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  1. #1
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    Mt Elden loop Monday

    Going to ride Mt Elden loop this Monday for the first time with the ride buddies. We plan to start at Schultz creek parking and ride Elden lookout road to sunset and around to Schultz and back to start.

    Two questions for the knowledgeable out there. How killer is the ride up Elden lookout road? And is it better (funner) to park at buffalo park and ride up lower Oldham up to lookout and start the loop that way?

    This is the first time any of us have ridden flag and want a great 3 to 5 hr ride to make the most of the drive up there. Any advice would be great and I know there are a lot of bad a** riders on the forum with lots of great advice.

  2. #2
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    Roads are no fun. I would start at the Y. Go up Schultz Creek trail to Sunset trail to upper brookbank to little gnarly to AZT trails and downhill on of the motos.

  3. #3
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    The OP's route is the good ole' Flagstaff classic. The climb up Elden Lookout rd, while boring, is direct and there is no other trail in Flag like upper Sunset and the catwalk. Go all the way to the radio towers if you can. As for Buffalo Park, it's a great way to start a ride because of the views. Avoid it if it's just rained, the backside can be muddy of the sticky variety. If your worried about the climb up Elden Lookout rd being taxing, avoid L. Oldham. It's a strenuous climb. There's an easier way from Buff Park if you stay left to the pipeline, cross at the corner and then take the connector trail northeast of the houses over to the road.
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  4. #4
    slower than you
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    The OP's route is the good ole' Flagstaff classic. The climb up Elden Lookout rd, while boring, is direct and there is no other trail in Flag like upper Sunset and the catwalk. Go all the way to the radio towers if you can. As for Buffalo Park, it's a great way to start a ride because of the views. Avoid it if it's just rained, the backside can be muddy of the sticky variety. If your worried about the climb up Elden Lookout rd being taxing, avoid L. Oldham. It's a strenuous climb. There's an easier way from Buff Park if you stay left to the pipeline, cross at the corner and then take the connector trail northeast of the houses over to the road.
    the ride down from the towers and across the mostly forgotten section of upper-upper sunset if quite the hairball right now. just fyi. a better choice if you wanna go "all the way" is to ride to the saddle where the trees open up, catch the view of town there, and then grab sunset at the turn-out on the east side of the road.
    "Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles." Ed Abbey
    http://www.rockychrysler.com/

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info. Very helpful. We will be going to the top and riding catwalk for sure. Just so may trails and so little time(one day) to ride them. Wish us luck. Will post some post ride pics for stoke.

  6. #6
    It ain't easy being Green
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    If you have five hours to spare then you have time to go up and down twice if you use the Elden Lookout fire road for the climbs. You can ride down on Upper Oldham/Lower Oldham/Rocky Ridge then climb back up and do Sunset & Catwalk the second time. I was in Flag two weeks ago; the monsoon has groomed the trails into a total traction-fest! Have fun!

  7. #7
    Happy Trails
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    Mt Elden loop Monday

    Bump. Good info. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Take your rain gear. Just my.02
    29'ers are the scientologists of the MTB world

  9. #9
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    Did this exact ride (OP) about a month ago. It rained on and off the entire time. One of the funnest days I've spent riding!
    "This fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream" - 311

  10. #10
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    Well back from the ride. Really a great and horrible time.

    Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03746.jpg
    The two shredders at the start (spidermonkey and luketheduke)
    Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03747.jpg
    Me, the fat guy about to try and keep up

    We started off on lookout road and decided to take a shortcut through upper Oldham. I am thinking that was a mistake. What a brutal climb that was. We finally got to the top and took a snapshot. That is when the thunder started, and clouds rolled in.

    Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03749.jpg
    View from the top
    Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03752.jpg
    Before the pain begins

    Started off on the catwalk. When they call it organ donor they mean it. No organs were left on that section but a piece of a carbon break lever was. The spider monkey, or that is what we call him because that is how he rides, almost took a flying dive of the side of the mountain on catwalk but did a flying monkey jump off the bike right before bike went off the edge and down the hill a short way. That is when the lever snapped, and that start of the pedal problem began.

    Rode down the rest of sunset which we were not prepared for on the hard tails. Steep and very rocky but fun if you just let go and pray till the bottom.

    At the intersection of sunset and upper brookbank my buddy's pedal broke off. Looked like the threads had been stripped. Tale of caution when buying a used bike. We continued on to upper brookbank. The monkey rode it with one pedal. He looked like a skate boarder pushing his bike up the hills with one foot.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]825444
    Upper brookbank

    Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03760.jpg
    Clif bar break on brookbank

    When we got the crossroads of little gnarly and lower we parted ways with our broken down friend. He would ride down lower brookbank to the car and the Duke and myself continued on to the best part of the ride and day.


    Parting ways

    The Duke and I went to do gnarly and stopped at a great before turning onto Shultz creek.

    Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03765.jpg
    Shultz creek intersection off little gnarly

    It started to rain and it was great. Not a heavy pour, or but a perfect ice cold, large droplet rain that cooled the body and refreshed the mind.

    All I have to say is Shultz creek trail was the best ride I have had on a bike so far. The whole trip I was wondering if the pain and suffering of the accent was worth it. Well it was! Fast, long, and amazing is what that trail is. Not without it's downs. The Duke sliced a sidewall on a rock section and had to ride half flat in the rear for the last part.

    When we got to the end and met up with the limper, we felt a obligation to have him right Shultz. We couldn't let him leave the mountain without that kind of thrill and excitement, especially since he was walking/coasting a lot of the way. I shuttle him and the Duke to the Shultz trail head and handed off my bike. Not without putting a tube in the cut sidewall tire and letting the other guy guide our friend down the trail.

    Needless to say a great time and an brutal ride if your not prepared for it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mt Elden loop Monday-dsc03759.jpg  


  11. #11
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    I can see climbing upper Oldham as horrible but the rest sounds like a good old fashioned mtn bike adventure ride. Thanks for the trip report
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  12. #12
    slower than you
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    my daughter, who's 8, already knows well The First Rule Of Mountain Biking: What does a mountain biker do when things go wrong? A mountain biker deals with it.

    kudos to your pal for living up to The First Rule and getting home.

    and, for the record, she's still learning (we all are) The Second Rule Of Mountain Biking: Always remember to bring a _____. ... where "blank" is whatever crucial thing you forgot to have in your pack during your last crisis... which in your case would be a spare pedal (or heli-coil... or crank arm). Duh!

    Two is a terribly difficult Rule to follow.
    "Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles." Ed Abbey
    http://www.rockychrysler.com/

  13. #13
    It ain't easy being Green
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    The key question is: would you do it again? That would of course involve rule #3...

  14. #14
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    Sounds like a perfect mtn biking adventure. I still remember the dent I put in the downtube on my first mtn bike during a fall on the catwalk. That was at least 12 years ago.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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