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By: Tom Clark

Ride is about 15 miles long, with about 2500 feet elevation gain. There are some seriously steep descents, featuring a lot of ruts and erosion, so you need to be good at handling your bike and know your limits. The ascents are just as steep, with sustained 20% and higher grades. So, bring water and food.

Park at the gravel turnaround at the end of the pavement on Gilmore Trail. Ride up Gilmore Trail for about two miles. You'll come to a big "Y" intersection. (Ignore the one that you pass at about 1.6 miles. You'll come out on that.) Veer left at this intersection, then take your next left.

From this point on, you'll stay on this main 4x4 road. Use caution going down this hill. It is full of ruts, and deeply eroded channels. Brakes are a good thing. After it flattens out, it becomes a serenely rolling route, passing the occasional bit of interesting mining related hardware. Stop and admire stuff, but show respect and don't mess with anything. This is a private road on private property, and it's doubtful that the property owners want their stuff damaged or misplaced.

At somewhere around mile six (6) the road abruptly turns north. Go with the flow, man. Now you'll parallel Victoria Creek a ways, and pass more intersting bits and wide open clearings that, if you picked nice weather, seem like a fine place to dip your feet in the creek and catch some rays.

Keep following the road. It gradually climbs to about mile eight (8) where things get tough. The grade changes quickly to about 20%, as high as 27%, and requires a fair bit of traction and stamina to pedal up. There's a break partway up the climb that's well worth stopping at.

Finally, 1800 feet higher than when you started, you intersect with another dirt road. Turn left, uphill. Going the other way looks like a good adventure, but that's outside the scope of this write-up. Ride up the hill and when you start coasting down the other side, be on the lookout for a "Y" intersection. Your route goes down to the left. (Going right is fine too, and is used in the Pipeline Viewpoint ride description.

Anyway, going down the hill, follow this wide road (use caution) for a half mile or so. The wide road turns left, and the four-wheeler trail continues straight. You go straight, on up the hill. You will come to a "Y" intersection at about mile eleven - or so. For fun, continue straight on up, as mapped. Taking the right means less elevation gain and a mellower downhill, but since you did the other descents, you must like speed.

At the top of the hill, there's a rock outcrop that's very worth visiting. There's good 360 degree visibility, and it's pretty quiet too. Nice spot. Back on the bikes, go ripping down the hill, being aware that not only are there a lot of ruts and roots and rocks, there are loose roots and loose rocks that make the descent all the wilder. You'll see where the detour meets up near the bottom. Keep on going down, and up the other side of the saddle.

Now, all you do is ride. This road (I've heard it called the "Trapper Trail") will connect back up with Gilmore trail. There's a few intersections along the way, but you'd have to really convince yourself to go the wrong way. Stay on the main path, and you are golden.

At Gilmore Trail, turn right and head back to the cars, about 1.5 miles away. There you go. Virtually all road, but the descents and ascents make up for it.