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  1. #1
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    Ancient Lakes: First time, not the last

    Despite cooler temps than the wet side and filtered sun and some wind, still a good day to be out. Flowers are not out quite yet. Trails in places are already dusty. Loved the upper trails better than the lower ones as they were not as well traveled and reminded me of Amasa Back or even some sections of Sovereign. Fun technical rocky sections with even some flow here and there and as Woodway noted, even a few natural berms to swoop along. Lower trails in the north and south coulee are very scenic but not as fun to ride. If that makes sense. But, beautiful down there. The long trail south to just below teh Gorge amphitheatre was not much fun and I'd skip that the next time to loop south up top on some trails I see on Google Earth up there. Main trails definately seeing some traffic and dustier already. Pictures were taken and I'm sure some will pop up along with perhaps some video. But, for the general idea, here's one from Doug from last year...

    MTB at Ancient Lakes - YouTube

    Worth maybe an annual trip or every other year as the drive time from the Seattle area is 2-3 hours.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Despite cooler temps than the wet side and filtered sun and some wind, still a good day to be out. Flowers are not out quite yet. Trails in places are already dusty. Loved the upper trails better than the lower ones as they were not as well traveled and reminded me of Amasa Back or even some sections of Sovereign. Fun technical rocky sections with even some flow here and there and as Woodway noted, even a few natural berms to swoop along. Lower trails in the north and south coulee are very scenic but not as fun to ride. If that makes sense. But, beautiful down there. The long trail south to just below teh Gorge amphitheatre was not much fun and I'd skip that the next time to loop south up top on some trails I see on Google Earth up there. Main trails definately seeing some traffic and dustier already. Pictures were taken and I'm sure some will pop up along with perhaps some video. But, for the general idea, here's one from Doug from last year...

    MTB at Ancient Lakes - YouTube

    Worth maybe an annual trip or every other year as the drive time from the Seattle area is 2-3 hours.
    Will bet you missed most of the good trails. I did the first time there. Can easily be out for 5-6 hrs and not repeat much, if any trails.
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  3. #3
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    ...as Woodway noted, even a few natural berms to swoop along.
    FWIW, Bob sessioned those berms several times...

    This was also my first time at Ancient Lake and I like the ride a lot. My wife joined the ride and she really like it too.

    Thanks Veryslow for leading us around yesterday!



    (Google maps refuses to display the last segment of the ride for some reason...)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    FWIW, Bob sessioned those berms several times...

    This was also my first time at Ancient Lake and I like the ride a lot. My wife joined the ride and she really like it too.

    Thanks Veryslow for leading us around yesterday!
    This is the route dp and I rode (~17 miles). Skipped the south rim to ride around Burke Lake. The doubletrack from the end of the south coulee to the amphitheater is not very interesting, unless you watch for mule deer.
    Ancient Lakes: First time, not the last-al_7apr12.jpg
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  5. #5
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    I have bike here at work in Roslyn today, and it's so warm out I'm going to forgo the heavy pants I brought and go for the shorts instead. That should spread the early season sunburn out nicely. Still seeing snow on the ridge so I'll be beating around on the silly stuff down here by town for now.

    SO... probably no more AL for me this season unless the weather goes seriously haywire.

    Woodway- so glad to finally meet you and your better half! Ping me if you're back in the area later on and I can show you some of the ridge stuff.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  6. #6
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    Hey, I'm thinking about checking this trail out this weekend. I've never been out there so I'm not familiar with what constitutes the "upper" or "lower" section, or where the amphitheater is. What route on the trail map would you recommend for the best riding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjcarr View Post
    Hey, I'm thinking about checking this trail out this weekend. I've never been out there so I'm not familiar with what constitutes the "upper" or "lower" section, or where the amphitheater is. What route on the trail map would you recommend for the best riding?
    An older thread with more pics:
    Return to Ancient Lake

    And a thread with directions/map:
    Ancient Lake group ride: Sunday March 21 (directions and map posted)
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  8. #8
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Hey jjcarr - attached is the GPX file from our ride last weekend. The last segment of the ride is missing from the map I posted above, but it's in the attached GPX file...the plot displays correctly in Bing Maps and Google Earth, just not Google Maps for some odd reason.

    Also, if you use and follow this route, I missed a turn at the end, a mile or so from the parking lot. When I realized the trail was taking me away from the parking lot, I went full cross country mode back to the right trail. So if your GPS tells you to "turn right" and there is only sagebrush in front of you, just go for it, you'll be back on a trail in no time...

    This route was about 19 miles.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
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    Cool, I don't have a GPS, but this might be a good excuse to treat myself to one. Woodway, would you recommend that route, or would you change anything?

  10. #10
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    jj, I would skip the lower bench trail down to the concert theatre and replace it with a loop up top. I am sure Woodway would agree. The cool part about areas like that is that you can really zoom in and scroll around on Google Earth and see all the trails pretty clearly.

  11. #11
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    jj, I would skip the lower bench trail down to the concert theatre and replace it with a loop up top. I am sure Woodway would agree. The cool part about areas like that is that you can really zoom in and scroll around on Google Earth and see all the trails pretty clearly.
    Agree with Borneo

    Open that GPX file in Google earth and it will give you a good feel for the trails we rode. It's so open out there, it's next to impossible to get lost. And if you want to head for a landmark, you can just go cross country to it

    (maybe you can sweet-talk Shiggy out of his GPX file, his route looks pretty good)

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the notes. I'm taking a 3-day weekend and heading out there tomorrow. Anxious to try the trail out.

  13. #13
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    You can also check out my route (same as Woodway's but the end didn't get cut off). I third Borneo & Woodway's suggestion: Skip the long haul south and just loop the coulees. You really cant get lost out there. Keep the reservoirs to your east and note the location of the north coulee. All you need to do to get back to your car is cut diagonally across the north coulee to the northwest corner.

    Ancient Lakes MTB by endurodoug at Garmin Connect - Details

    That shows the route on Google Maps, the elevation profile, and that you can get a pretty casual ride in there in just 3 hours.

  14. #14
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    Theres also some cool stuff down below towards and all the way down to the river (Wanapum Lake actually). I think of the A.L. area as "shelves"... "top shelf"; Burke lake & etc, "Middle Shelf"; A.L. Coulee and Dusty Lake Coulee, and the "Lower Shelf" (actually there's a couple "shelves" down lower if you count the river bank. We've been down below a couple times when it was ultra crowded in the main "lake coulees". Some very enjoyable trails down there (our opinion anyways)... obviously have to commit to climbing back out though.

  15. #15
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    Sorry for the re-post, most of you have probably seen this one. But for reference sake, this ride is all down on the "lower level". Google Earth shows a couple other possible routes to explore down on those shelves. Certainly some interesting cliffs & ledges. The switch back trial we "hike-a-bike" back up on is down towards the south end of the area... hits the middle shelf just south of the Dusty Coulee.


  16. #16
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    Thanks for posting up info.
    The Mrs. & I have been looking over this thread a couple of time and are going to try and get out there in the next couple of months.

    Thanks,
    Stu

  17. #17
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    Nice video Ward. Can you do me a favor and click my link (the one above, not my sig.), zoom in on the track and let me know if that little spur where we started to descend south of dusty coulee then turned around would have taken us down where you were? Peter and I started to head down that way but were called back to the main trail.

    Drats! Foiled again!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnduroDoug View Post
    Nice video Ward. Can you do me a favor and click my link (the one above, not my sig.), zoom in on the track and let me know if that little spur where we started to descend south of dusty coulee then turned around would have taken us down where you were? Peter and I started to head down that way but were called back to the main trail.

    Drats! Foiled again!
    That spur is the trial we climbed back up on (I'd like to take it down sometime). The trail we rode down on is directly across the double track from approx. the center of the "main lakes" coulee. You can see it pretty good if you zoom in on your link and switch to "satalite" view.

    Lots of "raw" trails to explore out there.

    BTW, the lagoon across the water from the bottom end of your loop is the mouth of the Quilomene Canyon...
    Last edited by ward; 04-13-2012 at 11:36 AM.

  19. #19
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    Sweet! Thanks Ward! Will definitely check out that lower shelf next time.

  20. #20
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    Kinda wishing we had gone down there instead of riding by the amphitheater. Although my wife may not have been happy with the climb back out. Thanks for the video Ward!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Kinda wishing we had gone down there instead of riding by the amphitheater. Although my wife may not have been happy with the climb back out. Thanks for the video Ward!
    BTW, both routes I know of going down have some pretty techy sections as well, especially the one to the south.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjcarr View Post
    Hey, I'm thinking about checking this trail out this weekend. I've never been out there so I'm not familiar with what constitutes the "upper" or "lower" section, or where the amphitheater is. What route on the trail map would you recommend for the best riding?
    jj, did you go?
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  23. #23
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    Yeah, it was ok. Very sandy. Ended up on the lower trail for a while but other than that it was fun. Spent about 2hrs out there.

  24. #24
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    anyone that has experience with these trails, ie know where the fun techy sections are, planning on riding this weekend? Myself, and maybe a buddy, are looking to check it out, and its always better if you're with people that know the trail system!

    I know what its like to have to wait for people when you're riding... you wont have to wait for us.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlf.ski.bike.sail View Post
    anyone that has experience with these trails, ie know where the fun techy sections are, planning on riding this weekend? Myself, and maybe a buddy, are looking to check it out, and its always better if you're with people that know the trail system!

    I know what its like to have to wait for people when you're riding... you wont have to wait for us.
    Planning on being there this Sat. Riding with a few folks who haven't been there so we'll probably take a simple "lake loop" first so they can take in the scenery. Not sure what we'll do after that. We can point you in the direction of some techy stuff on the lower levels, and the main trail that drops in/climbs out of the main "lakes basin"... I don't know the trails very well up on the very top though yet. Shiggy knows 'em pretty well.

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