Tillamook State Forest Question
I'm planning on doing a day of mountain biking in the Tillamook State Forest a week from today. I was just wondering is someone could recommend a good loop. I have heard that Gales Creek, Brown's Camp and Reheers Camp are all good trails.
Is there a way to link those together?
Where is the best place to park?
I'm looking to do 20 to 30 miles or so. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
locked - time out
This is what I'd recommend:
Originally Posted by SpecialK
Park at Gales Creek CG.
Take Gales Creek out until it hits Storey Burn. I think the Gales Creek trail is closed at that point anyways (at least it was a couple weeks ago).
Climb Storey Burn.
At the top you'll cross a gravel road, and go through a gravel parking lot. Storey Burn continues on the other side and drops down. Don't hit that yet. Instead look for a logging road heading out of the parking lot that goes up. It is in the SW corner of the lot, close to where Storey Burn drops in. Climb that abandoned logging road and there is a couple mile loop at the top (Sickter Lars) which will dump you back in the gravel lot when you are done.
Descend Storey Burn, it rips, watch out there are a couple of sharp corners where the outer edge has a bit of a drop. You'll go under hwy 6 and connect with University Falls.
Ride U-falls loop (aka browns camp), I prefer clockwise.
Climb back to the top of storey burn, you can either take the gravel road or go back the way you came on the trail, similar distance each way... I'm a wimp and prefer the gravel road climb.
Descend storey burn trail (the way you climbed) and back to where you parked at the campground, this rips on the descent.
If I remember that is about 20 miles.
Now the Gales Creek trail, I heard it was washed out and that is why it was closed but I do not know how bad it is. If you are tough you could add that trail in as well (out and back) and also dropping down the other side has some nice sections too. If you could ride that trail in addition to the other stuff I described I think that would be over 30 miles. It was closed last year too so in addition to whatever washout there was, who knows how much blowdown there is or when the last time anyone was in there with a chainsaw. I am not recommending a bushwacking session without calling ODF first...
Start at the Gales Creek campground, ride up storey burn trail to the top at storey burn trail head, do the Sickter Lars loop at the top, head down Gravelle brothers trail which hooks you into the historic hiking trail (aka browns camp). You'll want to go left (clockwise) on the loop this time of year because there will be a lot of users on the trail also going clockwise, and it's more fun that way. The trail will put you onto a gravel road which you'll ride up (take a right) to Rogers trail head (there's a sign). As you ride into the entrance to the Rogers trail head parking area, take a right turn up the road jeep trail. About a hundred feet up the jeep road is the start of the historic hiking trail loop. The trail is pretty easy to follow, at one point it forks (go left, but either way hooks back into the same trail), at another point it dumps you onto a road (go right down road 200 feet, trail continues on left).
When you get near the end of the Historic Hiking Trail you got two options to get back to Gales creek. If you're a climbing masochist you can ride back up gravelle brothers then down Storey burn (back the way you came), OR you can continue to the end of the HHT, ride east on hwy 6 for about 300 feet then cross the highway to the big gravel turnoff/parking area. At the east end of the parking area is the start of Gales creek trail which will take you back down ~2 miles to Gales Creek campground where you started.
Some maps probably make more sense:
Ride More Work Less
Gales Creek Trail from the jct w/Storey Burn is not rideable. About a mile in it is a complete disaster area. Huge washouts for several miles and there really is no trail to be ridden. Don't try it.
The rides described above are also my favorite loops. If it's your first time, definitely go clockwise on the Brown's Camp loop. If you are riding during the week and in the morning, no problems if you want to go CCW.
Hey, thanks for the help on the Tillamook trail. I will definitely hit the suggested loop.
A quick question about renting a bike for the occasion. I called Fat Tire Farm and they rent Giant Trance X3's for about $50 a day. But they don't take reservations (kind of annoying). I just want to show up there and realize they don't have my size.
Is there any other bike shop in the Portland area that rents decent mountain bikes?
Also, where I come from in New England, pads and full face helmets are common even for normal trail riding. There are lots of rocks and things to damage yourself on. From the looks of things, Tillamook seems to be fairly smooth singletrack. Would you recommend any protective gear?
Wilson River Trail
Personally, I don't enjoy climbing Story Burn and I don't enjoy Sticklar Lars, so I would not recommend those loops. I would, however, recommend parking at the Elk Creek Campground and riding the Wilson River Trail. I usually ride it to the Forest Center, and then I ride Hwy 6 back to the car. This is a good 20 mile, 4 hour ride. If you want to lengthen it, you could ride past the Forest Center to a number of campgrounds right off Hwy 6 (then ride back to the car).
No need for body armor in the Tilly, that's overkill.
I know I am opening myself to some slamming but....I sometimes do the Tilly stuff helmetless. It's really pretty tame if you are not hammering. Pads would be way overkill IMHO. Protective gear is a way too personal choice for each rider that it is really tough to give advice.
Sounds like the singletrack in Tillamook is a little less rugged than what we have here in the East. I'll probably leave the armor at home then.
As for trail choice, the Wilson River trail does look good but I am not so pumped about riding back on the road. I might stick to the loop so I can get in as much time on the singletrack as possible...
locked - time out
Tillamook is velvet. Most of the state is, for that matter. Reasonable people do not wear armor out there. And although u-falls & storey burn are not what I would call technical, Wilson River is even smoother.
Originally Posted by SpecialK
Similar to what has already been said.
Start at the Gales CG to Storeyburn to a quick loop on Sictar Lars back onto Storeyburn down to Historic Hiking trail down Gales Creek back to the Gales Creek CG. It's not this simple but if you use the ODF maps you should be able to do the route finding between each section of trail.
I've talked to people who love Sictar Lars and talked with people who hait it, I like it. It's really slow, twisty and a lot of ride overs. As far as bringing armor...Leave it at home. There's nothing in the Tillamook that would warrant armor. Except for the newly legalized DH trail out of Reheer's.
As far as bike rentals, I think FTF is it, I could be wrong though.
And on the Wilson River trail, I usually ride it as an out and back. Start at one of the many trailheads along it's 20 mile length and go as far as you like, then turn around. It's a really nice trail and is doesn't really get the hype it deserves.
I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.
The WRT is such a great ride, 100% singletrack, and you'll likely have the trail all to yourself:
WRT Elk Creek to Jones Creek
The WRT ride I like to do is an out and back starting at the Elk Creek Campground (The start of the WRT) west to Jones Creek CG. Its got some of the best scenery and cliff edges on the whole trail. The descent down toward the ATV staging area is awesome. I think this out n back is around 18 miles or so. You can always extend it past Jones Creek if you want. Also, at the west end is Keenig CG which has got a great switchback downhill/climb. The whole trail is great.
Thanks for the advice
I did my ride in the Tillamook State Forest on Wednesday. I parked at Gales Creek and did the Storey Burn trail, Sickter Lars, the University falls loop and then back down the other side of Gales Creek to the parking lot.
You folks have some nice singletrack out here. It wasn't technical (not compared to New England) but it was a serious workout. No one told me it was a 4 mile climb from Gales Creek to Sickter Lars. Ouch.
Still it was a beautiful day, nice trails and some great views. The wilderness around here is just gorgeous. I will definitely back for more riding some time soon.
Best of luck trying to convert Portland from a roadie culture to a MTB culture. You got my vote...
Careful 'rip'ing Storey Burn down ...
I'd recommend *not* 'rip'ing Storey Burn down, at least on the Weekend, since most folks ride it up.
Originally Posted by AW_
* park at the top, just off of the Highway, on the right
* take Gales Creek down -- a fun way to start
* take Gales Creek through the campground, to the T with Storey Burn
* take Storey Burn left
* go through the Storey Burn parking lot
* you can do a detour here on the little technical trail (what's it called),
out of the parking lot (left of the normal trail exit)
* continue on the normal trail, down, under Hwy 6, all the way back to
the sand shed
* I like doing the Historic Hiking Trail CCW, i.e. the opposite of the normal
direction, when I'm doing this double loop
If you are still not tired, or if you want an alternative, you can drive 5 miles farther and hit the Wilson River Trail, which is about 18 miles one way. Ride until you drop, then return.
A witty saying proves nothing. -- Voltaire