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  1. #1
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    Grouse Ridge BKXC

    BKXC says this is the greatest ride he's ever done....that's saying something.

    Who has ridden this? Thoughts?

    I may have to head up to hit this soon.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    BKXC says this is the greatest ride he's ever done....that's saying something.

    Who has ridden this? Thoughts?

    The land of Chunk and Lakes. I've ridden there in 4-5 years, but used to ride it a couple of times per year. So much good stuff up there.

    The riding is slow and chunky. A 10 mile look may take you a few hours. Expect some hike-a-bike. Plus you want to take breaks and swim in the lakes

    A little lower on the Spaulding Lake Trail


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    One of my favorite areas. Warm up with a ride north of grouse ridge.
    Then do the long chunky downhill towards Spaulding lake.
    Almost everyone will walk at some point.
    You have to be in the right mindset and be on your game.

  4. #4
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    Did the ride from Rucker area up Bowman to the FS rd the past Carr then up to Penner overnight and back - 20 yrs ago. We saw cows up there - fished Penner and ate trout for dinner and found a ten dollar bill. Hard miles. Would love to go back.

  5. #5
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    Grouse Ridge BKXC-img_3588.jpgI did a variation of that summer 2016. It was fantastic. Found beer that someone left. I should leave 2 if I go back.

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    Grouse Ridge is one of my favorite places to ride. BONC will have their Grousefest there Sept. 7-9. Got to do it last year, and we cleared blue lake trail out to beyers lake.

    Grouse ridge miles are like dog years. 1 mile feels like 7. Great camping and great places to fish!

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    Looks a lot like Hole in the Ground just double the mileage and vertical.

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    I used to ride there a ton in the hardtail era. Gotta get back there!

  9. #9
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    To each their own I guess. I'm flattered that he thinks a trail that is essentially my backyard is "The Greatest Trail Ever" especially after all the places he's been. I took a few folks out there a couple years ago and they surely didn't share that sentiment. One of them was in tears.

    The cow situation up there is ridiculous. The cows far outnumber the mountain bikers who ride there and they are the true beneficiaries of any trail improvements that are done.

    I do like that particular ride but then I love the Sierra's and that is why I live here. Grouse is an extension of that rugged lost sierra that is a bit too brutal for most people.

  10. #10
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    Adventure riders love Grouse/Spaulding. Most mt. bikers are not adventure riders... preferring flow, speed and no hike-a-bike. I have a short list of friends I'd take to Grouse... and a long list of friends I'd steer elsewhere (to avoid the injuries and/or tears mossterioso mentioned).

    Grouse Ridge is probably the closest thing we have to a bike legal Wilderness experience in this area. The wildernuts will certainly pursue it as Wilderness again some day.... and I'd be fine with that, once we make bicycling legal in Wilderness areas :-)

  11. #11
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    Grouse is cool in a masochistic way. Really slow chunky riding. Grousefest '16 we did a ~30mile loop that had some really fun sections.

  12. #12
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    I think the altitude is what probably makes the ride that much harder. The first day ride at altitude is so brutal until you get acclimated.

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    This. I have a lengthy list of riders I've taken there and just hated it. It's one of my most favorite places in the Sierra and also where I learned to ride a MTB. I thought every mtb trail looked like that.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Adventure riders love Grouse/Spaulding. Most mt. bikers are not adventure riders... preferring flow, speed and no hike-a-bike. I have a short list of friends I'd take to Grouse... and a long list of friends I'd steer elsewhere (to avoid the injuries and/or tears mossterioso mentioned).

    Grouse Ridge is probably the closest thing we have to a bike legal Wilderness experience in this area. The wildernuts will certainly pursue it as Wilderness again some day.... and I'd be fine with that, once we make bicycling legal in Wilderness areas :-)
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    Nice video.

    Did some of that route last fall. Lindsey lakes, Crooked Lakes past Penner (even stopped for a Clif bar in the exact spot he ate in the vid), actually did go over the bars in the spot he said would be good for it. The bushes caught me.

    Our loop was 12 miles ish and allegedly only 1500 feet of climbing, but it was enough for this mortal. You can drive up Bowman road and park closer to the loop too. There are some primitive camp sites along the trail. Might be a nice bikepacking overnighter in there.

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    I wonít take anyone else on Grouse, except folks that already know what theyíre getting into.

    And if you like penner and crooked lakes....try the grouse ridge trail from the summit going south to the Spaulding lake trail. Itís another notch up in chunk from penner/crooked. Feels really remote, but only about 4 miles from road.
    Add Beyers lake trail if youíre feeling really frisky

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossterioso View Post
    The cow situation up there is ridiculous.
    Whats the deal anyway? Scared the F out of us that day - quiet as heck all day, didnít see any animals. Then all the sudden mooo. Last place Iíd think cows would be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dchester View Post
    Whats the deal anyway? Scared the F out of us that day - quiet as heck all day, didnít see any animals. Then all the sudden mooo. Last place Iíd think cows would be.
    I've seen llamas on Grouse Ridge trails a few times. Don't know what's up with that.
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    We used to do this all
    Day ride Up there with grouse, Blue lake
    Zion hill etc. Once on a hot June day we were doing this ride and were up at the lookout. Someone had dumped a Refrigerator shipping carton- a six foot long ish box with wood reenforcements. We used it as a toboggan to go down the snowfield to the right of the lookout parking, doing coffin rides. Quite a memorable addition to an always memorable grouse ride!

  19. #19
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    I ride Grouse often. Hard to get anyone to go with me...except empty_beer. If you like chunk, incredible vistas, very challenging riding, tons of cool granite lines... awesome swimming holes etc...Grouse is for you. Might just hit it tomorrow

  20. #20
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    I'm a day late as usual. lol

    Thanks for posting this and mentioning the BONC GrouseFest event Sept 7th-9th. Check the Facebook page for details. https://m.facebook.com/Bicyclistsofnevadacounty.org/

    I've been driving my truck around that area a lot lately. I was scared to take my bike. Ha!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboulder View Post
    I ride Grouse often. Hard to get anyone to go with me...
    ...
    "...rhetorical hyperbole..."

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    I'd go now but have to heal; mid-september maybe.

    got to ride meet and ride with Aaron at last year's grousefest.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Adventure riders love Grouse/Spaulding. Most mt. bikers are not adventure riders... preferring flow, speed and no hike-a-bike. I have a short list of friends I'd take to Grouse... and a long list of friends I'd steer elsewhere (to avoid the injuries and/or tears mossterioso mentioned).
    Your and Sean Allen's epic ride posts on these forums years and year ago all fed into my dreams of riding out here. I was so friggin' happy that it lived up to the hype in my head. You are 100% right that there are only a handful of people I would ever take out on this ride. Hoping I can get a big one in with you some day, dude!!

    Here's part two, so much more fun stuff:


    Here's the ridelog on Trailforks for folks that want to see it on the map: https://www.trailforks.com/ridelog/view/3364309/

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    Great ride is from Meadow Lake, Baltimore Lake Trail, Groude Ridge, along Spalding and finishing at Emerald pools. This is an acceptable point to point shuttle.

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    I love that area, Bowman, Weaver, Webber, French lakes but not my idea of a good ride. Love to camp there though.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grouse Ridge BKXC-camp-truck.jpg  

    Grouse Ridge BKXC-t-bridge.jpg  

    Grouse Ridge BKXC-t-bowman.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schril View Post
    Great ride is from Meadow Lake, Baltimore Lake Trail, Groude Ridge, along Spalding and finishing at Emerald pools. This is an acceptable point to point shuttle.
    It's not that hard to start a ride with Blue Lake Trail and then on to Baltimore Lake. The trail beyond that up to Meadow is an old jeep road. If you are going to go to the effort of shuttling you have to think bigger: perfect trail from Donner to White Rock Lake or Mt. Lola trail and then on to Meadow.
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  27. #27
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    These videos are the best advertisements for gimbals.

  28. #28
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    I think I would die out there. Way beyond my physical capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    I think I would die out there. Way beyond my physical capabilities.
    I'm with you. I love adventure, pushing myself (did 4400' over 20 miles the other day) and especially getting away from civilization for a while but......I ride mountain bikes for and foremost for the FUN. I don't need to punish myself or be physically destroyed to have fun. That's why I take the shuttle up to ride The Whole Enchilada, Cannell Plunge, Alpine Trail and Downieville Classic.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    Looks a lot like Hole in the Ground just double the mileage and vertical.
    HOG is like a paved bike trail in comparison to grouse.

  31. #31
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    Best stuff in Nevada county

    Definitely a special place
    July flowers on the way to glacier lake
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grouse Ridge BKXC-3f6e176e-c3f9-4203-8fe4-e6ee2a58862b.jpg  


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboulder View Post
    I ride Grouse often. Hard to get anyone to go with me...except empty_beer. If you like chunk, incredible vistas, very challenging riding, tons of cool granite lines... awesome swimming holes etc...Grouse is for you. Might just hit it tomorrow
    That looks fun out there...not sure I would survive the ride BKXC did but, Iím up for exploring. Iíll pm you.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKXC View Post
    Your and Sean Allen's epic ride posts on these forums years and year ago all fed into my dreams of riding out here. I was so friggin' happy that it lived up to the hype in my head. You are 100% right that there are only a handful of people I would ever take out on this ride. Hoping I can get a big one in with you some day, dude!!
    Nice!! And that was a rough finish for Aaron! There's still a little more to explore out there, but you hit the E ticket ride

    I hope you didn't skip the post ride dip at Emerald Pool!

    Grouse Ridge BKXC-img_2950medium.jpg

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    Backpacked again here for 3 days----looped the entire area and saw 1 yes 1 bike. From hiking it I'd say it is more of an adventure ride-----great lakes---climbs are reasonable but for sure was not popular and the parking areas were packed so seems not popular at least last weekend for bikes

  35. #35
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    Here's about the most accessible ride in Grouse (other than just looping around Loney Meadows). And it's really nice with grand views, lakes, and a seasonal waterfall. Without extremely strong technical skills and climbing fitness it's maybe 10% HAB. https://www.trailforks.com/route/grouse-is-great/ There are a few more relatively easy/rideable routes listed here https://www.trailforks.com/region/nevada-county/routes/

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    It's a great area for rugged XC riding. It's like a mini wilderness area, but it is bike legal. Trail maintenance is hit and miss, which I found surprising for such a popular area. For example, riding in on one of the most popular trails in September, there were many trees down that had obviously been down for some time. Perhaps that is changing with BONC getting more involved. The Forest Service, as usual, doesn't do anything for the trails except sit in their office's and complain about no funding for trails. Anyway, Grouse is great riding if you are a real mountain biker and don't mind some hike-a-bike.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpressnall View Post
    Trail maintenance is hit and miss, which I found surprising for such a popular area. For example, riding in on one of the most popular trails in September, there were many trees down that had obviously been down for some time. The Forest Service, as usual, doesn't do anything for the trails except sit in their office's and complain about no funding for trails.
    With all due respect, that is just about exactly wrong, except for the hit or miss part because that is related mainly to storm timing. Since BONC and USFS partnered up in a Volunteer Agreement a few years ago, the Yuba River Trail crew has cut out every blowdown in the main network in a big annual sweep using motos and the big saws soon after the snow melts. BONC also has a few devoted sawyers and maintainers out on foot and bikes through the summer. But if a big early storm comes and knocks down a bunch of trees it's true they're not likely going to be taken out until the following year. The Yuba River crew has also cleared the corridors for BONC to hand build the Lindsay Lakes and Crooked Lakes re-lo's over the past few years. That's heavy work a small advocacy group like ours can't realistically do. Over the past 6 years BONC has been catching up from decades of utter neglect and abuse of the system. It's nowhere near done. We have made many miles of the system much more rideable but at the same time don't want to spoil the special rugged, backcountry character of the place. The big building/maintenance pushes are done over the September Grousefests and we welcome everyone's help and support. You can follow our activities on our Facebook page if interested https://www.facebook.com/Bicyclistsofnevadacounty.org/ We did apply for a highly competitive NFF grant that would have put a pro crew out with our volunteers for 2 weeks this summer but sadly didn't get it. Not a single mtb org from Region 5 was awarded one and they all went to equestrian groups for Wilderness areas, none local. We will be applying again. Of course we wish USFS could bring more resources to bear but our District does a heck of a lot more than just sit around and complain.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
    With all due respect, that is just about exactly wrong, except for the hit or miss part because that is related mainly to storm timing. Since BONC and USFS partnered up in a Volunteer Agreement a few years ago, the Yuba River Trail crew has cut out every blowdown in the main network in a big annual sweep using motos and the big saws soon after the snow melts. BONC also has a few devoted sawyers and maintainers out on foot and bikes through the summer. But if a big early storm comes and knocks down a bunch of trees it's true they're not likely going to be taken out until the following year. The Yuba River crew has also cleared the corridors for BONC to hand build the Lindsay Lakes and Crooked Lakes re-lo's over the past few years. That's heavy work a small advocacy group like ours can't realistically do. Over the past 6 years BONC has been catching up from decades of utter neglect and abuse of the system. It's nowhere near done. We have made many miles of the system much more rideable but at the same time don't want to spoil the special rugged, backcountry character of the place. The big building/maintenance pushes are done over the September Grousefests and we welcome everyone's help and support. You can follow our activities on our Facebook page if interested https://www.facebook.com/Bicyclistsofnevadacounty.org/ We did apply for a highly competitive NFF grant that would have put a pro crew out with our volunteers for 2 weeks this summer but sadly didn't get it. Not a single mtb org from Region 5 was awarded one and they all went to equestrian groups for Wilderness areas, none local. We will be applying again. Of course we wish USFS could bring more resources to bear but our District does a heck of a lot more than just sit around and complain.
    That's great to hear, as my experiences there are from a few years back, and some trails had obviously been neglected for a long time. A big thanks to the folks working out there, as it is a gem. I hope get out there in September and will help out with work if timing is right. Is the Yuba River trail crew a private group or is the FS working on the trails? Thanks for the update.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpressnall View Post
    Is the Yuba River trail crew a private group or is the FS working on the trails? Thanks for the update.
    It's our FS District trail crew. They do the heavy clearing that's way beyond our capacity and can do it on the motos which is efficient. As you know, access out there is really difficult. It seems to really come down to personnel managing a district. Since Paul Hart came to ours there's been a sea change in support for recreation. What's really sad is how few hours they're budgeted on the non-motorized trails. They're allowed MANY more hours on the motorized ones due to augmentation from Green Sticker funds. Paul has also been a great help with grant applications, although so far we haven't been able to secure any of significance. Everybody's after the same small pot of funds. The new allocation system could actually be good overall, though. Money is being funneled into the National Forest Foundation which it is then dispensing to large organizations to dispense as grants. This is taking the place of sharing it more generally with districts. So it's possible that places with legit trail needs could get a larger share in the long run. What's discouraging with the last round--which were strictly limited to projects that addressed the maintenance backlog--is that in our Region (5) they all went to Wilderness where we aren't allowed. In some other Regions, mtb groups did win them so there's hope. The granting organizations are unfortunately dominated by other user groups. IMBA was the only mtb group representing us and they're about as effective as, well, use your favorite analogy here. We wanted to do major work on the Spaulding Lake Tr. and had a great plan and will apply again at the next opportunity.
    Hope you can join us for Grousefest! It's a lot of fun!

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    That has changed dramatically on the Tahoe. Paul Hart is the trail management officer and he busts his ass. Riders on anything two wheels should consider themselves blessed to have a guy like Paul on the Tahoe.

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