So camped out on Beaver Creek Sat Night and self-shuttled my car to Kirkwood trailhead and backtracked via bike the 7 miles to the 206 trailhead.
On Sunday I took off from my campsite at the trailhead, and rode Cub/Red Canyon 206 trail past Axolotl Lake, past the Cabin Creek cutoff to Kirkwood downhill.
The first mile or two of trail were open to 4x4, but then it switched to singletrack / motorcycle only.
The singletrack and views were really nice until about 1.5 miles before Cabin Creek cutoff. At that point the trail got faint at times and the trail was super-rocky HAB-style with lots of short climbs and drops. After the Cabin Creek cutoff the climb up to the top of the Kirkwood seemed to go on forever, but the downhill was pretty sweet -- if a bit short given all the effort to get there.
The upper half was sage lined long cross-cut fun switchbacks with killer views. It felt like what Rock Creek (the last downhill on Curly) would ride like with better trail placement and flow.
The lower section slightly more technical rocky trail following the creekbed in a canopy of 4 ft tall thimbleberry bushes.
Conditions were dusty but pretty darn nice -- trail would definitely be better after a rain (hero dirt)
There was a horse trail off to the left before the true Kirkwood downhill that was marked no moto (lots of horse travel/signs). It wasn't on my map, so not sure where it goes (looked like it dropped in towards the Kirkwood ridge) but it looked tight and steep and could be worthy downhill too.
I'm undecided if I'd re-ride this as a loop, or just do the Kirkwood section as out-and-back.
A little bit of trail maintenance on that 1.5 mile stretch would do wonders. Someone (on motorcycle?) has been doing a lot of chainsaw work back there as there were only 2 or so downed trees for the duration.
I'd also like to give Cabin Creek a run too... I'm thinking 206->Cabin Creek would be a little shorter / less climbing, but still quite scenic.
RE: wildlife, I saw a 3 hunters, a big bull elk, a female elk and a bunch of sage grouse -- thankfully no bear, though saw a few prints/scat.
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