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  1. #1
    DSR
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    Thoughts on trails between Lefthand and Jamestown?

    So one of my goals for this spring/summer (not too lofty here!) is to figure out some new trails that are nearby. Love Ned and the high country stuff, but it's kind of time-consuming and now increasingly expensive (with gas prices) to get there. Ditto with trekking out to Breck, Fruita, etc. So I've been back looking over the maps and poking around on Google Earth.

    One area that looks promising that I've somehow never ridden at all is the stuff between Lefthand Canyon and Jamestown and then further west. So there's FS509 that connects into Lefthand right near Rowena and then heads north and west and connects into the trails around Gold Lake and then the several trails that drop down to Jamestown. They also continue further west to the P2P and Sourdough, SSV, Buchanan, etc. Or you could also connect into the Lefthand OHV stuff as well. A pretty epic ride would be Lee Hill --> Deer Trail (steep roads) --> the dirt descent to Rowena and then connect into all of that stuff north and then west. Lee Hill/Deer Trail is all road and steep, but would quickly get you up and back to dirt vs going 36 --> Lefthand.

    Anyway, that all looks promising and close. I think I'll just go exploring next day off. But wanted to see if anyone had any opinions on that area. Good trails or all jeep roads? Straightforward or a total maze? Yadda yadda.

    Thanks all! S

  2. #2
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    I rode there years ago up the main road out of Jamestown, (I forgot the number). It involved a really hairy creek crossing at least during the spring, the jeep roads there are very steep. I came to the top, and started talking to couple other riders, follwed them to some really sweet singletrack, I doubt I could ever find it again. It had an exremely tough downhill, basically scree and skidding the whole way and we ended up in some guys backyard right by Rowena. I have not been back since, but with a good map and lots of time on your hands you might find some good stuff.

  3. #3
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    good luck, never been anywhere except the offroad area

    on lefthand. I'd be curious what you find.

  4. #4
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    That old fs road to Rowena is a good enough connector, I've always ridden it uphill though.

    All the Jeep roads heading up out of Lefthand seem steep and loose, from what I've seen from the car/roadbike.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  5. #5
    DSR
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    Yeah, good points. I'm sure all the FS roads up out of there are steep and loose. Heck, Lickskillet is a maintained road and it's freakin steep and loose as all heck! Intrigued by the thought of hidden ST up there though. Koko - From looking at the map and what I remember seeing from the road, that sketchy trail into someone's backyard in Rowena is that FS509 trail. Climbing from LHC up that looks nasty, but once you gain that altitude it looks like the trails ride that ridge with several options to drop down the other side to Jamestown. I think I'm gonna check it out next Tues AM. I think I'll be cursing my 1x9 set up most of the way! S

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSR
    Yeah, good points. I'm sure all the FS roads up out of there are steep and loose. Heck, Lickskillet is a maintained road and it's freakin steep and loose as all heck! Intrigued by the thought of hidden ST up there though. Koko - From looking at the map and what I remember seeing from the road, that sketchy trail into someone's backyard in Rowena is that FS509 trail. Climbing from LHC up that looks nasty, but once you gain that altitude it looks like the trails ride that ridge with several options to drop down the other side to Jamestown. I think I'm gonna check it out next Tues AM. I think I'll be cursing my 1x9 set up most of the way! S
    Tentatively, we're riding out o' Jamestown for our next Tues ride. Next week 6pm we're meeting in Jamestown. You'll see a lot of what you're talking about there.

    To hit the trail dumping into Rowena, the best way is to climb up Sunshine Canyon, take a right where it turns to dirt, and climb up to Sunshine Saddle (listed on maps). That road/trail is listed as a county road (because it is) but it's more or less singletrack.

    The 509 on the other side of the highway can be tough to find. When you do, it's a beotch to climb. I think the most fun way is to ride it all out of Jamestown, but that nets more car time...
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  7. #7
    DSR
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    Yo man. Yeah, Lee Hill to Deer Trail is just better for me just cuz it's closer. But you do add a decent bit of vertical vs Sunshine. From middle of Boulder, Sunshine would be better. Deer Trail is no fun.

    That 509 looks pretty brutal. Curious how long it's brutal. I'll check it out.

    I'd like to make one of your 6pm rides but my Tuesdays are no longer so available as Dax is about to have his second kiddo, so maybe in a couple weeks... assuming it's not a hammerfest because I have not been able to get out much in the past month. Argh. S

  8. #8
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    I rode that area a lot last summer and fall. I highly recommend it, it is some of the best riding that I can reach from work without driving (or from home with only a short drive). I was there two weeks ago, and there's still snow and mud if you get high enough. To explore the whole area you might want to wait until June or so, but you could definitely ride some of the area now.

    I typically park at the bottom of Left Hand (or bike from work in the Gunbarrel area) and bike up through James canyon to Jamestown (when talking to locals, call it "Jimtown" to be cool), and go through town. You'll see CR 102J, aka "Ward Road" at the upper edge of town, take this road. Or, if you don't want to ride up to Jamestown, drive up and park near the post office, CR102J is just a few hundred feet further on from the post office.

    CR102J goes past some houses, then you hit a gate. There's room for bikes to get through, the gate is only to stop cars as the road is closed to motorized traffic. It's some nice double track for several miles, but you'll hit a creek crossing with no bridge. I take off shoes and socks and cross on foot, and then dry off and put the shoes back on (avoids having wet feet and shoes for the rest of the ride). This was damn cold two weeks ago! The creek is about 20 ft. wide, maybe a foot deep, not too bad.

    Two weeks ago, just past the creek, there was lots of snow and mud, so I turned around (had to cross the creek twice, it sucked!!). Later in the year, though, this will dry out and it takes you a few more miles up. You'll get to a junction - you can pick three routes from here:
    (1) Turn left and go a few more miles to FS509, which goes back down to Jamestown. It's very rough and steep, but all downhill (going up on this road is brutal!) This road is open to 4WD traffic, so be careful. I also saw some stupid teenagers firing a rifle ACROSS the trail at some beer cans one day - when I got close enough to see what was going on, they also saw me and stopped).
    (2) Turn right and go up to Gold Lake and continue up to Ward. I hear there are some nice trails up there, but I haven't found them yet.
    (3) If you go away from Jamestown on FS509, this will eventually take you to a dead end on top of a high ridge. I hit this one day as the sun was going down, I had a moment of panic - my map said the route went down and connected to Left Hand canyon, but I hit a dead end instead. Not sure what my mistake was - this is a good way to go exploring, just make sure you're not getting close to night fall if you go this way

    Right now, you could take this route just to the creek and then turn back, just to get a feel for the area. Later in the year, cross the creek and explore the rest. For an epic ride, take this route on up to Ward and then to the Brainard area. I did this once last year, it was tiring but fun.
    Last edited by HOser; 05-04-2006 at 11:14 AM.

  9. #9
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    Just occurred to me, maybe we could make a group ride out of this. I'd suggest starting at the bottom of Left Hand Canyon (park on the east side of the highway on Plateau Rd. to avoid the crowds) and going up and turning back at the creek crossing I mentioned. Personally I don't mind a little ashpalt, but if anyone does then this might not be appealing.

    I'm out of town until May 12th, but if you're looking for people to ride with, let me know, we can hit this later in May. I live in Longmont, work at IBM, I'm in the area all the time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOser
    Just occurred to me, maybe we could make a group ride out of this.
    Hey Hoser, we were thinking of hitting this next tues at 6pm, meeting in Jamestown. Would you advise against it based on snow? Take off, eh!

    I read somewhere that it was all originally named jim - Jim Creek, Jimtown, etc. Then the do gooders goers moved in and changed the name of the town to be more proper. Didn't Jamestown once have something like 10,000 people? Man, things change.
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  11. #11
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    Hey, ignazjr, I've been intending to join in on one of your Redstone group rides! We'll probably meet someday... I wouldn't be able to join in next Tuesday, but some other time perhaps.

    As for CR102J just above Jamestown, I was there on April 23rd. Up to the the creek, it was great, nice and dry. About 1/2 mile past the creek, I saw mud and snow and I didn't even try to go through - perhaps it was just a patch and I gave up too easily, but my guess is it's bad for quite a section, as I recall that there's a decent stretch of kinda loose dirt that gets really thick and soupy when wet.

    For sure you could make it to the stream, no problem.

  12. #12
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    Maybe we'll wait another week or 2 for that one. Is that log bridge gone? That thing sucks to cross when it's raging. Thanks for your help Hoser.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Maybe we'll wait another week or 2 for that one.
    that would be cool, since i, like hoser, can't make it next tues (and i'm sure this rain doesn't help).


    i'll check the blog, cuz it sounds like a good area worth exploring w/ folks who know their way around a bit.

    dave, see you sunday at the shop though.

    terry
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    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  14. #14
    DSR
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    Good info. Thanks Hoser. S

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    I rode Left Hand OHV area last wed......parked at the trailhead where the Offroad trucks enter...started up, where the trial splits into 5 directions, take the middle road ( count from the left and take the 2nd or 3rd road, 3rd road is pedalable but gravely) and keep heading up, basically make a huge clockwise loop....you can get to some awesome singletrack on the way down and end up at the beginning of the carnage rock crawling truck area....awesome loop and very extreme sidehill singletrack and downhill.....

    the single track comes out near the gate keeper at the beginning of carnage canyone:


    Note: weekends you will encounter fast motorcycles / people randomly shooting semi automatic guns, beatnecks drinking large quantities of beer etc......

    Nother ride from the 5 split:
    when you take the 3rd road from your left.....as you are going up, you will see another road merging in on the left, keep going and you will see another road to your left, this is 5 points...take that and you will end up near jimtown......killer sidehill, downhill and awesome views.....keep going up the road to jamestown and continue up galespie gulch area.....WOW !! that would be a killer ride.....anyone game !
    Last edited by Trekster; 05-04-2006 at 06:28 PM.
    Hello from Colorful Colorado

  16. #16
    DSR
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    Just an FYI - don't go anywhere near FS509 - it sucks. And I'm not trying to say "it sucks, but I secretly mean that it's freakin bad@ss!" It sucks. I skipped going up (impossibly steep and loose) and just came down it into LHC and it was brutal. Anything on FS509 east of 331 is not worth it unless there's some additional stuff off of one of its spurs that I couldn't see since my eyeballs had rattled to the back of my head! It is a do-able way to get back to LHC, but I honestly think it'd be more enjoyable and probably quicker to drop 102J or Gillespie to J'town and then ride the road out to LHC. Again, just an FYI since some folks were interested in what I found. S

  17. #17
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    Old thread I'm reviving cause I'm headed up there this weekend (Ward Rd out of Jamestown) if anyone wants to join. I know the area fairly well and there is some fun riding to be had. Parking at the Jamestown post office and riding from there, lookin like Sunday morning. I ride with a few pooches just FYI. Thinkin 9 or 10am ish.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scout
    Old thread I'm reviving cause I'm headed up there this weekend (Ward Rd out of Jamestown) if anyone wants to join. I know the area fairly well and there is some fun riding to be had. Parking at the Jamestown post office and riding from there, lookin like Sunday morning. I ride with a few pooches just FYI. Thinkin 9 or 10am ish.
    Hmmmm.

  19. #19
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    Still plannin on goin if ur interested moustache. I'm leanin towards 10 am in the post office parking lot, be in a silver tacoma. plan on riding until im beat, there are quite a few fun options up top. see you there if you decide on a ride

  20. #20
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    Hey, Scout - cool deal reviving this thread. I rode the area Sunday morning (I call Sunday morning rides "going to church", because I figure God would rather see me on my bike than sitting in a pew). I biked up LH canyon and you passed me in your silver Tacoma. I passed the post office about 10:15. I was aiming for 10:00 sharp but that vicious head wind slowed me down, it was brutal. Not sure if you had left the parking lot by then, I would have been more social and looked for you, but I was in a hurry to get through the ride and get home and catch the end of the Broncos game. What a disappointment that was...

    I've never seen so many people on Ward Rd. before, it was cool - on the climb up from Jamestown to the creek crossing, I passed a guy/girl couple, and a dad/son. It's great seeing families out riding, just wish my fam was into it.

    So what route did you end up taking on Sunday?

  21. #21
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    Bummer we didn't connect. I was runnin a little late myself but evidently not late enough. I did hook up with Moustache Rider and saw the same folks u did. Couple of cool dudes on single speeds as well, easily the most bikes I've seen on that trail at any one time (I usually see no one).
    At the gate past the creek crossing we went left, little more brutal climb but there is some nice singletrack that takes you up to the "top". We then ventured around Gold Lake on some ST (still not sure if thats all private or not, no signs posted that I saw) and then across from the "swamp" area on FR509 there is a nice singletrack down. Someone cleaned up the deadfall from a big windstorm a month or so ago and its back to its sweetness. Many other options up there, we just didn't get to em all. I'll post again if I'm headed up there, I usually hit that one on the wkends to get the pups some runnin.

    I have the same "Sunday Philosopy" by the way, and so far its treated me well. Some peoples' churches are indoors, some are in the woods...got back just in time to hear the final of the Broncos debacle, didn't regret staying home to watch that one...

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