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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Headed to Prescott on Saturday looking for a good day in the saddle and thought I had one planned out that connected 62, 9854, 299,Spruce Mountain Road, 297, and 305. Seven miles up and ten down. I was really looking forward to Smith Ravine and 305 since the reviews were effervescing with praise. Made it to 297 no problem after about 3 hours but then all hell broke loose. Cosmic forces at work put me at the trailhead with some dirtbikers and after conversing with them made me believe that they had come up Smith Ravine. They said the TH wasn't signed b/c they clearly weren't allowed on this trail. This would turn out to be true. They turned and headed back the way they came and I followed thinking they were going back down 297. Wrong. They came up 9854 off of which this trail splits, and yes, it is not signed. I took this trail thinking it was right and it royally sucked. I ended up back almost at the 62 and 9854 intersection after 6 miles and 2.5 hours. I was looking for a 1hour burn down 297 and 305. I though my climbing was over. I have never cursed a trail so much. I was worked when I got the the 297 TH and to have 2.5 hours of mostly HAB after was intolerable. I was back to where I was about three hours ago. I wanted to turn around many places but I had dropped in so far down from the 297 TH I didn't want to. My question: does anyone know this trail? WTF is it and why was it not on my maps from the US Forest Service? It looks like I went up/down Sawmill Gulch and up Benjamin Gulch. Mucho pain. Mucho HAB. I was spent when I started it. Has anyone else been on this trail? Anyone familiar with this torment? To say I was dissappointed is an understatement. I wanted my sweet downhill to the car! All I got was pain and HAB. Here's some GPS so you can help me out. Came down 7 Mile Gulch but would have much rather come down 297 and 305.

Smith ravine is to the left. 7 Mile Gulch is to the right. 299 and Spruce Mt. Rd. are up along the ridge. Inbetween is POS trail #1 (my name). You are looking to the west. I added Smith ravine for reference. I rode up 62 as well but I was out for so long (6 hours) that my GPS started overwriting earlier data. That's why its not there. Lynx Lake bottom right corner.


Here's a 2D to help orientate youself a bit. North is up. It is spun 90 degrees CCW from the 3D. 7 Mile to the north. Smith ravine to the south. POS #1 is north/south in the middle.


I would steer anyone away from this trail unless they are your mortal enemy or you just hate yourself. Either way you enter you have to go up to get out and for mortals it is not ride-able. Anyone have experience with this trail?

Totals for the day: 18 miles, ~8500 ft of climbing, 5 hours, 53 minutes. no sweet downhill. (7 Mile might count but I just wanted out by then.)

If I didn't see these bikers, I probably would have been all right. Three hours of riding and probably only a 5 minute window of meeting them. They were up and out and I followed like a lost sheep.


However, the rest of the ride was excellent. All in all, I'm looking forward to getting it right. The rest of the loop was excellent. Here's some 299.

 

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Wow. That is an epic navigation malfunction. If you just would have stayed right after the gate...

I have never been on that trail, but have noticed it, and just thought it was a look out or something. Never explored it. I didn't even know it was there.

So, it was worse than 62?
 

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Dag Nabbit said:
Any one have Trail #62 GPS data? I'd like to have it to add to my ride since it was overwitten.
PM me your email and I'll send you one.

There are at least two distinct layers of moto trails between the paved Walker road and the ridge going north from Spruce. The only one I found worthwhile is lower in elevation than that which you rode. Best ridden (no GPS of this one) by taking the first dirt road left turn going north from the Ravine Trail parking lot. You'll likely have to hop a gate immediately. Ride a mile or so up the road and look for the trail shooting off to the right. When last I rode it (over a year ago) it took to "the jump" on Seven Mile road without too much drama, and unless in mid-summer looseness, was 100% rideable on a geared bike.

Of course, just going down 305 is much better for all but locals looking for variety.
 

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To be clear, your pic shows the 297 (Smith Ravine) TH. You go right along the fence for a little bit, then veer away downhill (to the fun part).

The moto trail you rode is illegal and unsustainable. Entertaining only because it's steep as hell. (I rode it once, which was quite enough.) 62 is chunk. That thing at it's worst is fall line throttle-twister kitty litter.

Bummer.
 

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HaHaHaHaHa!!!! This kind of adventure happens to me all the time. It does make for a more interesting time. Even though you hate it now, it'll make for a good story later.

If you don't mind, I am going to quote you in my sig for a bit.
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Enel said:
Wow. That is an epic navigation malfunction. If you just would have stayed right after the gate...

I have never been on that trail, but have noticed it, and just thought it was a look out or something. Never explored it. I didn't even know it was there.

So, it was worse than 62?
Malfunction indeed. I should have done more navigating and less talking. Just stay right....I was so close! Give it a try if you want to punish yourself. Might be a bit more tolerable north to south but the climb out of the south end is steep and loose. Especially after it was made into kitty litter.

I would ride 62 ten times before I rode that again but I was far from fresh and the sun had broke through the clouds on my HAB back up so my judgement may be a bit blurred by rage and utter fatigue. I'm looking forward to 62 again. It was a good solid burn without breaking me down. (It had a fair share of HAB as well but an acceptable level....)
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ionsmuse said:
To be clear, your pic shows the 297 (Smith Ravine) TH. You go right along the fence for a little bit, then veer away downhill (to the fun part).
At least I made it to the right TH. This right turn is now seared into my brain. Still dreaming of "The Fun Part"!
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mountainflow said:
HaHaHaHaHa!!!! This kind of adventure happens to me all the time. It does make for a more interesting time. Even though you hate it now, it'll make for a good story later.

If you don't mind, I am going to quote you in my sig for a bit.
Not the first time for me either but probably the worst. I mostly feel bad because I missed the good stuff. Good excuse to return.

Quote away. If others may sense an inkling of my pain in a sig, I'll take it. I think mid next week I'll be able to laugh at myself.
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And as a final piece to my therapy, heres a color visualization of HAB. This is a speed shaded view of the ride. Green is moving. Light blue is climbing slowly (riding) and the dark blue is HAB. Evil, evil HAB. The average speed for POS Trail #1 was about 2.4 mph. Length: 6 miles.

Coming up Benjamin Gulch was real sucky....

 

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Tucson, AZ
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Mind if I ask a few questions also on this thread? We were riding in the Prescott area this last week and came into a few problem areas.

1. Anyone ever ridden the Martin Trail 103 from 89a on Mingus, just west of Jerome? It drops down to the Powerline, the could be used to connect to the Great Western Trail/318A, then on to Perkinsville or Jerome. We tried to connect this via an old forest road that has since been changed into a residential area. We are hoping to take the Martin route instead of the route we took that was west of the Mingus.

2. Is riding up Trail 106 on Mingus easier/harder than taking FR 413 over to Black Canyon, then climbing up to the Mingus Recreation Area? The other option would be up 105A. We went up Trail 106 from FR413 last Friday and had to hike a few long sections. We are riding up Mingus from Cottonwood and hope to have the most singletrack possible (rideable at times, but hike-a-bike is ok from time to time then over to Yaeger (Trail #28--which is amazing, BTW).

Here is the route we have now:


The Black Canyon Route from the road up the "pack trail" aka, Black Canyon

 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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ionsmuse said:
The moto trail you rode is illegal and unsustainable. Entertaining only because it's steep as hell. (I rode it once, which was quite enough.) 62 is chunk. That thing at it's worst is fall line throttle-twister kitty litter.

Bummer.
Same here. I've done the one in the picture, but it royally sucked. Might be worth letting the Forest Service know, as it is highly illegal (and you got pictures of em). "Smith Ravine" is also a road, as well as there's an older trail that was also known as "Smith Ravine".
 

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azepicriderandrunner said:
2. Is riding up Trail 106 on Mingus easier/harder than taking FR 413 over to Black Canyon, then climbing up to the Mingus Recreation Area? The other option would be up 105A.
Both of those trails are way shorter than FR413, but they are crazy-rock-garden trails for the DH direction. Going up would royally suck, the closer you get to the top the less ridable it will be. They are very steep/rocky and I wouldn't attempt to ride up them.
 

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Jayem said:
Both of those trails are way shorter than FR413, but they are crazy-rock-garden trails for the DH direction. Going up would royally suck, the closer you get to the top the less ridable it will be. They are very steep/rocky and I wouldn't attempt to ride up them.
Thanks Jayem for the info, I'll probably take the Black Canyon route based on what you said and our ride last week. We did ride up Trail 106, it was not that bad for the first 1/2 mile or so, then it turned into a hike-a-bike every so often.
 

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In that one pic of the motos, one rider is on one side of the gate, the other 2 are on the other... Did one manage to get his moto over the gate, or did he/they ride around the gate and fence somehow?
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Velokid1 said:
In that one pic of the motos, one rider is on one side of the gate, the other 2 are on the other... Did one manage to get his moto over the gate, or did he/they ride around the gate and fence somehow?
Oh yeah he got it over. When I pulled up he was huffing it through. He then realized he wasn't where he was supposed to be and flung it back through. They need a gate like that on the other TH off of 7 Mile where they came in also (even though it wasn't too effective here). There wasn't any signage there which isn't good b/c they are allowed on 7 Mile and can zip right onto this trail. At least put a sign up to psychologically deter people. I thought he was BS-ing me but when I got there about three hours later, sure enough, no sign. I'm sure he could have been playing dumb too. Who knows.
 

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Dag Nabbit said:
When I pulled up he was huffing it through. He then realized he wasn't where he was supposed to be and flung it back through.

I thought he was BS-ing me but when I got there about three hours later, sure enough, no sign. I'm sure he could have been playing dumb too. Who knows.
I think the gate should have been a good indicator they shouldn't have been there. A lot of these guys know they shouldn't be there and play dumb, why else would you cross a gate that's clearly designed to keep off road machines out but then turn around when you see a mtb? Sorry to get off topic :)
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
AKA Monkeybutt said:
I think the gate should have been a good indicator they shouldn't have been there.
I agree. They should've taken the road back down or something other than head back they way they came which was now clearly illegal even though there was no gate at the other end where it hits 9854. If I'd have had more sense I should have let them have it but being my first time there I felt more like a visitor than an ambassador. This wont' happen next time! I've been educated. Riding through their shredded corners was no fun.
 
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