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Last word is all yours...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rode the Suntop/Skookum loop yesterday with Jimba and a buddy of his. I was worried about the weather the whole drive down from Issaquah, since it was raining the entire time. Once we got to Greenwater, the rain had stopped and the cloud cover was looking a little less threatening. Arrived at the lower Skookum lot at about 9:30 and the conditions were damp but promising.

It turned out to be perfect weather, as it was cool enough to temper the climb and just moist enough for the tread to be tacky on the way down, but not too moist to be sticky, and no dust at all. Perfect! The fall colors at the lookout were dazzling, though it was a bit chilly up top. We basically had the whole mountain to ourselves - a few days-old tracks on the trail, and no other cars at either lot. Only a few dismounts apiece on Suntop and Skookum, due to recent blowdown.

The big surprise for me was that there were basically no puddles and no mud anywhere - I really can't overstate how good the trail conditions are right now, but I'd guess there is a short expiration on that.
 

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Yup, just like i said at the bottom of Suntop, I didn't think the conditions could be much better and I would take yesterdays temp and a bit of moisture over hot and dry any time.

Good time was had.
 

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Biking Like Crazy!
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R1de, we acted on your Suntop RR and ripped it today (10/16).
Blue skys and tacky dirt, it doesn't get much better than that!
And Skookum wasn't half bad either!:thumbsup:
 

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Thanks - a "healthy ride" is exactly what I'm shooting for. Your report inspired me to ditch work tomorrow and enjoy the weather before it turns.

Are there any tricky bits (navigationally speaking) to the loop? Dalles River to Dalles CG, then FR7150 to Hwy 410, TR1198 to TR1199, then back to TR1194 via TR1169 after Camp Sheppard, does that sound about right?
 

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Last word is all yours...
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks - a "healthy ride" is exactly what I'm shooting for. Your report inspired me to ditch work tomorrow and enjoy the weather before it turns.
:thumbsup:

Are there any tricky bits (navigationally speaking) to the loop? Dalles River to Dalles CG, then FR7150 to Hwy 410, TR1198 to TR1199, then back to TR1194 via TR1169 after Camp Sheppard, does that sound about right?
Yeah, that sounds right. There aren't really too many tricky bits, but if you're a first-timer there and solo, here are a few tips:

At the upper Skookum TH heading downriver (NW), take the left fork at the first junction within 50 yards of getting started. It will quickly lead to a small bridge crossing.

About 1/2 way through you'll come to another fork, signed #1194 - take that.

As you head back up the road (410) to get to the lower White River TH, keep your eye out for a small, clear, pullout on the left side of the highway. It's easy to miss, but the trail begins there (and there is a sign, tucked away in the trees). It's right after the rock wall ends. You'll know you're in the right place because it will begin really steep and make you think twice! Just hang with it, it's brutal but short.

Once you're heading east on White River, generally keep to the right. If you decide you've had enough, there are a number of places that cut down to the road early.

Best bet is to print the topo maps and turn-by-turn directions from the wiki entries and pack them with you - and compass, just in case.

Good luck and have fun, post a report when you get back.
 

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Did the loop today as promised, very fun loop. Your directions were spot on, the only place I got messed up was crossing 410 on TR1169 - dove down the trail right on the other side of the road, which dropped me down close to the river after a couple of switchbacks. I kind of lost the trail there, I saw a few flagged trees, but they weren't the guide I was hoping for. Went out to the river proper and didn't see a crossing anywhere right nearby (even though I could see the SF trail on the other side), so I just went back up to 410 and rode the mile or so to the upper TH. Went down the road next to the airstrip and back on the trail behind the Buck Creek campsites for an extra couple of miles, just for kicks.

Other than a dog chasing me for a bit at Camp Sheppard, no other surprises. Absolutely perfect weather and just the right sort of "healthy ride" I was looking for. Thanks again for the tips and inspiration, maybe next year I'll be ready for the bigger 410 rides!
 
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