Ape, Plains of Abe, Smith Creek Loop
Im planning on doing the Ape-Abe-Smith Cr Loop for the first time next week, but had some concerns. I've done the Ape-Abe to Windy Ridge out and back numerous times but this will be the first time i've included Smith Creek. Im planning on starting at the usual Ape Canyon TH and riding Ape to Plains of Abe to Windy Ridge-Road- then south down Smith Creek Trail to its end. From here, I am not sure what to do: 1) take a right on trail 184 back to Ape Cayon TH or take Road 8322 back to Ape Canyon TH.
I would, of course, like to take all singletrack, but is this Trail 184 back to Ape Canyon TH open? Also, I have heard that Smith Cr Trail is mostly cleared. Is it?
Thanks for some feedback.
Trail 184 is definitely not an option. It has been closed for a few years. The good news is that they are working to reopen it after the heavy slide damage three years ago. However, it will still be closed to mountain bikes and for good reason: there are a series of ladders that are part of the trail.
About a mile up the trail from Smith Ck there is a bridge to the south side and access to the "traditional" return route up rd 8322.
The trail is clear, but still has some overgrown spots and tedious alder fall. There is also one tricky route-find where the trail drops down to the main channel of the creek and crosses over to the west side. I always head back up river where you will find a cantilevered log "bridge." Not sure what there is if you head down river from there, but the trail does head up away from the river once you get across the log.