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i'm actually considering heading down for the last weekend this month. Already have about 3 people on the fence, only schedules holding them back really.... You're more than welcome to join my pack.
 

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Nice, I did that loop many moons ago starting from Ape Canyon and ending with the climb out. I understand Smith Creek trail has improved a lot over the years, when I did it Smith creek was terrible and the bushwacking at the bottom didn't improve things.
 

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Which way did you ride on this map? Which sections are downhill and which are uphill?

smith creek = DH
ape canyon = UpH
Windy ridge? = upH or DH?

Which would be more fun to do DH, Ape or Smith trails? Differences?

 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Thats one BIG map! Resize?

MicroHuck said:
Which way did you ride on this map? Which sections are downhill and which are uphill?

smith creek = DH
ape canyon = UpH
Windy ridge? = upH or DH?

Which would be more fun to do DH, Ape or Smith trails? Differences?

Here's the ride description from the guidebook. https://www.nwsource.com/outdoors/scr/of_detail.cfm?category=biking&rt=41382
There's a map too.

You are right with Smith =DH etc. Windy is downhill when you do the loop CW as suggested.
We did the Smith DH, it was great. Read the guide description. Pumice surfin'. Going up Smith Creek isn't really even an option due to the miles of loose pumice tread which would be a bear to climb. Ape looks like a fun DH; totally different than Smith --smooth and compact singletrack perfect for a HT but essentially non-technical. You'd have to watch out for hikers ripping down this popular trail, no one but bikers head down Smith. If you want to do the Loop you pretty much have to do the ride CW. Where you start the loop is the only question.

These are xc trails and you won't find big drops, jumps, or ladders....

Pictures are first crossing of Smith Creek and waterfall in Smith Creek valley...
 

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Now that I think of it, wouldn't starting this loop at Ape Canyon be the safer route? What
happens if we're 4/5 the way down smith creek and someone gets hurt? It's more difficult
to go uphill hurt than it is downhill.

I'm going to try starting at Ape Canyon and then doing the same route you did. It would be
cool to ride down Windy Ridge and Smith Creek after a giant climb up ape and plains.


Anyone try this route?
 

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NedwannaB
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Resize it???.......

.......if it bothered you soooo much, why didn't you resize/omit from your reply?? :confused:

Does make it look like alot of ground to cover I guess......nice write up/pix there gearz :D
 

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Man alive that was a great day. The mountain seems to have been owned by Intense bikes that day; 3 of the 5 bikers I encountered were riding them. And I notice one of your crew, gearz, was riding one too. Weird. I hope Smith Creek was worth it, because I thoroughly enjoyed the out-and-back from Ape Canyon trailhead. Descending through the plains and down through the forest to the parking lot was the most fun I've had in a long time, and I totally recommend it. When I was at the Windy Ridge parking lot (noonish) I didn't see any mtbr's, did you guys get a late start?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Too late at that point.....

JMac47 said:
.......if it bothered you soooo much, why didn't you resize/omit from your reply?? :confused:

Does make it look like alot of ground to cover I guess......nice write up/pix there gearz :D
for me to do anything about it so I just kept up the status quo. How he ever got a 6MB bitmap file up in the first place is a mystery to me.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hey Carlo where were you?

carlo said:
Man alive that was a great day. The mountain seems to have been owned by Intense bikes that day; 3 of the 5 bikers I encountered were riding them. And I notice one of your crew, gearz, was riding one too. Weird. I hope Smith Creek was worth it, because I thoroughly enjoyed the out-and-back from Ape Canyon trailhead. Descending through the plains and down through the forest to the parking lot was the most fun I've had in a long time, and I totally recommend it. When I was at the Windy Ridge parking lot (noonish) I didn't see any mtbr's, did you guys get a late start?
We left Windy Ridge parking lot at 11am and were back at 6pm. We were climbing up Ape and the Plains in the late afternoon. Didn't see any bikers but we did see some fresh tracks. I did see a car in the Ape parking lot with Yakima racks, was that you? Yes Kenny rides an 5.5 with a minute 1 and swinger 4-way. Pretty sweet ride.

What a day it was for sure. I bet coming back down Ape was killer. It would be a good out and back ride certainly. Dropping Smith Creek is an adventure worth checking out, next time you should try the Loop.
 

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MicroHuck said:
I'm going to try starting at Ape Canyon and then doing the same route you did. It would be
cool to ride down Windy Ridge and Smith Creek after a giant climb up ape and plains.

Anyone try this route?
No just like Carlo i went up Ape Canyon thru the Plains then turned around and went back. It's a great way of doing it. If you're not a strong climber Ape Canyon can be taxing so just take it easy, after that you have it made.
Non techy but super epic in views and when you're in the Plains it's like your riding on the Moon. Only more surreal ride i did was riding Skyline trail on Halakalea in Maui Hawaii. That was like i was on Mars.
gearz has it pegged Ape Canyon is hiker and climbing biker heavy. So you have to be on the alert, we started as early as we could but still ran into traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
MicroHuck said:
Now that I think of it, wouldn't starting this loop at Ape Canyon be the safer route? What
happens if we're 4/5 the way down smith creek and someone gets hurt? It's more difficult
to go uphill hurt than it is downhill.

I'm going to try starting at Ape Canyon and then doing the same route you did. It would be
cool to ride down Windy Ridge and Smith Creek after a giant climb up ape and plains.

Anyone try this route?
If you start at Ape Trailhead and finish with Smith Creek you've still got to get back up to the Ape Trailhead from the bottom of Smith Creek. That's quite a hole down there. I read a report of a rider bonking on the 8322 Road climb back up to Ape TH doing the loop that way and had to wait for the rest of the crew to come back with the car to get them. Be sure and take the 'secret hidden road' back up to Ape TH just before you get to Lava Canyon Trail #184 and you'll save youself a ford of the Muddy River and a few extra miles of road riding. It worked well for us and was the only divergence we made from the Zilly route. Enjoy!
 

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NedwannaB
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Just razz'n......

gearz said:
to do anything about it so I just kept up the status quo. How he ever got a 6MB bitmap file up in the first place is a mystery to me.....
...I was gonna say, that map size required alot of manuvering in the screen too see the posts!!

Spectacular scenery in your site, Brian, if this is you.What part of Washington are you guys in? Have to get up there some day & check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Exactly, what a PITA it is...

JMac47 said:
...I was gonna say, that map size required alot of manuvering in the screen too see the posts!!

Spectacular scenery in your site, Brian, if this is you.What part of Washington are you guys in? Have to get up there some day & check it out.
Scrolling back and forth because that map is so huge. Oh well what can you do!
Thanks for the website comment, Its mine. I need to update it with some new pics soon.
Most of us are in the greater Seattle area. Come on up for a bike trip, we'll show you some good rides!
P>S> Hey JMac we're the same age! 47 years young! You got about six months on me though. ;)
 

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NedwannaB
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I'll trade ya!....

gearz said:
P>S> Hey JMac we're the same age! 47 years young! You got about six months on me though. ;)
.......after a 50 miler with loads of altitude last Sat, 2-25 mi rides during the week & another hard 20 (ok....somewhat hard??) yesterday all on the SS, I think I've burned up about 6 mounths of myself!! :eek: heh...48 next month....Thanx for reminding me......

Ride trip? Let's see if I can get this straight:

My "X" wifes Moms 3rd husbands son...:confused: uhmm, yah that's right....lives in Vancover,Wash. I'm sure I could borrow a couch @ his place at some point. Doesn't seem like too far to go using him as home base?? Have to check into it.

Later-Jeff
 

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WOW.... your pictures make me excited about visiting Washington. As soon as my sister sells her house on Bainbridge and moves to Ottawal (?).... it's close to the national forest I guess.... I'll be up there in a heart beat. It's probably old news to you, but did you know Mnt Bike magazine had a 4-5 page article on Mt. Helens? Ever since I've read it (in the April/May issue) I've been dying to go there! You guys sure are blessed with some epic trails out there and some epic scenery! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
That is correct

icegeek said:
So you can't ride #184?
184 is closed to bikes. Here's the deal: When you get to the bottom of Smith Trail you've got to get to the other side of the Muddy River to access the 8322 Road. The bridge is washed out. You have three choices at this point:
1) Ford the river as per the Zilly Guide route description to get to the 8322 Road
2) You can ride up Trail 184 a mile to the suspension bridge across the river and backtrack on the other side a mile to avoid the ford. Two miles of riding to avoid the ford. The 184 Trail is closed to bikes upstream of the suspension bridge. Apparently this trail goes through a precipitous canyon. The trail even has a 40' ladder section. Or you can...
3) Climb up the 'hidden secret road' which is not shown on any maps (besides old ones because it is officially decommisoned by the FS) which turns off Smith Creek Trail about 200 yards north of the 184 Trail and roughly parrallels the Trail as it climbs to the Ape Canyon parking lot. This is what we did and this is the way it was recommended to us to do the ride. The 'hidden road' is kind of hard to find at first but becomes more distinct after a couple hundred yards and is a good route for climbing back up to Ape from the bottom of Smith. Why the guidebook author didn't go this way is a mystery to me. Hope this makes sense--here's the link to the guidebook route description http://www.nwsource.com/outdoors/scr/of_detail.cfm?category=biking&rt=41382
 

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Skookum said:
i'm actually considering heading down for the last weekend this month. Already have about 3 people on the fence, only schedules holding them back really.... You're more than welcome to join my pack.
Skookum,

Thanks for the invite. I have to be back in Afghanistan the last week of June so I am going to hit it this week.

Thanks again!

ZDFG
 
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