek crossings



We missed our opportunity at the sweet downhill because the directions we had from another website directed us to turn left before the last stretch up to Basalt Peak. We mistakenly headed down a steep trail for 1.5 miles that spit us out onto Chickamin Ridge Rd. 6210. We didn’t get to ride our hard-earned Basalt Peak downhill, which is rumored to be one of the best around. To atone for our loss we climbed up Rd. 6210 and took Chickamin Tie to Chickamin Ridge and descended back down to the Chiwawa River Road where we turned right and rode 4 miles back to Finner Creek. Chickamin Tie splits in two after 2.2 miles and you can take Minnow Creek or Chickamin Ridge but we had ridden Minnow Creek before so the chance to explore a new trail was exciting even if it wasn’t what we had intended to ride.

Taking a break on Rock Creek Tie



The freshly (and correctly) updated turn-by-turn directions and a map on evergreenmtb.org can be found here.
 

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Nice report and loop. Usually do that as an out and back. (The descent back down is awesome and you get a pre-view on the way up.) How were trail conditions? Any blow down and still really brushy on that one section of Rock Creek?

Usually this is a good early/late ride because despite the no-moto deal, it gets pounded into deep talcum by the equestrian crowd by mid summer. Especially Rock Creek before the junction.

Another option is searching Dnalrag here on mtbr . ;)

And, IMHO (and, I have a lot of them...) ;) Chik Tie from the top to where you joined is, "the best" in the area. But, adding lower Chik Tie and chikamin is very worthy. The new (ish) re-route down to Chiwawa is a grin inducing blast that will make that road ride back up worthwhile.

Nice camping at Riverbend CG right there as well.

May have to get out there soon. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Basalt Peak Conditions

Trail conditions were great, not too dusty and I think only one or two blowdowns to speak of. There was that one section where work had obviously been done to repair the landslide but other than that it was smooth sailing.

There were about two or three sections on Rock Creek and RC Tie that were brushy enough that we had to walk because we couldn't see the trail.

We're headed back later this week to ride the portion that we didn't get to ride!! :)
 

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rbwen said:
Trail conditions were great, not too dusty and I think only one or two blowdowns to speak of. There was that one section where work had obviously been done to repair the landslide but other than that it was smooth sailing.

There were about two or three sections on Rock Creek and RC Tie that were brushy enough that we had to walk because we couldn't see the trail.

We're headed back later this week to ride the portion that we didn't get to ride!! :)
Let me know when. I would like to join you.
 

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We almost, and should have, gone there Sunday. Instead we did a brutal Nason Ridge loop which I'll post on elsewhere.

Did Basalt from the road side 2 years ago. Don't feel too bad on missing the descent; I don't think there was that much more mileage after that turn off. Not nearly as good as Chikamin. Must be all the berms! :)

Glad to see FB getting out on a weekend. Say hello from SP at MQP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Basalt Peak Continued

Went back today and finished off the ride the correct way. Yippee! Here is the updated ride report. The climb up is WELL worth it.

Basalt Peak – July 12 and July 22, 2010

We headed out to the Lake Wenatchee/Plain area to tackle the Basalt Peak ride. We were excited because supposedly this is the only trail in the Lake Wenatchee area that does not allow motorcycles. Rumors of a trail that has a distinctly different feel to it than others in the area were in the forefront of our minds. We parked at Finner Creek Campground about 13 miles up Chiwawa River Rd. and continued on our bikes up the road about 2 miles to the Rock Creek campground and our trailhead. Finner Creek has three camping spots, an outhouse, and water. There is a trail that parallels the road from Finner Creek to Rock Creek if you want to ride trail the whole way. To access this trail start up the Finner Ridge trail and there is a junction in about 50 yards where you’ll go left. For the sake of speed we took the road. Make sure to register at the trailhead to let the powers that be know that mountain bikers are trail users too.

Our goal was to ascend the Rock Creek trail to the Rock Creek Tie trail and then down the Basalt Peak trail back to our car. The total elevation on the climb is over 3,500 feet in about 7 miles. The descent is less as it takes a more direct route to the valley floor. It took us 3 hours of decent climbing reach the summit.

The first 100 yards of trail was moderately steep but then it settled down for the 2.2-mile climb to Rock Creek Tie. Along the way there were three creek crossings and one landslide that had been repaired but was not rideable. The riding on this section was nice and pleasant with a few steep sections here and there. Overall it was generally an intermediate climb on a nice trail, albeit a bit brushy at times. It is forested and there are not too many rocks and roots.

A little ways after the third creek crossing we turned right on Rock Creek Tie and things started to get steeper. There were 13 switchbacks from here to the saddle at 5,200 feet and this trail climbed almost 2,000 feet in about 2 miles. Most of this trail can be ridden but there are a few brushy or steep spots that will require you to get off and do some short hike-a-biking. At the saddle you have an option to go left to Garland Peak but we turned right onto Basalt Peak Trail. In about 100 steep yards there was another junction. To get to the summit of Basalt Peak (5,700 ft) continue straight. If you turn left you can ride 1.5 miles down a steep trail that will take you to Chickamin Rd., about 4 miles up from Chiwawa River Rd.

The riding from here up to the peak is the hardest on the route but when you’re that close to the summit and you can almost taste your epic downhill it usually doesn’t matter how steep the last little bit is. Another junction will come up pretty quickly but stay left and continue to ascend. My description of this last 2 miles was that it was more mountain than biking. You’ll probably push about 1/3 of the way and ride 2/3 of the way up some rocky trail sections but the views start to open up and in about 30+ minutes you’ll reach your destination. There are a few false summits and a few loose, rocky stretches but you’ll finally come to another junction where your descent trail starts to head down to the left.

At this point you can start heading down or take the right turn and about ¼ mile later you’ll see the splendid sights of the Glacier Peak Wilderness area and the Chiwawa River Valley. From here you have a few options. You can retrace your steps and bomb back down Rock Creek Tie and Rock Creek or head back to the last junction and take a right. This was our goal and it was well worth the struggle on the way up. You’ll speed down this great trail for about 30-45 minutes without doing a whole lot of pedaling. There were upwards of 25+ switchbacks to navigate all of which are rideable. This trail starts out at the top with a little bit of loose rock but keep in the back of your mind that the further you descend the better the trail gets and before you know it you’ll find yourself at the bottom with a permanent grin. The lower part is fast and covered with pine needles and has the occasional root but it’s basically rock-free. You start to notice the absence of the normal rutted-out, dusty sections and whoop-dee-doos that normally accompany a trail that allows motorcycles.

About halfway down there is a spur to the right that takes you to a viewpoint and shortly after that another spur to the left that takes you to Chickamin Rd. 6210. Both of these junctions have signs. Avoid these unless you want to catch the sights or add on Minnow Creek/Chickamin Ridge to your adventure. Stay on the main trail and continue down the 4+ miles to Finner Creek.

The freshly updated turn-by-turn directions and a map on evergreenmtb.org can be found here:

http://evergreenmtb.org/wiki/index.php?title=Trail:Basalt_Peak
 

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That's a great loop. :thumbsup:

Finner Creek is a pretty fun descent, though I thought the lower section was monotonous; no flow to the trail. Like they laid out the switchbacks with a clinometer and a tape. I think Upper Minnow Ridge trail is a better descent off Basalt (stay straight at the junction ~ a mile down from the top) though it drops down to the Chikamin Road rather than back to the Chiwawa. The OAB to Basalt Peak is a fun way to do the ride too; Rock Creek Tie is a ripper trail DH.

Sounds like you descended the Basalt Pass Trail the first time up there. That is pretty steep, isn't it! :eekster: Pinchflat's favorite way to finish the Dnalrag Loop. I don't think I'll ride it again, it seems like a shameful waste of vertical....
 

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gearz said:
That's a great loop. :thumbsup:

Finner Creek is a pretty fun descent, though I thought the lower section was monotonous; no flow to the trail. Like they laid out the switchbacks with a clinometer and a tape. I think Upper Minnow Ridge trail is a better descent off Basalt (stay straight at the junction ~ a mile down from the top) though it drops down to the Chikamin Road rather than back to the Chiwawa. The OAB to Basalt Peak is a fun way to do the ride too; Rock Creek Tie is a ripper trail DH.

Sounds like you descended the Basalt Pass Trail the first time up there. That is pretty steep, isn't it! :eekster: Pinchflat's favorite way to finish the Dnalrag Loop. I don't think I'll ride it again, it seems like a shameful waste of vertical....
I had no complaints with the Finner descent but I do want to check out the Minnow trail, too.
 
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