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  1. #1
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    Bear Valley report

    I was at Bear Valley last weekend and there are some really nice trails there! Very similar to Tahoe. I did just about all the singletrack from the guidebook except Bee Gultch. Would love to hook up with some locals sometime to show me more trails and an epic singletrack route. How far does the Tahoe-Yosemite trail go? Osborne Ridge and Granite slabs were my fav trails.














  2. #2
    xls
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    Eduardo Naranja
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    Did you find any online info on trails in Bear Valley? I'm wondering about length, technical and aerobic difficulty. Which guide book are you referring to?
    So many questions... Thanks for posting those pictures, it looks beautiful.

  3. #3
    RJG
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    The guidebook is available at the sports store, I think it is called Bear Valley Adventures or something like that. As far as length and dificulty there is quite a variety for different abilities. My girlfriend is beginner/intermediate and loves the trail that goes up to Lake Alpine and around. We also road down the Granite Slabs and she had no problem. I think that there are more trails around Spicer Reservoir and I believe there is some sort of epic downhill trail that goes practically to Arnold that can be shuttled. I know there are some folks on this board that have dicussed this before, try a search.
    Rick

  4. #4
    my legs are sore
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    The sign you saw for the Tahoe-Yosemite trail is at the bottom of the Bee Gulch trail. That's the only section of it I've been on.

    I get up there about once a month and know the trails pretty well but there are people who post here that know the trails a lot better than me. (there are quite a few trails in the BV area that are not in the book) There's also a lot of fun 4wd and fire roads you can ride as well as some singletrack near Union resorvoir. You can get more trail info at the Forest Service building on Highway 4 in Hathaway Pines.

    Last summer I shot some helmet cam video in BV. Go to Vimeo and search for "Rick O'Shay".
    Every time you clog a toilet you have exceeded someone's expectations.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick O'Shay
    The sign you saw for the Tahoe-Yosemite trail is at the bottom of the Bee Gulch trail. That's the only section of it I've been on.
    After climbing up from BV towards Alpine lake, I took the sidetrack on the left just after the campsite and Osborne. I crossed the hwy and descended more ST until I got to the Tahoe-Yosemite sign. So that was Bee Gulch? I saw a Bee Gulch sign near the top of Mt. Reba but just went down the road instead.

    I thought the ratings in the guide book were pretty soft but still really fun and the people at BV Adventure were super friendly.

  6. #6
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    I love the BV! I'll be camping at Utica Res. this Fri-Sun, and planning on hitting quite a bit of the goods. Ogre showed me BV --> Alpine connector --> Reba --> Bee Gulch --> Cape Horn --> Lake Alpine --> Slickrock --> Wolfsboro a couple years ago, and I look forward to revisiting. Strong riders welcome to join up, and locals welcome to dish out more goods

    Uncle Stinky: Any connector trail from Summit back to Union rideable yet?
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  7. #7
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    There is a group of us that ride Bear Valley pretty religiously. The trails you mentioned....Cape Horn, Bee Gulch, Granite Slabs, South Lake Alpine are unbelievable. Some of the other really good trails are Illusive, Lodgepole, Upper and Lower Rings, Upper and Lower Tamarack are just as good, if not better. For a good climbing/downhill route...I recommend climbing from the Adventure Store up to the top of Cape Horn via Bear Valley/Alpine Trail, Bee Gulch, and then Cape Horn. Come back down and cross the Highway at the bottom of South Lake Alpine over to Lodgepole, which is located off the entrance road into the Bear Valley Ski Resort. Lodgepole will drop you into Granite Slab, which will drop you into the Adventure Store Parking Lot. If shuttling is your thing, you can ride from the top of Cape Horn all the way to Uttica or Spicer Reservoir. It gets pretty technical on the Slick Rock Trail, which is heavily used for 4x4 enthusiasts.

    Talk to Jody at the Adventure Store. Super cool guy and he may fill you in on some "secret" trails.

    Bear Valley = hidden mountain bike gem of the Sierras.

  8. #8
    dw22107
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    You can make your way all the way back from Bear Valley to Arnold or Dorrington, Camp Connell by riding fire roads. Not sure about single track back. You can ride out the back of the ski area and hook up with Corrall Hollow And Bear Trap Basin fireroads then to ohv trail 4-C which takes you along the ridge above highway 4. There are a few bail out routes which will put you back on highway 4 or you can work your way down to Dorrington or come out in white Pines in Arnold. Not much water along the route. Long day.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the beta! I'll be heading up there again once I get back from Oregon next week.

  10. #10
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNiskanen
    ...I recommend climbing from the Adventure Store up to the top of Cape Horn via Bear Valley/Alpine Trail, Bee Gulch, and then Cape Horn. Come back down and cross the Highway at the bottom of South Lake Alpine over to Lodgepole, which is located off the entrance road into the Bear Valley Ski Resort. Lodgepole will drop you into Granite Slab, which will drop you into the Adventure Store Parking Lot. ........Bear Valley = hidden mountain bike gem of the Sierras.
    MNiskanen, you climb Bee Gulch? And then work your way over the highway to Cape Horn? Could you share that route?

    I agree about BV, the hidden gem of the Sierras.
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  11. #11
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutballchamp
    After climbing up from BV towards Alpine lake, I took the sidetrack on the left just after the campsite and Osborne. I crossed the hwy and descended more ST until I got to the Tahoe-Yosemite sign. So that was Bee Gulch? I saw a Bee Gulch sign near the top of Mt. Reba but just went down the road instead.

    I thought the ratings in the guide book were pretty soft but still really fun and the people at BV Adventure were super friendly.
    Near the top of Real Reba, opposite side of hill from Bee Gulch and very well hidden, is Upper Ring trailhead. I spent a morning looking for it, couldn't find it so I found where Upper and Lower Ring crossed the road into the ski area and climbed Upper to the top. I'm not sure it was worth it, but Lower Ring pegs the fun meter.
    .

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog
    MNiskanen, you climb Bee Gulch? And then work your way over the highway to Cape Horn? Could you share that route?

    I agree about BV, the hidden gem of the Sierras.
    Fred da trog - Sure, I could share that route. We start at the Adventure Store, climb up the Bear Valley/Lake Alpine Trail, then go through the campground to Bee Gulch, cross the highway to Cape Horn, and climb up to the top of Cape Horn. Back down Cape Horn, South Lake Alpine, through the campground, cross the highway and hit Lodgepole, then Granite Slab, then Upper Tamarack (we usually leave a car a Upper Tamarack...). I don't have any maps or gps to share, but if you use the BV Trail Guide, you can figure it out.

    Two weeks ago we did illusive which starts at the top of the Bear Valley ski resort, and connected to Upper Tamarack....the fun meter was sky high.

    Also agree on Lower Rings........great great trail. Jody and the guys have been doing some work on the trail...it's in primo shape.

    If you like punishment and technical stuff.....Slick Rock can be fun.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutballchamp
    Thanks for the beta! I'll be heading up there again once I get back from Oregon next week.
    nutballchamp.......PM me if you'd like. We have a group that ride Bear Valley every other weekend or so. Let me know the dates when you will be there and maybe we can all link and show you everything BV has to offer.

  14. #14
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    I saved these maps last time they were posted...
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  15. #15
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNiskanen
    ......... I don't have any maps or gps to share, but if you use the BV Trail Guide, you can figure it out. ........
    I ridden everything you described lots of times. I've only heard of a connector from Bee Gulch to Cape Horn. My guide book is about 6 years old with my handwritten notes and no trails or roads showing anything beyond Bee Gulch or Lake Alpine. I haven't been on Elusive in 4 years.

    I'm going to take a few days next week to fix my trail guide.
    .

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  16. #16
    xls
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    Wow that Grizzly challenge looks great! I just saw there is one this year: Linky.

  17. #17
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    Just got back from Bear a couple of hours ago.

    Hey Empty Beer Those maps look familiar to me

    The guys from Arnold fixed up the Wolfboro trail a couple of weeks ago but it already has some dead fall. The trail is in better shape than it has been it years. I saw a big rattle snake on the trail for the first time ever.

    I have yet not have time to ride or work on the Summit Lake trail. I did fix up an old logging road a bit to make a better loop out of the Wolfboro Trail.

    The biggest problem at Bear is that most places where it is legal to ride is that motor cycles and quads can go on the same trails. They have really torn up some of the old classics (Illusive) so many of the local trails are on the down low.

    Fred, I heard that they fixed up the Upper Ring trail a bit but I have not ridden it since then.

    I should be up on the weekend of the 7th and 8th if anyone is riding then.

    BE careful out there From last year on another unknown trail
    Last edited by Uncle Stinky; 07-24-2009 at 05:56 PM.

  18. #18
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    I'll be up there Mon-Wed. I'll have to check out Upper. Thanks Unc'.
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  19. #19
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    Fred pm if you want a couple of other short trails.

  20. #20
    my legs are sore
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    I'll be up there the 7th and 8th too. I'll get in touch with you a few days before.

    That picture of you is just dying to be Photoshopped into something.
    Every time you clog a toilet you have exceeded someone's expectations.

  21. #21
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    Had a great time up there last weekend. Didn't get as much riding in as I wanted, but beers and lake time were somewhat of a distraction

    Rode Elephant Rock one day, then up Slickrock, clockwise around Emigrant, Alpine, Alpine cut-off, Cape Horn and back down Slickrock the next. A really fun ride!

    Note- the southern portion of "Mtn Bike Trail" on the Elephant Rock loop is pretty much toast... unused and overgrown, and overtaken by cows.

    Some pix:

    One of my favorite places:


    Elephant Rock Lake rest stop:


    Tyrone Shoelaces smokin' the "Mtn Bike Trail":


    Slickrock babyheads:


    Exiting Emigrant (fun trail!):


    Alpine Cutoff:


    The Dardanelles, as seen from Cape Horn:


    Starting down Cape Horn... such a fun trail:


    Gratuitous meadow shot:


    Coming down Slickrock was much easier


    My buddy's tracks attached.
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  22. #22
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Just got back myself. Stayed at Silvertip campground. Yesterday road Osborn>Alpine Bypass>Bee Gulch>Reba>Upper>Lower Ring>Lodgepole>Slabs>out and back on Upper Tamarack>Corral Hollow >Secret> out and back Blood Ridge?>BV-Alpine>to camp

    Today stopped off at Big Trees to do the fireroad loop around the South Grove. Been there done that, won't need to do that again.

    Sorry, I misplaced my camera so no pics. They would have looked similar to MtBr's
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  23. #23
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    Sounds cool Fred the Secret trail should have been in good shape I did some chain saw work at the start of the season. My family has been riding it.

  24. #24
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    It was called Secret about four years ago when Jody showed it to me near the bottom of Elusive. The first 200 yards were really over grown. I was able to bush whack until the trail became obvious.

    Does that trail in front of the gargoyle feature above the residential area have an official name?

    On Upper Tamarack about 50 yards from the west highway end is a trail heading north. Where does it go?
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  25. #25
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    If Secret is what I think it is it is kept that way on purpose to keep the motorcycles off it. Does it end in the old sub? Not sure about gargoyle feature?? Lets ride this year.

  26. #26
    my legs are sore
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    I've heard the trail near the gargoyle feature called "Super Elusive" by Paul at the XC shop. (if it's the trail I think you're talking about) The few times I've ridden it, it's been trashed by motorcycles and the dust is probably 4 inches deep in places.

    Never tried the trail off of Upper Tamarack.
    Every time you clog a toilet you have exceeded someone's expectations.

  27. #27
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick O'Shay
    I've heard the trail near the gargoyle feature called "Super Elusive" by Paul at the XC shop. (if it's the trail I think you're talking about) The few times I've ridden it, it's been trashed by motorcycles and the dust is probably 4 inches deep in places.

    Never tried the trail off of Upper Tamarack.
    I don't think this it. This little jewel is only about 6-12" wide and zero dust. The very top of the trail traverses, near the peak, at the base of the gargoyles.
    On Google map, I can see a pronounced trail above them. That's probably the moto mess.
    Last edited by fred-da-trog; 07-29-2009 at 08:00 PM.
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  28. #28
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer

    Tyrone Shoelaces smokin' the "Mtn Bike Trail":

    TYOS's is back on the bike? Riding trails like that after getting shoved off the road into a ditch in Auburn?? Awesome man. Took me 6 months and 2 opperations.
    Snipit from Waynes World playing in my head now.....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  29. #29
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    Fred,
    "On Upper Tamarack about 50 yards from the west highway end is a trail heading north. Where does it go?"

    Goes to the small subdivision called Sherman Acres. I think a couple of hundred yards long or maybe longer. I haven't ridden it in a while
    Last edited by Uncle Stinky; 07-30-2009 at 10:07 AM.

  30. #30
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    NIce.

    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog
    I don't think this it. This little jewel is only about 6-12" wide and zero dust. The very top of the trail traverses, near the peak, at the base of the gargoyles.
    On Google map, I can see a pronounced trail above them. That's probably the moto mess.
    Looks like a great area out your way Fred. When are you hitting it up again??
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  31. #31
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47
    Looks like a great area out your way Fred. When are you hitting it up again??
    As a state corrections employee, I get to bank my furlough days and use them just about anytime. As far as the near future, only Aug 8&9 are out.

    PM me and we'll figure it out.
    .

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  32. #32
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    Saturday 10:am gas station 8-8

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    My wife and I have just started looking at buying a vacation home in dorrington/camp connell area. didn't realize the mt bike options were this good in the area. I like a good cross country ride but, would love to hear if there are any trails that may be more on the "free-ride" (jumps/drops) side of things. Where's the best source of trail info for the area, I thought there was a relatively new shop in Arnold?

    If anyone has suggestions on good areas to buy a place that have winter access other than dorrington/camp connell, would love to hear about them.

    Cheers

  34. #34
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Stinky
    Saturday 10:am gas station 8-8

    maybe next time
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  35. #35
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    Hey Fred,
    Did you ride with Paul last Wednesday? I guess he took a group on one of the local secret trails. The other locals have been holding out on me. On Sunday morning I came across a short fun trail less than 300 meters from my cabin.

    Also rode Cow Camp and Lower Cow Camp 95% ridable IF you know the way- feels like X-country riding as the trail is covered in needles and overgrown. Almost impossible to follow unless someone shows you the way or if you have been on it before.

    Fun ride Saturday- Thanks everyone!
    BV>Alpine>Alpine Bypass>Cape Horn>Hwy 4(keeping it legal)>Stanislaus Meadow>Sandy Meadow Trailhead>Hwy 4>Mosquito Lake (trun around)>Emmigrant Trail> Stanislaus Meadow> Hwy. 4> Old Highway>Cape Horn>South Alpine>Alpine BV trial to Campground>Hwy 207 to Lower Rings>Lodge Pole>Granite Slabs for about 26 miles. Group stopped but I had time so I did Upper and Lower Tamarack>Cow Camp>Lower Cow Camp> Spicer Road to Stanilaus river to get car about 4 or 5 miles of downhill.

    Tio Stinky

  36. #36
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Stinky
    Hey Fred,
    Did you ride with Paul last Wednesday? I guess he took a group on one of the local secret trails. The other locals have been holding out on me. On Sunday morning I came across a short fun trail less than 300 meters from my cabin.

    Also rode Cow Camp and Lower Cow Camp 95% ridable IF you know the way- feels like X-country riding as the trail is covered in needles and overgrown. Almost impossible to follow unless someone shows you the way or if you have been on it before.

    Fun ride Saturday- Thanks everyone!
    BV>Alpine>Alpine Bypass>Cape Horn>Hwy 4(keeping it legal)>Stanislaus Meadow>Sandy Meadow Trailhead>Hwy 4>Mosquito Lake (trun around)>Emmigrant Trail> Stanislaus Meadow> Hwy. 4> Old Highway>Cape Horn>South Alpine>Alpine BV trial to Campground>Hwy 207 to Lower Rings>Lodge Pole>Granite Slabs for about 26 miles. Group stopped but I had time so I did Upper and Lower Tamarack>Cow Camp>Lower Cow Camp> Spicer Road to Stanilaus river to get car about 4 or 5 miles of downhill.

    Tio Stinky

    Nope didn't make the Wed. ride. I have a feeling there are a lot of secrete paths in that area.

    I'm going to check out some rediscovered ancient indian trails and deer paths near Pinecrest this weekend. You should join us.
    .

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  37. #37
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    Great ride Saturday. Stinky, thanks for showing us your hidden trails. Nice meeting you Stinky, Rick O'Shay and Passenger13. I think Ring is my new favorite trail. A few pics.

    Archtop on some Stinky sauce


    Stinky


    Me OTB


    Top of Granite slabs


    Arctop and Stinky


    Near the end


    Me on South Alpine. Last tech section before slickrock.

    from Rick O'Shay on Vimeo.


  38. #38
    my legs are sore
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    My bike computer read 26.5 miles and 4:10 of actual riding time. Yeah, Stinky showed us some nice stuff hidden away. I can't believe I've ridden past some of those trailheads for years and never noticed them.
    Every time you clog a toilet you have exceeded someone's expectations.

  39. #39
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    Fred,
    Love to go but I got to stick around the next couple weekends and my bike is up in the hills, If you give me a week's notice might be able to get sick on a weekday. I would love to get up there and do some riding, This year I have been up there backcountry skiing and climbing, and need to check out the riding.

    Brett, Paul I will send you a map of the upper trails we rode via email. PM your email Brett. More new trails next time, but closer to Bear.

  40. #40
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Stinky
    Fred,
    Love to go but I got to stick around the next couple weekends and my bike is up in the hills, If you give me a week's notice might be able to get sick on a weekday.........

    We are planning four days of BV camping, riding and just a little debauchery Aug.27-30. Start practicing your hacking cough.
    .

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  41. #41
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    Good times...

    Nice to meet some more of the MTBR Nation on the trails. After meeting up with you, we followed Uncle Stinky's trail advice and hit up Wolfsboro>singletract on the left side of Hwy 4>Alpine Lake Trail>Slick Rock back to Spicer.
    1.Nutball Champ on Lower Rings
    2.Uncle Stinky on Lower Rings
    3.Mike on Bee Gulch
    4.P13 atop of Real Rebaa
    5.P13 on Cape Horn
    "Time won't leave me as I am "

  42. #42
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    I'll be canoe camping at Utica Res.8/21-23 and plan on riding lots. Would love to ride with you guys who know the secrets. Would also be happy to lead BV virgins on some good, adventurous loops I'm familiar with. And if anyone wants to camp with us, you are more than welcome to join. I've got some killer spots to choose from. Lemmeknow.

  43. #43
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    Nice meeting you all and riding with you, and thanks Uncle S for showing us the trails. I can't wait to go back.
    "I think it's cool how the best line is also usually the most beautiful line" --Kurt F, Tamarancho, Safety Meeting

  44. #44
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    Empty Beer,
    Wish I could make it up that weekend but I have some things to take care of here at home. Let me know if want a map or 2 and some loop recomendations-most are mixed ST and gravel/dirt roads with some pavement.

    Yes the canoe camping is good at Utica, but it has been crowded the last few weekends around there. I will be taking my kids to the sady island to camp in fall when the crowds die down.
    Cheers

  45. #45
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    About an inch of rain Saturday night made the trails super-duper tacky yesterday! I rode up things I had no business riding up.... cleaned Lodgepole up (specifically 2 nasty switchbacks) and nearly cleaned the climb up Reba (other than 2 lame dabs), which was impossible (for me) to do on Friday when everything was loose. The Rings were fun, but after that brutal Reba climb I'll take Bee Gulch over Upper Ring. Lower Ring is a hoot though!

    Fri: Utica >up Slickrock >Emigrant >Osborn> Reba> Upper/Lower Ring> Lodgepole >Slabs> BV-Alpine >Emigrant >Down Slickrock

    Sunday: BV Village >up Slabs >up Lodgepole >up Reba >down Bee Gulch >Alpine Cut-off > around Alpine Lk >Emigrant >Osborn > 207 to Lower Ring> Lodgepole >Slabs.

    Rode solo, so I didn't take many pix.
    1. view from Reba of the Dardanelles, Union & Utica Reservoirs
    2. an inviting pothole off Slickrock
    3. an odd memorial to a downed jeeper
    4. stare at it long enough and it looks like a floating rock
    5. nice sunset at camp
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  46. #46
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    Sounds like a couple of great rides. Awesome job on climbing Reba, I have never made that climb without dabs and wallking 2 bits. My brother rode yesterday and said the trails were great. He was also out boating on Utica on Saturday with his wife. Thanks for the photos wish I would have been up there.

    Where is that frog, I've never seen it?

  47. #47
    mtb'er
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Stinky
    Where is that frog, I've never seen it?
    I saw it on the granite playground east of Slickrock, a little past the stream that follows the SL trail. There was a dedication sign:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  48. #48
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Trogs will be camping Wed eve.-Sun at Alpine or Silvertip campground. Check the message boards entering the campground for site #'s.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  49. #49
    Ride what you want!!
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    I'm going to have to see if I can get up there one day... Maybe Sat... you guys might be worn out by Sat though.
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  50. #50
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog
    I'm going to have to see if I can get up there one day... Maybe Sat... you guys might be worn out by Sat though.
    You're probably right. Have you seen the roll call?

    We old farts be all tuckered out from just setting up camp.

    Ogre says he's up for an easy cruise. Looking forward to seeing him back getting dirty.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
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    driving to BV

    Great pics. I want to go.

    So what's the best way to get to BV coming from Sac?

    thanks

  52. #52
    mtbr member
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    not the fastest, but the easiest
    99>12>4

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