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  1. #1
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    Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz

    I have been poking around the HWY 50 Echo Summit area for a few years now. I came into possession of this map.




    I had my suspicion that trail #8 existed, now I can't wait to ride it. I rode from Strawberry to Kyburz today on the Pony Express Trail. I posted the upper section to this ride here South Lake Tahoe June 6th Trail Recomendations The trail is marked good with XP signs. Here are some pictures.



    Parked at the Strawberry/Twin Bridges post office.





    Rode down HWY 50 and found this marker sign.



    Got you..first XP sign.



    Too many pine cones on the trail. I guess I will turn around. NOT



    Youth Conservation Corp I think. Good job guys.



    Standing on Wright Lake Road.



    Ride up Wrights Lake Road for a few minutes. Turn left on the marked jeep trail.



    Nice sign



    A little over grown, but not bad.

    Nice single track after Wrights Lake Road.



    My ending point on dirt.






    Had a great time. The top section has a mix of single track and old jeep/wagon trails. I had an encounter with a rattle snake crossing over Forni Creek. We both decided to avoid each other. The best section of trail is just past Wrights Lake Road. The trail could use some love. Some areas are loose and kind of steep. Almost all trails in the high country can be loose. Pine needles are on some sections, not a big deal for me. This trail is not for everyone. I will ride it again for sure.
    Last edited by tahoetic; 06-24-2009 at 05:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice! Thanks for sharing this info, photos, etc. I'm gonna give that area a spin soon.

  3. #3
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    thanks for posting!

    Excellent map. I'm planning on doing an exploratory up there on Monday.

    I was generally planning to do a Hawley/Strawberry loop. I had read that west of Strawberry the XP trail was faint and grownover. But now I'd probably go to Kyburz.

    Any recommended routes/loops? Is it worth checking about Sayles Canyon?
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  4. #4
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    Sayles Canyon is one of the best trails in the area. Smooth and flowie at the top. Rocky at the bottom like the old Xmas valley downhill.
    Last edited by tahoetic; 06-24-2009 at 01:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Nice Work! and thanks for sharing, so does the trail empty out near town, or did you have to ride along 50 at all?

    I think I've seen the entrance to #8, but since it was not on my map, I figured it just dead ended, that sucker could be the holy grail to some amazing loops. Any feedback on the who you got the map from on what the trail is like?

  6. #6
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    Nice! Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoetic
    Sayles Canyon is one of the best trails in the area. Smooth and flowie at the top. Rocky at the bottom like the old Xmas valley downhill.
    Sayles is NOT one of the best trails in the area, it is one of the best trails in the whole state. Non-stop it is 45 minutes and almost all descending and nearly impossible to clean with out scoping out some sections.

    #5 looks easy enough on the map but it took me almost 2 hours to climb it from 50. I have done a half mile of #8 at the bottom, it is a ridgeline cut motorcycle trail, I have never seen the entrance to it along #9, it must be fairly obscure. These trails are probably still snowed in since the top is close to 9K.
    Romani ite domum

  8. #8
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    This time next week, I'll be checking this out. Thanks for posting this!
    What's the rule about riding of 50. Is it legal? I know it is not very safe, so if I ride up 50 it will be super early in the morning.

  9. #9
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    Back country beta trove -thanks

    THis is the kind of post that really makes a bike forum. I always wondered about the PET when I used to climb at Lover's Leap -forgot about it when I stopped climbing. Can't remember the elevation there, but I guess it would remain snowfree fairly late in the season.

    First rode the Wright's Lake jeep road back around 1990 on our fully rigid rigs -ouch!

    Do you know if the plane wreck is still there?
    I like to bike.

  10. #10
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    Riding on 50 is legal.

    I'll add the riding up 6 from strawberry is very difficult and requires a lot of hike a bike, though it would be a VERY sweet downhill though, below is a sample of what 6 looks like.


  11. #11
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    The plane wreckage is still there. I saw it about 2 years ago.
    There was a piece that had been signed by family members of the crew. It was very moving. Anyone who takes part of the plane is taking part of a grave. IMO

  12. #12
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    Would 8>9>6 be a pretty fun loop?

  13. #13
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    Nice find. I've done a few of the trails there. Here's my feedback on what I know:

    Hawley Grade Trail : Not hilighted on the map but a great trail to take down into xmas valley.

    Trail 5: Steep fire road with a few torn up rock crawler sections. Would be a major grind uphill. Downhill it's a crazy brake pad burner.

    Trail 6: This is better as a downhill route. Very steep and hike a bike heading up to the ridge. Lower portion isn't bad though.

    Trail 7: I've ridden that east from the junction of #6 to #5. Used my motorcycles so it has some chewed up sections. Steep little pitches as you roll up the ridge line. Better in the reverse direction.

    Trail 8: Attempted the first part up from Lover's Leap. Get's very steep and chewed up rather quick. Would be a butt back crazy downhill run the other direction. Don't know about the rest of it.

    Trail 10: This trail is paved, and um, flat, and it has lots of tourists with cruiser bikes with those big handlebar bags, and yeah, there's dog poop all over it, and I just don't recommend this trail. Save yourself the trouble and *believe* me.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellowyellowCJ7
    Would 8>9>6 be a pretty fun loop?
    Who knows what 8 is like but once your start the downside of 9 it would be killer, but I'd wait till mid July to try it or you might find yourself riding back due to losing the trail in the snow. That said I think you should check it out and report back

    BTW, getting up to 8 from strawberry is a pretty strenuous climb in either direction. Also consider bringing a water filter and plenty of food as you will likely have a very long day out.
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 06-24-2009 at 10:51 AM.

  15. #15
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    Great post Tic. This could be a good oportunity for a "gathering". Anyone ready to lead a group?
    "Time won't leave me as I am "

  16. #16
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    Anyone ever camp in the area? Possibly at the circled spots on this map, or elsewhere (e.g., along Strawberry Creek or other water drainage/source)? I do believe Lake Margaret access is now just a trail. And I believe Cody Lake is a BSA camp.

    Any idea if FS Road 11N19 is do-able from Hwy 50 in a stock 4Runner?


  17. #17
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    Nice map, where did you get that map?
    I've only driven that dirt road in my CJ with 37" tires, but I only recall being interested in the trail (asside from the beauty of the area) twice and that was pretty near the top. The part near 50 could be done in a WRX. I'll be there in a week and I'll take note of the road conditions.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer
    Anyone ever camp in the area? Possibly at the circled spots on this map, or elsewhere (e.g., along Strawberry Creek or other water drainage/source)? I do believe Lake Margaret access is now just a trail. And I believe Cody Lake is a BSA camp.

    Any idea if FS Road 11N19 is do-able from Hwy 50 in a stock 4Runner?
    Yo Empty, 11N19 is drivable to a couple decent camp sites un-marked, I got suckered down to a couple spots that looked nice, both I believe on Strawberry creek. I can get you gps locations if you want, otherwise just look for right had turns off of the road and check em out.

    11n19 pictured below
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
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    Perfect. I'll find something. Thanks!

    CJ7 - that map is the Nat Geo Lake Tahoe Basin map

  20. #20
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    Yes, it is. Funny you should ask. I am assuming you mean the the plane wreck just between Lake #3 and Lake#5 in the Desolation Wilderness. I was backpacking in there
    last weekend and we found it near a small lake. It's a twin engine plane and I have been searching for days now to find out about it. Do you have the story? It looks like people have been signing the wings with dates back to the 70s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fairfaxian
    Do you know if the plane wreck is still there?

  21. #21
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    Sayles it is then!

    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    Sayles is NOT one of the best trails in the area, it is one of the best trails in the whole state. Non-stop it is 45 minutes and almost all descending and nearly impossible to clean with out scoping out some sections.
    I assume that best way is to ride up the trail to Bryan Meadow, gently "walk" my bike on that perfect trail, and then down Sayles Cyn Tr back towards US50/CampSacto?


    I trying to gather all my info tonight, as I'm heading Downieville in the morn, then will head to Strawberry Sunday night.... riding it Monday.

    I guessing that getting Hawley/Xmas -- Sayles - and XP down to Kyburz in one ride is probably overdoing it.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah
    I assume that best way is to ride up the trail to Bryan Meadow, gently "walk" my bike on that perfect trail, and then down Sayles Cyn Tr back towards US50/CampSacto?


    I trying to gather all my info tonight, as I'm heading Downieville in the morn, then will head to Strawberry Sunday night.... riding it Monday.

    I guessing that getting Hawley/Xmas -- Sayles - and XP down to Kyburz in one ride is probably overdoing it.
    That is the easiest way to do Sayles. You might find significant snow up there as there are some north facing slopes with big trees and the ridge is the crest of the Sierras at that point so it really piles up. Another thread said HITG is not rideable and this could be in the same category. Also, Sayles is not easy to follow in spots, if you find yourself off trail go back 50ft and look around.

    Your other idea is doable, but would be tough to bail out of if you come to a 20ft snow drift on a steep side hill.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah
    I assume that best way is to ride up the trail to Bryan Meadow, gently "walk" my bike on that perfect trail, and then down Sayles Cyn Tr back towards US50/CampSacto?


    I trying to gather all my info tonight, as I'm heading Downieville in the morn, then will head to Strawberry Sunday night.... riding it Monday.

    I guessing that getting Hawley/Xmas -- Sayles - and XP down to Kyburz in one ride is probably overdoing it.
    The legal way to ride Sayles Canyon is through the back side of Sierra at Tahoe Resort. Take the access road to the bottom of a run called the Alley. Sayles canyon passes through to the skiers right at the bottom of the run. Upper XP crosses Sierra at Tahoe Road. So, XP Echo Summit>Sierra at Tahoe service roads to the Alley>Drop Sayles>Bottom of Sayles to XP>Strawberry>Cross 50 Find lower XP>Kyburz. Add in Hawley if you must.
    Last edited by tahoetic; 06-24-2009 at 11:45 PM.

  24. #24
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    Awesome - thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by tahoetic
    The legal way to ride Sayles Canyon is through back side of Sierra at Tahoe Resort. Take the access road to the bottom of a run called the Alley. Sayles canyon passes through to skiers right at the bottom of the run. Upper XP crosses Sierra at Tahoe Road. So, XP Echo Summit>Sierra at Tahoe service roads to the Alley>Drop Sayles>Bottom of Sayles to XP>Strawberry>Cross 50 Find lower XP>Kyburz. Add in Hawley if you must.

    Wrote this all down on the back of the 11x17 printout of the map you posted. I've got lots of maps and MTBR threads printed. It's going to sweet!

    Figuring this is a 4+ hour ride...


    To complete my Pony Express experience, I'm even staying in the Strawberry Lodge.
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  25. #25
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    I like it

    hey jeff.....lets do this route....is July 11th too early you think?

    where ya ridin this weekend?

  26. #26
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    By bet is that it would be just about perfect, Wildflowers should be kicking butt up there around then, this weekend is up in the air right now, I call ya once I know whats going on.

  27. #27
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    Rode the XP, then met the map maker

    Quote Originally Posted by tahoetic
    I have been poking around the HWY 50 Echo Summit area for a few years now. I came into possession of this map.
    Some friends and I rode the XP from Echo to Strawberry yesterday, with some exploratory as well. Couldn't find a good route from Sierra to anywhere on the ridge to get to Sayles Canyon trail. Couldn't find any way to The Alley, and ended up at the Bryan Meadows/Sales Trailhead. Pushed our bikes up that for a 1/2 mile (very slow going), and then decided to bail on that. Fun on the downhill though.

    XP Echo-Strawberry was pretty fun trail, classic sierra singletrack...moderately technical, but mostly pretty buff. Echo-Strawberry is a little short for a ride (maybe 10 miles), but looking to connect this up to other stuff in the future. We had planned to go further if we didn't make Sayles, but as passed Strawberry the cold beers in the lodge were calling our name.

    Back at Strawberry to get some beers, another rider pulled up and asked us where we rode. Eventually, I showed him the map from this thread -- turns out he made that map. He was impressed that the map was now on the interwebs. We bought him beers and hung out for a while.

    Speaking with him, he didn't know of any good way to get to Sayles, other than taking a perfect trail from Echo Summit. He talked about pushing his bike for 3-4 hours up the Bryan Meadows trail to get to Sayles. He strongly recommend the Cody Creek trails for further exploration.

    Looking forward to getting back up there for more exploratories in the next few weeks.
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  28. #28
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    I would not bother taking the perfect trail from Echo to Sales, I've hiked that section and it would almost be all hike a bike.

    Did you ask the map maker about #8?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah
    =Couldn't find a good route from Sierra to anywhere on the ridge to get to Sayles Canyon trail. Couldn't find any way to The Alley, and ended up at the Bryan Meadows/Sales Trailhead. Pushed our bikes up that for a 1/2 mile (very slow going), and then decided to bail on that. Fun on the downhill though.
    .
    Bryan isn't a bad climb once it splits from Sayles. Definitely descend on Sayles which is an awesome tech downhill.

    The perfect trail has some long steep stairs you won't be riding up from Echo.

  30. #30
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    8 is a all day adventure from Strawberry, requiring pushing your bike for a few miles on the Strawberry 4x4 trail. At the top you are rewarded with great views of Caples lake and Kirkwood. From here you also have the option of doing the Buck Pasture trail, a xc, rocky,singletrack,to 6. 6 is steep with lots of rocks and roots, but will drop you off on the same road you started on. Anyway back to 8. From the Caples look out you will go left on a dirt road for a mile or two looking for a singletrack on the left and a trail marker in a tree for 2wd offroad vehicles. This trail will take you around the base of little round top. Now the hard part, finding the trail, since a main entrance does not exist. The best way would go to the PCT trail marker, then backtrack maybe a quarter mile or so. Now go right, (northwest) through the woods for another quarter mile or so, this brings you to a large meadow. Skirt around the medow on the left side (not through the middle) to the back, you should see a single track. Follow this all the way across the ridge with great views of the Desolation and sayles canyon areas. At the end of the ridge you will drop a super steep section down to the top of Lovers Leap. Take the trail to the left down the Leap trail (this is a fun 1000' of rocks,roots,and speed) back to the strawberry canyon road. If you parked in Srawberry, proceed down the dirt road for a quarter mile to a road on your right with gray drainage stone. Take this short road down to a short single track that will dump you out by some forest service cabins. Go right on the dirt road and you will end up at the end of Strawberry lane. This trail is ungroomed, loose in spots, hard to find and approx. 22 mi. Not for everyone, but the Strawberry area does offer rides for all abilities.

  31. #31
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    Great info Sleeve I'll be checking out 8 before to long, sounds like my kind of adventure and opens up some really interesting loop and point to point options.

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    Enjoy the XP but want something different? Try this. Trail 2 , From the top this ride offers over 2000' of drop back to Strawberry, with some great fast single track, a few stream crossings,and a 75' (or 120' if you start from the top) log ride. Drive past Strawberry lodge half a mile, turn on 42 milestone tract (packsaddle pass rd.) cross the bridge, go rt. Follow the pavement for 4.2 m. to 10n26b.make a left. Follow this broken asphalt road for aprox. 2.7 m. At the end there are a couple of roads that go right, stay left. You will see a road sighn 10n04, past this about 100 yards is a parking spot on the right. Park here. Ride up a 4x4 trail for .8 m. to a right hand turn (if you go straight it dead ends on a lookout for Cody lake) go right for aprox. 1m. down a fun dirt road with water bars. After a mile look for a road going left. follow this, staying right at intersections until you get to the meadow. continue on staying left unil the end of the road. now begins a faint singletrack through a open area. At the end of the meadow the fun begins, fast singletrack with one tech. section "rocks in the grass" At the end of the singletrack you will end up on a flat road area where 11n21 ends. Take a right,cross the creek,take a immediate left(there are no markers this trail is concealed to keep dirt bikes off) drop down a xc track for 600' to the pavement,(this trail is a little loose this time of year stay on the inside and udjust tire pressure accordingly) go rt. at pavement,cross the bridge go a little further to 11n19. Make a rt. go for maybe a 1/4 m. to a road to your left, gray stones. follow this down to a short single track that empties into Forest Service cabins, make a rt. on the road to put you out at the end of Strawberry lane. about 8m. down from car, or around 16 miles round trip.

  33. #33
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    Good meeting you on Mon

    thanks for the beta and hanging out
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    Brah, sorry you missed your connection with the Sayles Canyon trail. I am sorry I didn't give you more detailed instructions. Follow the service road from the top of broadway run to corkscrew run>upper main street run. You made your mistake by turning right and not dropping into the alley. This left you on the ridge line of west bowl. Hats off to you for bush whacking your way down to the trail! If you look at a sierra at tahoe trail map look at the bottom of the alley..(the bottom of short stuff lift on the right).That is where the trail starts. It inserts you into Sayels Canyon right by the river. Sleeve, thank you for the map and all the info. I rode a small part of trail #8 last week. Strawberry canyon north rim is one of the most pristine areas I have ever ridden. One motorcycle track from this year is the only thing I saw on the trail. I will have to admit that hike a bike section from lovers leap trail to the rim was hard. As trees would fall over time, blocking the main trail, motos would roost lines all over the hill to get to the top. It was very steep for the last mile. Riding down that section took all my skills, but it was sick. Once on the ridge it was very cool. I had to turn around way before little round top (water and time). Here are some pics of the strawberry side of # 8.



    Just past lovers leap



    no chainsaws...or trail maintenance. You are on your own out here.




    Crazy steep hike a bike.



    Almost at the ridge line.



    Nice on the rim.



    Kirkwood in the distance and strawberry canyon below.





    Little round top will have to wait.
    Last edited by tahoetic; 07-02-2009 at 12:41 PM.

  35. #35
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    Great post... and the map too. This whole area on top of Echo needs more attention. It's potential is a whole new Downieville. Sayles is amazing (like a Toads that never sees bikes).

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminj
    Great post... and the map too. This whole area on top of Echo needs more attention. It's potential is a whole new Downieville. Sayles is amazing (like a Toads that never sees bikes).
    Yea, I've been told some locals were trying to keep this stuff a secret which is crazy as more traffic will only help these trails.

  37. #37
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    Sleeve! You are awesome! Thanks for the detailed info for "Trail 8"... I did some exploring yesterday, found the trail and can't wait to do the whole enchilada

    I started at Caples Lake, taking 10N13 (fire road) up past Schneider Camp... the views of Caples Lake, Round Top, Kirkwood and the blooming mules ear were pretty spectacular:


    I then took 17E16 (singletrack) 2.7 miles to the PCT... after a slightly loose start, it's a pretty easy climb on great singletrack with excellent views:






    As Sleeve suggested, I went to the PCT marker to get my bearings:


    I went past (east) of the PCT to check out views, which were pretty sweet (I don't know my peaks):




    Then I backtracked a quarter mile and looked north for the big meadow Sleeve noted... after freeriding through the woods, I picked up the trail on the western edge of the meadow. Here's a shot looking back (southeast):


    I lost the track towards the end, which was great, cause I ended up at this cool granite cliff, with water flowing and awesome views of Pyramid Peak(?) and Sayles Canyon:




    After some backtracking in the meadow, I finally found the trail (thanks to some mtb and mx tire tracks, which shoots off a little northwest of the meadow:


    After leaving the meadow area, it weaves through the trees up towards the ridge. The final climb to get out of the woods:


    Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it...


    Then I got a chubby (I like ridge riding)


    Nice view of Pyramid and Horsetail Falls:


    I rode out to where it started to drop, then turned around. As much as I wanted to head down to Strawberry, it was late in the day and common sense prevailed.

    When I got back to 17E16, I did stack a cairn and made an "8" to mark a general area one could start heading into the woods towards the meadow. There are some game trails heading that direction, but I didn't see any obvious trail. I came out a completely different way than I went in.


    The ride back down to Caples was fricking fast and awesome!!


    I stopped for one more scenic before getting back to my truck


    While I have no issue with doing this as an all day adventure starting from Strawberry, I would also have absolutely no problem doing this as a point-to-point shuttle... anyone want to drive

    Hey Sleeve - do you know if there is a connector trail from Buck Pasture to Lake Margaret?

  38. #38
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    Nice stuff Jeff, Thanks for the 8, prolly gonna get a drop off tomorrow at Cables for an Epic Back to South lake

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    I'm jealous! That will be epic. I'm not sure how much the 8 will help, but it is worth riding past it (on the trail) to beyond the PCT, to the vista point (throught the woods). That's a nice spot. Once you pick up the worn trail on the left side of the meadow, where it suddenly ends, opt for following tracks that go a little left and up (away from the meadow) vs. following my tracks that go more right (along the meadow)... unless you want to check out that cool cliff area before resuming your adventure. Have fun!!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    Nice stuff Jeff, Thanks for the 8, prolly gonna get a drop off tomorrow at Cables for an Epic Back to South lake
    Jeff I am tried of reading and looking at all these great pictures and trails in Tahoe.
    When can I hook up with you to ride some of these epic trails?
    I am feeling left out.
    Can you help me out.
    Mark

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    Hey nice photos you guys, I'm stoked there are people out there who love adventure. Good job finding the enterance to 8. I don't know if you made it to the bald ridgeline, but if you ski Sierra this is the ridge you see from the backside with the cornice on it. Also if you look down to the right from the ridge you will see a nice rock buttress, good climbing here, again if you like adventure, you can aproach it from the sayles canyon trail. Anyway, here is a idea. Do a shuttle. Drop a car off in Strawberry, go to Echo summit. Do Echo to Strawberry on the XP, but go over Lovers Leap trail and drop the west side to Strawberry. Shuttle up to your car at the summit, then back to Strawberry, drop one off in Strawberry and shuttle up to trail 2. On your way back up to your vehicle go to Cody lake and take a swim, pick up your car, and go have a drink. Repeat if necessary. Enjoy!

  42. #42
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    Eight is Enough!

    After my wife got a bad nights sleep, my shuttle fell through and my Epic got bigger. Started at Echo Summit to Lovers Leap to the Eight to 17e16 ->17e17->12e49-11N19->Strawberry-XP->Echo. 8 is tough from the strawberry direction but the rewards are worth it (for some), I was pretty much done after this ride, around 36 miles and 6K of climbing, not sure it all registered though. Hiking up the 8, my wheel was rolling but so slowly it was registering 0.0 miles per hour. I'll see eight again but from the other direction!

    Pics

    1) Start of 8
    2) End of eight (I came out a 1/4 mile up from Empty Beers marker
    3) 8
    4,5) couple pics along the way
    Attached Images Attached Images

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark59
    Jeff I am tried of reading and looking at all these great pictures and trails in Tahoe.
    When can I hook up with you to ride some of these epic trails?
    I am feeling left out.
    Can you help me out.
    Mark
    Let's do it! I want to see that funny bike ride the trails up here
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 07-07-2009 at 06:25 PM.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    After my wife got a bad nights sleep, my shuttle fell through and my Epic got bigger. Started at Echo Summit to Lovers Leap to the Eight to 17e16 ->17e17->12e49-11N19->Strawberry-XP->Echo. 8 is tough from the strawberry direction but the rewards are worth it (for some), I was pretty much done after this ride, around 36 miles and 6K of climbing, not sure it all registered though. Hiking up the 8, my wheel was rolling but so slowly it was registering 0.0 miles per hour. I'll see eight again but from the other direction!

    Pics

    1) Start of 8
    2) End of eight (I came out a 1/4 mile up from Empty Beers marker
    3) 8
    4,5) couple pics along the way
    Good work. I'm counting on you getting this route figured out so you can show me next summer

  45. #45
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    Great information! I'll use the recon info of trail 8 for my next trip up there.

    I rode Pony Express (XP), Hawley Grade, TRT from 89 to Armstrong Pass, Armstrong Connector, Sidewinder, and Corral trails last weekend.

    The drop down from Armstrong pass was a blast. Especially the Connector and Sidewinder trails. I highly recommend those routes.

    Grabbed some helmet camera footage from some of the sections. Just posted the Hawley Grade section:

    Tahoe Hawley Grade Trail HelmetCam Video

    This is also a great ride and descent down into Christmas Valley. The ride up wouldn't be too bad. The top starts only a few hundred yards from the XP single-track that heads towards Strawberry. So it makes for a nice continuation.

    Will post some more soon.
    My Cycling Videos: Vimeo | YouTube | My Website

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    Hey all,
    I did an out and back on the XP trail from Tract 31 to Strawberry and back on July 3rd. I took some photos that might help those that try the same ride, because there are a few points where one could lose the trail. I lost it a few times. I'll post those pictures pretty soon, but they are at home and I'm at work.
    The XP trail along this stretch is almost all single track. It fallows Highway 50, sometimes closely, sometimes far away, but always parallel, which is to say that you can pick up the trail on just about any access road on that side of the highway, just look for the trail markers. The XP trail is very much a horse trail (sandy, narrow, not too technical), but it is an adventure. Don't fool yourself; it was not an easy 30 mile ride. There is no resting unless you stop. It took a long time to climb up to strawberry, so I assumed the descent would be fast, fun and easy...wrong. It was fast a couple times, fun a lot, but man was it a lot of work! Maybe it was the altitude, running out of water, or just my expectations, but I was not prepared for that much work to descent a couple thousand feet! The only technical spots are the little stream crossings in each little valley. I was riding by myself, so I kept the risk factor very low, but it seemed that all but one would be ride-able by a better rider than I, and I suppose even that crossing could be done by a trials rider.
    There were many sections that were too steep or too sandy for me to ride in both directions.
    It was neat to ride on a trail for close to 6 hours and see one or two foot prints, one dog pile, two horse piles, 0 bikes, 0 horses, 0 people, 0 tire tracks, 0 hoof prints, and sometimes 0 trail. All I could think is wow we take our postal service for granted.
    This would be a fun ride to shuttle with a fairly new rider. It would likely boor a teenager with 7” of travel. If it was safer to ride Highway 50, then next time I would ride up 50 and down the XP to cut the time down dramatically.
    Last edited by mellowyellowCJ7; 07-09-2009 at 02:38 PM.

  47. #47
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    Great thread! Thanks for the beta.

    Someone asked about camping. Back around the turn of the century (fun saying that) one of my favorite guerrilla crash sites was down by Phantom spires. If memory serves there is a jeep road on the left side of the road between 4 and 5 miles up Wright Lake Rd. (think it was 4.7 miles but don't quote me.) Follow it for a couple hundred yards down to a dirt lot near Phantom Spires. Back then it was usually empty on Fridays but expect to share it with some climbers (make sure you lock your beer in your car) on Saturday nights.

    -slide

  48. #48
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    Hey Sleeve, about how long a drive is it time wise to drive from Stawberry to the parking area for trail #2? Thnaks again for all the great info!!

    Some more pics from Tuesday's ride
    http://home.comcast.net/~tahoebackco...ugh/index.html

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    Nice photos of 8! Good job. This time of year is the greatest for these trails with everything blooming. So as far as a trail dropping down the ridge from trail 7 to lake Margaret, I am not aware of one. The only option I see on a map is from 88, by Kirkwood, wich looks pretty mellow.
    As far as how long to trail 2 from Strawberry, maybe 15 to 20 minutes depending on your ride, the road is a little rough. If you bike up from Strawberry, it takes about an hour and a half to get to the parking area.

  50. #50
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    Nice pix!

    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    Hey Sleeve, about how long a drive is it time wise to drive from Stawberry to the parking area for trail #2? Thnaks again for all the great info!!

    Some more pics from Tuesday's ride
    http://home.comcast.net/~tahoebackco...ugh/index.html
    Jealous
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  51. #51
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    Dropped off at Echo Summit and connected a few trails for a great ride. Started at the Pony Express and shot down to Sierra At Tahoe road, crossed the road , hit the XP to a dirt road. Turn left here back to the pavement and follow this up to Sierra, take a right up to the lower shop. On the left side of the shop is a paved road that takes you to a dirt road going across the top of Broadway run. Head up this road to Corkscrew and Upper Main, to the ridge, now the road drops down Snowboard Alley. At the bottom I crossed some plywood over a marsh area and headed straight, up the hill to Bryan Meawows trail, make a right. The next 2.5 miles is a great downhill of switchbacks, rocks, bears, and some rock staircases at the bottom. Once at the bottom head down the road and look for the XP turn to your left. More single track. Drink a beer at the bridge. Continue on, when you hit a T (the Lovers Leap trail from Camp Sac.) go left, you'll see the XP dive down to the right stay left and climb to the top of Lovers Leap. check out the view. Now head down the west side (single track) for 1000' down to Strawberry...Zesty!

  52. #52
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    Wow so much great stuff here can't wait to get up to my family's cabin at echo lake next week, I thought the xp to strawberry was good, I'm so stoked to try sayles canyon. Is anyone going to be in the area next week? I can bug my family for a shuttle, but more riders, and drivers would be great.

    Sleeve what is the best way to get back to a car from the bottom of sayles. It's too bad the pct isn't a bike friendly trail, because that would make a perfect loop back to the top of echo summit.

  53. #53
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    Cool pics. I'm particularly interested because I used to live near there and have done some of that riding. It always bugged me that there was little to no trail development in between Pollock Pines and Lake Tahoe. Doesn't look like that has changed much, but at least some stuff is being reclaimed.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  54. #54
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    If you are doing a out and back from Echo Summit to Sayles, the XP is your best bet to get to and from Sierra At Tahoe. There are definitely a few section that require pushing your bike up steep grades, once at the resort.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleeve
    So as far as a trail dropping down the ridge from trail 7 to lake Margaret, I am not aware of one.
    the map in this post doesn't show topo so well, but on the usgs map the contours appear to be mellow enough to indicate a potential connection from the buck pasture trail to lake margaret. on the map in this post, go east of the number 7 trail label to the the "7" in the thousands place of the elevation. from there go due south to intersect the #7, or buck pasture trail. this is where the route would begin, then go southeasterly between the 2 small lakes, then easterly along the north side of lake margaret, then southerly tying in on the southeast side of the lake. it's 1.85 miles and 300' elev. loss, or a 3% overall grade, which would be an easy ride. of course, that terrain could make for tough going and turn easy 3% into "adventure." i'm contemplating heading out there for the sole purpose of scouting that line if anyone wants to join me.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steam007
    the map in this post doesn't show topo so well, but on the usgs map the contours appear to be mellow enough to indicate a potential connection from the buck pasture trail to lake margaret. on the map in this post, go east of the number 7 trail label to the the "7" in the thousands place of the elevation. from there go due south to intersect the #7, or buck pasture trail. this is where the route would begin, then go southeasterly between the 2 small lakes, then easterly along the north side of lake margaret, then southerly tying in on the southeast side of the lake. it's 1.85 miles and 300' elev. loss, or a 3% overall grade, which would be an easy ride. of course, that terrain could make for tough going and turn easy 3% into "adventure." i'm contemplating heading out there for the sole purpose of scouting that line if anyone wants to join me.
    Hey Steam007, I'm available Tues. or Thurs. maybe the weekend. What are your plans for the aproach? Just a few days ago I climbed from Strawberry to the Buck Pasture trail and dropped trail 6, (over 2600' of climbing and 21 m. loop). Could shuttle up to Cody area and cut it down to about 12m. including going out to Margaret Lake. Checking out the map it looks like you could traverse the hillside from Bucks to Margaret at 7600' Anyway many options are available, let me know if your interested, I'm starting a new post (Strawberry rides Hwy 50). Post a reply there for this one is getting to big for my dial up connection to load in a short time. Thanx

  57. #57
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    There's got to be a better way ....

    First, great post and pics!

    I've ridden this area quite a bit on a dirt bike (where it is legal) and I've ridden my MTB up # 5 which resulted in a LONG climb with a fast DH if you do it as an out and back. What is fairly easy on a dirt bike (save one or two rocky sections) is a tough arduous climb on a MTB.

    Our normal loop would consist of riding up # 5 (also called Strawberry jump trail due to the water bars) and hook up with # 9. We would take # 9 to # 8 and loop back down the ridge to Lover's Leap and drop # 4.

    None of the routes listed is for the faint of heart as far as climbing to connect to the ridge line or downhill trails. The area has extensive FS and 4WD roads that if pieced together might make for a more pleasant climb. You would still encounter some hike-a-bike but I bet you could ride up east of # 5 ... perhaps up Strawberry Cyn to # 7 and ride # 7 across the ridge?

    BTW, the ride up from Caples maintenance station to # 9 and # 7 is MUCH easier but you could drive a car up most of this.

    If you do choose to use the perfect trail, be aware that there are a lot of hikers and I've seen rangers in the area especially late summer / early Fall.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleeve
    Hey Steam007, I'm available Tues. or Thurs. maybe the weekend. What are your plans for the aproach? Just a few days ago I climbed from Strawberry to the Buck Pasture trail and dropped trail 6, (over 2600' of climbing and 21 m. loop). Could shuttle up to Cody area and cut it down to about 12m. including going out to Margaret Lake. Checking out the map it looks like you could traverse the hillside from Bucks to Margaret at 7600' Anyway many options are available, let me know if your interested, I'm starting a new post (Strawberry rides Hwy 50). Post a reply there for this one is getting to big for my dial up connection to load in a short time. Thanx
    hola senor sleeve... i posted at your new post, said i pm'd you my cell... not sure if you saw it?

  59. #59
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    Anyone interested in doing some riding in this area on Friday morning, Aug 7? I went through that area when I was hiking the CA PCT, and I'd like to get back there (the area in general) on the mountain bike, but I'd like to have someone show me around, since I have no idea where I'm going. I won't slow you down.

    -D

  60. #60
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    Diesel,

    I can't make this Fri ... Good luck!

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by sminniear
    Diesel,

    I can't make this Fri ... Good luck!
    No worries..thanks anyhow!

    Any other takers?

    -D

  62. #62
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    Sat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~
    No worries..thanks anyhow!

    Any other takers?

    -D
    I was thinking Saturday but tomorrow might work.

    Check your PM's
    Romani ite domum

  63. #63
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    Many thanks to fourarm for showing me around up there. Definitely the highlight of my Tahoe trip.

    I was not sure how I'd feel after doing a 30 mile ride from Kingsbury to Toads and back to town the day prior, but all was well by the time we started riding. A swim in the river after the ride + an 8 mile run on the power line trail the next day were the icing on the cake. Definitely a beautiful area, and I can't wait to get back.

    -D
    Attached Images Attached Images

  64. #64
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    Diesel ... thanks for the pics!

    Diesel,

    Thanks for posting the pics. A few of us are going to ride # 8 + Sayles and Thunder Mtn / Horse Cyn on Friday. Seeing the pics brings back memories and has me amped to go.

    BTW, how tall are you? The seatpost is WAY up there on the Ibis!

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by sminniear
    Diesel,

    Thanks for posting the pics. A few of us are going to ride # 8 + Sayles and Thunder Mtn / Horse Cyn on Friday. Seeing the pics brings back memories and has me amped to go.

    BTW, how tall are you? The seatpost is WAY up there on the Ibis!
    Glad you enjoyed the photos, sminniear. I'm 6'4", so my saddle ends up pretty high. An adjustable post (or QR for that matter) would have been a good idea for Sayles.

    Have a great ride on Friday and be safe out there!

    -D

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by sminniear
    A few of us are going to ride # 8 + Sayles and Thunder Mtn / Horse Cyn on Friday. Seeing the pics brings back memories and has me amped to go.
    Holy crap that's one long brutal day, I'd be interested in how you plan on stringing those all together, Pm me if needed.

  67. #67
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    caples-little round top-8-sayles + t mtn... not

    bc,

    that ride was my idea. i was only slightly familiar with the area from a little dualsport moto'g up there... jump road, buck pasture, little round top. i've ridden all the silver fork/caples creek trails though. prolly doesn't need saying... we never made it to thunder mtn.

    the plan was park near schneider camp for the strawberry side ride, then drive to the t mtn th for that ride... otherwise you're slabbing hwy 88 twice... no thanks.

    we had one late-comer who got his signals crossed, which prolly ended up being fine... made it warmer for us all. it felt like the first hint of the season change.

    as tahoetic stated, rides there are more of an adventure, and we had one... one of the most awesome ever! the ridge trail was a bit of a chore staying on in spots, even with two of us carrying mapping gps units and tahoetics map. we went in at the "no moto" sign on little round top, floundered in the gnarled little trees after a while, and got back on track. when we got on the open ridge paralleling the downed barb wire fence, the wind was stiff enough that we were all listing to port to keep from being blown over.

    the super steep sandy drop toward the leap was insane. sminniear was with us... said they used to moto up that thing... i can't figure out how you'd get any traction unless you had a rear paddle like they use on the dunes. i don't know if i've ever been that far and low off the back of my bike... i think my sight line was from the seatpost binder through the stem!

    hung at the leap for a few, threw rocks down at climbers... kidding. headed for the xp and sayles. filtered water at sayles creek, and went up. took the wrong turn to round meadow, which is an amazingly dramatic and beautiful place... well worth the out-n-back from sayles. bushwacked 0.15 miles north to get back on sayles. the maps don't show the round meadow trail, not even the 1992 revised usgs map. it parallels sayles canyon. when i imported the gps track into ng topo, the round meadow trail appears to be sayles canyon.

    btw, here's a link to the usgs store... free topo maps in pdf format: http://store.usgs.gov/b2c_usgs/usgs/...&uiarea=2)/.do

    from that point it was easy, stick to the trail, ride it home... well except for walking that non-bike connector thing... what do they call it? you know, it goes all along the crest of the west. data says 29 miles, 4925 elevation gain, so not an epic by those stats. with the hike-a-bike and bushwacking, it felt bigger. i think if we an earlier start and no navigation slow downs, thunder mtn may have been possible.

    living in placerville, this area is so close... my new haven. thanks to tahoetic and the rest who've enlightened me. if you're looking to adventure ride, let me know... i'm down.

    also, anyone know sleeve? he posted up about joining me to scout buck pasture to lake margaret, then i didn't hear back... just wondering if he's ok.

    we had a great photographer along, so i didn't shoot much. when he gets his pix up, i'll add a post or edit into this post.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steam007
    bc,

    that ride was my idea. i was only slightly familiar with the area from a little dualsport moto'g up there... jump road, buck pasture, little round top. i've ridden all the silver fork/caples creek trails though. prolly doesn't need saying... we never made it to thunder mtn.

    the plan was park near schneider camp for the strawberry side ride, then drive to the t mtn th for that ride... otherwise you're slabbing hwy 88 twice... no thanks.

    we had one late-comer who got his signals crossed, which prolly ended up being fine... made it warmer for us all. it felt like the first hint of the season change.

    as tahoetic stated, rides there are more of an adventure, and we had one... one of the most awesome ever! the ridge trail was a bit of a chore staying on in spots, even with two of us carrying mapping gps units and tahoetics map. we went in at the "no moto" sign on little round top, floundered in the gnarled little trees after a while, and got back on track. when we got on the open ridge paralleling the downed barb wire fence, the wind was stiff enough that we were all listing to port to keep from being blown over.

    the super steep sandy drop toward the leap was insane. sminniear was with us... said they used to moto up that thing... i can't figure out how you'd get any traction unless you had a rear paddle like they use on the dunes. i don't know if i've ever been that far and low off the back of my bike... i think my sight line was from the seatpost binder through the stem!

    hung at the leap for a few, threw rocks down at climbers... kidding. headed for the xp and sayles. filtered water at sayles creek, and went up. took the wrong turn to round meadow, which is an amazingly dramatic and beautiful place... well worth the out-n-back from sayles. bushwacked 0.15 miles north to get back on sayles. the maps don't show the round meadow trail, not even the 1992 revised usgs map. it parallels sayles canyon. when i imported the gps track into ng topo, the round meadow trail appears to be sayles canyon.

    btw, here's a link to the usgs store... free topo maps in pdf format: http://store.usgs.gov/b2c_usgs/usgs/...&uiarea=2)/.do

    from that point it was easy, stick to the trail, ride it home... well except for walking that non-bike connector thing... what do they call it? you know, it goes all along the crest of the west. data says 29 miles, 4925 elevation gain, so not an epic by those stats. with the hike-a-bike and bushwacking, it felt bigger. i think if we an earlier start and no navigation slow downs, thunder mtn may have been possible.

    living in placerville, this area is so close... my new haven. thanks to tahoetic and the rest who've enlightened me. if you're looking to adventure ride, let me know... i'm down.

    also, anyone know sleeve? he posted up about joining me to scout buck pasture to lake margaret, then i didn't hear back... just wondering if he's ok.

    we had a great photographer along, so i didn't shoot much. when he gets his pix up, i'll add a post or edit into this post.
    Steam007 captured this ride well, but I'll add some additional comments ...

    First, we had a strong group of 5 riders and the comraderie was great. What Steam007 didn't say was that with the extensive hike-a-biking and getting "lost" or should I say dis-oriented a few times, we found ourselves at Round Meadows at a little past 6 p.m. and no visible trail ... Fortunately we had good navigators and solid GPS units, but it still required bushwhacking up a relatively steep hillside to get back on Sayles. At this point, finding the trail lifted people's spirits as we knew we wouldn't have to bomb back to Sierra / Stawberry and figure out now to get our vehicles, but we knew it was still going to be tight getting back before dark.

    It took us an hour to get up to the Schneider's camp and PCT intersection so we had enough daylight to really enjoy the trail back around Little Round Mtn. It is an AWESOME trail done in this direction. With daylight fading, we arrived at our vehicles after 8 and it was dark as we left. We started at 10.30 a.m. We lost some time due to navigation on # 8 and the diversion up Sayles. That said, we would need an earlier start IMO to do Thunder Mtn/Horse Cyn in addition to this.

    Steam007 is an animal and he would have done it (he had lights) if anyone was willing to go with him. I was relieved (to have completed the loop) and dog tired with no intent riding of riding Thunder Mtn / Horse Cyn even if I had lights!

  69. #69
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    leap of faith (and photos)...

    ... which is what we took when we headed for the leap from schneider camp.

    steve, you flatter me, but if i could throw down on the rose to toads then i'd be worthy of your accolades. thanks, but i can't fully accept the praise, plus the crew reading this will expect the impossible from me.

    in addition, i think you may have been delirious from exhaustion... there were 6 of us bro'!!!

    rokoko, our resident photographer posted to shutterfly... here's the link to the slideshow

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    There were 6 of us ...

    Steam ... there were 6 of us? Who did we leave BEHIND! :-)

    I wasn't counting myself. Thanks for posting the pics. Outstanding.

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    Nice adventure! Thanks for sharing the photos. I can't wait to play/suffer up there soon!

  72. #72
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    Missed connection

    While riding a section of the Pony Express last Friday we met a couple hikers with ton's of great information. They had been hiking all the sections of the pony express starting in the foothills in the spring and working there way up though the higher elevations throughout the summer. They said the single track continues west of Kyburz and is in good shape, getting a fair amount of equestrian traffic. Although there would be some fireroads involved they indicated that by bike it should be no problem to ride from Echo Summit to Ice house road. They have been GPS'ing the route and I'm kicking myself now for not getting there number.

    We were also discussing the 9 trail and one of them said a buddy sent them this map from the internet with it on it, I'm assuming it came off this thread. So if your reading this and know these guys, help me get connected!

    Hey Steam007 and sminniear, I missed your post earlier, nice adventure for sure!

  73. #73
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    This sounds pretty good Jeff ! Let me know when your going to ride it and I will try and make up to Tahoe and ride it with you. Just returned from SSWC in Durango.

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    You can download a GPS track for the pony express trail from http://www.redtrails.com. Seems to include the section from Echo Summit to Icehouse. Just put pony express into the search box. You may also need to turn on 'trails' from the Layers menu.

    Not a bad resource.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by HansNiemand
    You can download a GPS track for the pony express trail from http://www.redtrails.com. Seems to include the section from Echo Summit to Icehouse. Just put pony express into the search box. You may also need to turn on 'trails' from the Layers menu.

    Not a bad resource.

    Thanks man, that's exactly what I was looking for, already download the gpx file.


    Quote Originally Posted by mark59
    This sounds pretty good Jeff ! Let me know when your going to ride it and I will try and make up to Tahoe and ride it with you. Just returned from SSWC in Durango.
    I'll be in touch Mark, come back with a tat?

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    Enjoyed Caples to Strawberry and back on Saturday with msrutzie. Took 9 to PerfeCT to Sayles to XP below Lovers Leap. Refueled at Strawberry Lodge before the gruelling climb up Strawberry Canyon and back down to Caples. Very fun and challenging ride, in both directions. Msrutzie handled it like a champ! Took almost 3 hours to get from Strawberry to Caples.

    Trail 9 (17E16):


    Perfect:


    Sayles:


    Sayles:


    Sayles:


    Pony XP:


    Lots of climbers:




    Retarded section... I'll go over the top of Lovers Leap next time:


    Strawberry Canyon climb:


    Top!


    On Sunday, we wanted to see if we could find a way to get from Buck Pasture to Lake Margaret for a future bike loop. We hiked into Lake Margaret, and after much bushwhacking, determined that there wasn't even a slight trail connecting the two. It could be hike-a-biked in less than 30 minutes, but kind of a hassle with the shrubs. It's such a short stretch, a handful of people armed with loppers and mcleods could probably have a suitable connector made in a day of work.

    Lake Margaret has nice jumping rocks:


    msrutzie moved this big rock out of the way:


    The general idea:


    Lake Margaret from above (and about a quarter mile from Bucks singletrack)


    Riding from Lake Margaret to Hwy 88 would be no walk in the park, but another fun 2.5 miles of challenging trail. Plenty of places with mandatory dismounts, and being able to ride from Lake Margaret parking lot counter clockwise to Schneider Camp then Buck Pasture, then down to Lake Margaret and to the car would be a sweet loop (with plenty of options)!

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer
    Enjoyed Caples to Strawberry and back on Saturday !

    Nice, that's gotta be my favorite way to hit Sales now, seems like hardly any work at all by the time your at the bottom of Sales.

    Next time instead of dropping below Lovers Leap, take the trail to the top, the trail down from the leap past the 8, is really fun.

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    Moto Assist

    Would you like me to put that trail in to the lake for you with my moto????

    If anybody is interested, I will be camping with my family at Schneider Camp this weekend 10/3. Moto and MTB short day trips welcome.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    Nice, that's gotta be my favorite way to hit Sales now, seems like hardly any work at all by the time your at the bottom of Sales.

    Next time instead of dropping below Lovers Leap, take the trail to the top, the trail down from the leap past the 8, is really fun.
    Yeah, I'd definitely go over the top of LL next time. How's that Bryan Meadow Trail compare to Sayles? Pretty much the same?

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer
    Yeah, I'd definitely go over the top of LL next time. How's that Bryan Meadow Trail compare to Sayles? Pretty much the same?
    Bryan isn't that Tech and a better climb than Sayles.

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    Thought I would bring this back up to get people motivated. And don't be shy to get off your bike and clear trail while you waiting for your partners. Thanks.

  82. #82
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    I just found this discussion and had a great ride on XP last weekend. Looking forward to exploring other trails in the area. Maybe some of the best loops should be formally written up in the "Trails" section of MTBR? I'll log some GPS tracker data for posting here.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxuhle View Post
    I just found this discussion and had a great ride on XP last weekend. Looking forward to exploring other trails in the area. Maybe some of the best loops should be formally written up in the "Trails" section of MTBR? I'll log some GPS tracker data for posting here.
    Definitely a fun area to explore, looping stuff out there is usually a nice adventure though. Here are a few TR's I have book marked that might aid in your discovery of the area, have fun!

    Cody Creek Trail (Strawberry)
    Tahoe (Stawberry Ride) Ride Saturday 7/17
    Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz
    It's spring in the Tahoe High Country 8/21/2011
    My ride was better than your ride -Tahoe Area
    Lover's Leap
    Spinning Wheels

  84. #84
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    I've waited years to ride this area and finally did. Thanks to the many posters that contributed. It was worth it. I'll be back soon.

    damon

  85. #85
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    Re: Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz

    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Definitely a fun area to explore, looping stuff out there is usually a nice adventure though. Here are a few TR's I have book marked that might aid in your discovery of the area, have fun!

    Cody Creek Trail (Strawberry)
    Tahoe (Stawberry Ride) Ride Saturday 7/17
    Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz
    It's spring in the Tahoe High Country 8/21/2011
    My ride was better than your ride -Tahoe Area
    Lover's Leap
    Spinning Wheels


    Your stuff is always good. Thanks for the links.

    Heck, you've even had me crunching the numbers on buying a forest service cabin a couple of times.

  86. #86
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    Somebody needs to put all those trails on OSM cycling maps...

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Somebody needs to put all those trails on OSM cycling maps...
    Or just grab a map and head out to explore

    Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz-strawberry-area.jpg

  88. #88
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    Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Or just grab a map and head out
    I found loading OSM on Gaia and poking around to be a bit more convenient. Even as I am quite proficient with paper maps. Also add satellite layer and topo maps. Should start editing OSM myself.

  89. #89
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    Smile XP and S@T to Sayles Trail layers

    Hey all-- I love this thread! The web at it's best.
    XP is wonderful. I've been riding it from Echo Summit to Sierra@Tahoe road junction, up through the ski area climbing the Sugar and Spice run (other stuff is too steep) then down the back on Short Stuff and right and descending Bryan Meadow to lower Sayles, and around and back up XP. Nice 3 hr loop from Echo Summit.
    I ran into this digital map from Capitol riders made with KML layers
    El Dorado NF Trail Layers with topo layers
    http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=http://capitolriders.org/KMZ/ElDoradoNFtrails.kml&ll=38.812025,-120.089750&z=14&t=t2
    You can supposedly download to a mobile device but only by using Trimble's software. Better yet, just download the KML file of the trails directly using "filepath.kml" you see in the URL. For example here just go to
    http://capitolriders.org/KMZ/ElDoradoNFtrails.kml

    Then you can use it with any iOS or Android software that accepts KMLs.
    Last edited by ntripcevich; 07-02-2014 at 09:25 PM. Reason: stop hiding the url ...

  90. #90
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    Good to see folks enjoying this area, Sugar & Spice is usually to soggy this time of year for my taste, but went up it a few days ago and its fine now in this dry year, little shadier than the steeper head wall climb also. We also cleared out the rest of the deadfall on Sayles from PCT intersection down that did not require a chainsaw and there are only like 2 or 3 of those, its riding well right now.

    I love doing point to points in this area, here is one from earlier this year starting at Luther pass and ending in Strawberry.
    LutherToStrawberry by tahoebc at Garmin Connect - Details

    I want to do one later this year going over Freel pass and ending in Strawberry.

    Here is another thread that should probably be linked to

    Pony Express - Echo Summit to Silver Fork
    Pony Express - Echo Summit to Silver Fork

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    YES that Luther to Strawberry is a great combo! I haven't put it together like that but what a perfect bunch of riding and if you're shuttling anyway, throw in Meiss meadows.

    True that Sugar-and-Spice is soggy though it's just rideable now. So you sometimes climb above Easy Rider on the dirt road and straight up the steep ridge? Have you tried over by West Bowl (the Escape run skiing down) then back up to the top of Short Stuff? Either way it's a quick way into the high country.
    And I agree climbing Sayles/Bryan Meadows trail up to the PCT is some of the best singletrack depending on how much time you have. Thanks for clearing the trail! There's a lot of downed logs on XP right now (I counted like 8 or 9) probably from the wind event last fall that closed WRights Lake.

  92. #92
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    Dang, I was hoping they cleared those trees for that pony express event, guess I'll be crossing them again tomorrow.

    When not doing sugar and spice I take the route in the linked track above, just ride past the lodge up the hill past that little maintenance building on the right and just continue the fire road up to the saddle, has a couple short steep headwalls but it goes by pretty quick.

  93. #93
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    Unearth an old post

    Been riding this area only for last two years, thanks to Prozach with some great routes. I love maps like what the op attached. Old maps with trails that were once used, but now decommissioned or abandoned and new maps don't show. For better or worse.

    Requires some sleuthing I know - I dig riding old trails off the beaten path. What's funny is - what seemed like a vast, expansive area - after now having ridden some of the trails off Strawberry, it seems much smaller now - now that i'm familiar with the area.Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz-img_0470.jpg

  94. #94
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    Dang, this post has been going on 9 years!

    Haven't ridden the XP in the last few years, with the exception of Hawley Grade.

    Seems like the Strawberry Creek area trails should be more developed by now. Anyone ridden up there lately?




    Looking forward to riding Sayles in the next month or so.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  95. #95
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    Rode from echo to Kyburz about 1 week ago.
    Top section is still the best, and it appears the FS might be putting in a new trail for XP or PCT. there is a rough new trail on the north side of hwy 50 now.

    From Strawberry to Kyburz is marginal. More uphill than you’d expect, and the trail below Wright’s lake road is getting overgrown (but not bad ....yet).

    The section that runs immediately above Kyburz to Webber Mill rd was really over grown last year, and had many short steep sections. I didn’t ride it last week.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    Dang, this post has been going on 9 years!

    Haven't ridden the XP in the last few years, with the exception of Hawley Grade.

    Seems like the Strawberry Creek area trails should be more developed by now. Anyone ridden up there lately?

    Looking forward to riding Sayles in the next month or so.
    Yeah 9 years and i just found it today lol.

    Did a half dozen rides around there this year, couple last year. Saw maybe four riders yesterday on Lovers - then we were almost murdered by some idiots shooting guns.

    A few of us have trimmed and cleared a few of the trails between 50 and 89. Recent YT channel vids i'm sure will get a few more out there.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by dchester View Post
    Yeah 9 years and i just found it today lol.

    Did a half dozen rides around there this year, couple last year. Saw maybe four riders yesterday on Lovers - then we were almost murdered by some idiots shooting guns.

    A few of us have trimmed and cleared a few of the trails between 50 and 89. Recent YT channel vids i'm sure will get a few more out there.
    Post some of your routes or Strava rides! I'd be curious to see where you're riding exactly.
    Sometimes you eat the trail, sometimes the trail eats you.

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  98. #98
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    Pony Express Strawberry to Kyburz-21af3889-4b18-4dad-9a34-7a2e0579696f.jpgWidgeontrail, I used Trailforks and Strava to create a route - in Strava. The route builder is funky but I think they’ve improved it recently. The OP’s map is pretty good too - pull up route creator and turn on the segment option and you should see some choices. I’m riding the trails you see on TF. Lovers, PE, Cody heres more on this area Cody Creek Trail (Strawberry)

    I also thought this was cool. The Jack Voss Trail The camp was in full effect over the weekend. There were tents and scouts and leaders everywhere. The added effect of their shooting range made for a cool ride in the woods.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by dchester View Post
    I also thought this was cool. The Jack Voss Trail The camp was in full effect over the weekend. There were tents and scouts and leaders everywhere. The added effect of their shooting range made for a cool ride in the woods.
    This thread continues to deliver! Nice find. Nice history of a little known place

    TBC sampling dirt on the JVT


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    Hi all-- First thanks to the OP on this thread it has inspired a number of great rides for me! I've been setting off from Echo Summit on XP and adding on a loop over the shoulder of Sierra at Tahoe (if you've skiied there go up the Sugar-n-Spice run and down Shortstuff). After a short jog to the USFS trail this sets you up for a quick climb of Bryant Meadow trail to the PCT and then turn around and descend Bryant to Sayles and back up XP to Echo Summit. Much faster than hike-a-biking up Sayles. I describe it here
    https://mtbproject.com/trail/7009365/sayles-loop

    Also i got dropped at Caples Lake last summer and rode the trail indicated as #8 on the improved map in this thread. It was interesting! The USFS has closed it but it's known as "Picket Fence". Despite the closure (with No Motorized signs) there are motocross guys shredding up the slope behind Lovers Leap.

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