Basic map

3-D view

Elevation profile

By: Liam Wescott

This a fun and not too long ride that is not too technical but will give you a workout regardless.  It takes about 2.5 hours to complete.  A determined rider or group of riders could probably do it in under two hours but most people will probably take between two to three hours to do it.  If you want to go slow and mellow, it will take longer than three hours.  It is around 16 miles in length and there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2300 feet of total elevation gain.  If it is a hot day, bring lots of water and an energy bar or two.  You will need both.

There are two ways to start this ride.  The first way (the one that is mapped) is to drive up the Elliott Highway about 3.5 miles to Old Murphy Dome Road.  You can either park at Old Murphy Dome Road itself or you can park across the street and up the road a little bit at a turnout.  The other way would be to drive up Old Murphy Dome Road to the Pipeline corridor.  Assuming you parked at the intersection of Old Murphy Dome Road and the Elliott, ride up Old Murphy Dome Road for about six miles or so.  You will climb several hills, make two or three fast descents along the way but at just under six miles in from the Elliott, just before the crest of a little hill, you will see an ATV double-track going off the road uphill to the ridge to the right.  You will see this ridge off to the north as you top out on the last major hill on Old Murphy Dome Road.

You can either turn right here or continue on up Old Murphy Dome Road for a little bit and take a road going off to the right.  Either way takes you to the same place.  The double-track is what is mapped.  It is a short, grinding little climb you will have to do in granny gear.  It tops out at a little clearing where the road coming off of Old Murphy Dome Road comes in from the left.  Continue on down this road for a fast, somewhat technical descent through and around several ruts, rooty spots, muddy areas, puddles, etc.  After about three quarters of a mile, the road forks.  Take the right fork and continue on down the ridge.  The road continues along and comes to another fork.  Take the left fork here.  It continues on up and down along the ridge and goes around by someone's house/homestead.  It drops down, climbs up through a long, bumpy, and rooty section that requires some technical skill to negotiate, and eventually after about five or six miles from Old Murphy Dome Road, you emerge onto a really big, wide trail.  You cannot miss this trail.  Turn right here and go up a little rise then down a steep, fast descent that has several lateral berms right across the trail and if you're not careful, you could get some unexpected air time leading to a nasty crash quite a bit away from immediate help.  Assuming you don't stack, you come out at the bottom of the hill at Treasure Creek.

You come to a three-way intersection.  Turning right takes you up to a large fence (as of June, 2003) that blocks off the road (which leads to an active mining claim).  There are several emphatic "No Tresspassing" and "Danger, Blasting" signs on and around the fence.  If you turn left, you will eventually end up back on the Elliott Highway, near the Hilltop Cafe..  The only other way to go is straight ahead across the bridge and straight uphill.  This first hill is a gnarly, grungy climb whose grade is probably somewhere around 25-30% and most people will have to push their bikes most of the way up.  If you can ride all the way up to the top of this hill, you are not human.

You climb this hill, it levels off, then drops down a bit, then climbs back up before finally leveling off and then climbing again right before you get to Old Murphy Dome Road, roughly five or six miles from where you first entered this big, wide trail.  Turn left and ride back to your car.