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  1. #1
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    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA

    Back in 2011 a few MTB riders banded together and started Single Track Alliance of Yakima (STAY). Shortly after we incorporated an opportunity popped up to build trails on a privately owned 600 acre piece of ridgeline on Cowiche Mountain. From the parking lot to the summit is an elevation gain of 800ft or so. The trails are going in and the system is taking shape.

    This spring we completed a 10-ish mile loop that runs the perimeter of the property. Currently nothing is signed or marked - we have plans and funding to remedy this by the end of the season. Portions of the loop, like the entire west end, are directional, designed to be ridden clockwise.

    The parking lot is at the end of Rocky Top Road, off of Summitview Ave, between Yakima and Cowiche.

    Here is a preliminary GPS map of the current system, showing most of the singletrack and most importantly the big lollipop, all of it is part of the Rocky Top trails system.

    Feel free to ask any questions or make comments. I'll revive this thread whenever we have progress reports/updates.

    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-rockytop-main-loop.jpg
    Last edited by boostin; 03-23-2014 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice work!
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, right on!
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    Nice work! Would love to see some photos of the trails.

  5. #5
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    I got a chance to ride out with some of the guy's from STAY and had a blast, can't wait to go ride there again.
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  6. #6
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    Here are a few pics that show some of the Rocky Top trails we have been working on.

    This is at the east end of Dumb and Dumber
    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-img_7537.jpg

    In the middle of the same trail.
    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-img_7768.jpg



    A STAY volunteer on Wholly Moses
    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-img_7774.jpg
    Last edited by boostin; 03-23-2014 at 10:15 PM.

  7. #7
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    Those look like some pretty fun trails.

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    Thanks for sharing, those look really fun!

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    Nice work guys, thanks a lot! Is ward a conspirator in this effort too???

  10. #10
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    Cool! Was the landowner a corporation or individual? How did you get to the point where they were going to let you build?

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    Ward comes and goes when he pleases!

    The landowner is an individual who owns a gravel pit/dump at the same site. Once STAY was incorporated we met community members who shared our interests and they connected us with this land owner. His interests were to see his land developed for the community, mostly to have Rocky Top Trails!

    We had a meeting where we outlined our vision and process. This resulted in the land owner giving the green light for STAY to build a trail down in a secluded gully that was separate from the ridge. We put in a mile long loop (the Dump Loop) there and waited for his approval/comments. Once he saw our methods in play and we had a few more meetings the thumbs up was given for the whole property.
    Last edited by boostin; 03-23-2014 at 10:16 PM.

  12. #12
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    Here is an older map which shows the dump loop and the double track (horse trail) GPS

    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-old-map.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabiker3576 View Post
    I got a chance to ride out with some of the guy's from STAY and had a blast, can't wait to go ride there again.
    Hi Phil! Glad you enjoyed the trails.

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    I highly recommend heading out and checking out the trails if your in the area. If you are interested in keeping up with STAY and whats going on at the rockytop area, check out their facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/Stay.trails

  15. #15
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    Great work! I've ridden Rocky Top twice and look forward to riding it as a loop the next time I'm in the area

  16. #16
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    The trails on Rocky Top are really well laid out - good job everybody!

  17. #17
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    Hey guys,
    Here is the most up to date trail map. Hope you enjoy.

    cheers.
    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-5-6-13-trail-update-1-.jpg

  18. #18
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    Stoked to get out there- it's always blown me away at the lack of (known) mtb trails in Yakima. The hills there always look so fun!

  19. #19
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    Awesome job, guys! Exciting to see.

  20. #20
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    Cool looking stuff! I'll visit when the snakes are asleep

  21. #21
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    I would love to make a weekend trip down there and ride with you guys sometime!

  22. #22
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    awesome! ill have to make a trip over the mountain to ride it this year. what is the star rating on the trails?

  23. #23
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    Not sure what you mean by star rating - but TNT and Dynomite are two trails we consider black with the rest being blue or green. Some of the difficulty is due to the newness of some of the sections. As they get ridden in they will smooth out considerably and the bunch grass should get knocked out.

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    sorry should have elaborated more about the star rating. I've looked at the trails on the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance - Washington's Largest Mountain Bike Club trails info page and they have a star rating as to how much or hard the climbs are or how technical it is. helps my fattyness figure out if ill be pushing the bike more then riding or going omg! omg! I'm going to die! omg! omg! lol. but the pics i see it looks like some nice single track which i love to ride.

  25. #25
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    Thanks, we are working on building some literature and clarification for the trails. Hopefully by the end of the season all trails should be signed/marked clearly. The oldest trails out there besides the bits of cow trail we used are two years old and the youngest are several weeks. We've tried to build these with the idea that a SS bicyclist should be able to get up the climbs without wanting to die.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    We've tried to build these with the idea that a SS bicyclist should be able to get up the climbs without wanting to die.
    That's a great standard to build to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    That's a great standard to build to.
    But that's how most SS'ers actually feel, isn't it? They just like it!

  28. #28
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    If they built it so *I* didn't feel like I was dying... there would be an escalator on each climb. And I have gears, lol.

    Seriously, we went there last fall and there was mighty good schtuff there already. Great place to ride in late October/November without having to dress like the Michelin Man if you pick the day right.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  29. #29
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    Good old Rocky Top

    I was in Yakima over the weekend so I met up with my buddy Boostin and had a tour of some of the trails in the area. Our first stop was some little know trails in a little know area(can't even remember the names). These trails were a blast but a little ruff, some of them only being a couple of weeks old. They will be damn good with some more use/time. After a quick lunch of carne asada it was up to Rocky Top. These trails see a fair bit more use and were much more established. If you are in the area, Rocky Top is most definitely worth a ride. We had beautiful weather. It was overcast and cool, with just a slight breeze. I took a few pictures nothing special, but all threads are better with pictures so I will add them in.(I can't seem to upload the photos will try again later)

    Thanks for the tour Will!

    P.S. I lost my stainless steel water bottle at one of the trail heads if you find it please let me know.

    Rich
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-simonwillstrail.jpg  

    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-simonrockytop.jpg  

    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-greenharvester.jpg  

    Last edited by jackstraw1; 05-20-2013 at 03:01 PM. Reason: pictures
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    bound to cover just a little more ground!

  30. #30
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    Rocky top has come along way in the last year, great job Will and STAY guys, i'm gonna have to get out there and help some day on the trail cleanups, i feel bad every time i ride Rocky Top and feel outta place a bit because i haven't ever helped. Its an awesome ride a grunt to the top to but its fun it never gets old.
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  31. #31
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    Thanks Adam, hopefully I can take a bunch of steel off your hands soon! When we get these signs done, you'll be able to see your influence at every intersection, holding up the signs!

    Beyond that we have some thistle destroying to do and some garbage picking this summer. Our main goal for the summer/fall is to have everything signed and have some good info at the Kiosk.

    Cheers!

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    Heads up to any Yakima folk who want to come out and help - we are starting the signing process for Rocky Top this Sunday morning at 9am.

    If you want to lend a hand be at the Rocky Top parking lot this Sunday (the 15th) at 9am where we will be demonstrating how to and install the first sign. Numerous markers have been installed throughout the trail system marking exactly where the post anchors need to be placed. We STAY guys are swamped with our jobs right now and will have to lean heavilly on volunteer work to get the signs in this fall. If your interested in helping, come on out.

    Thanks!

  33. #33
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    How are trail conditions over there looking? Trying to find someplace dry this weekend...

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    Re: Rocky Top - Yakima, WA

    The trails should be primo with the little moisture we have gotten this week. Hit em up!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk 2

  35. #35
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    Indeed, they were in great shape. Nice system you guys have built there.

    Quote Originally Posted by the cracker View Post
    The trails should be primo with the little moisture we have gotten this week. Hit em up!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk 2

  36. #36
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    Thanks Acree, we've got more goodies in the works too.

  37. #37
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    I <3 Rocky Top. My single track cherry was broken there. I haven't been up there all this year bc I had a busy summer and now I'm living in Spokane. I plan to go down in the next month or so and check out how the new loop is.
    The torture ends now.

  38. #38
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    Would this area be popular with hunters?

  39. #39
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    I would be very surprised to see someone hunting out at Rocky Top.

  40. #40
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    I was out there yesterday and the trails are really wearing in nicely! Please post the next trail work day on this thread and I'll do what I can to bring some people down from Eburg.

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    Thanks for the feedback! We love having all the folks we can get. The more the merrier. Once the moisture starts to stick we should be having some more work parties. There is always trail that needs touching up or fresh trail that needs refinement. It is in a constant state of development.

    Typically we post info and work days on out facebook page, posting here is a great idea. We will try and remember the post here as well. Hopefully soon we will have a website as well.

    STAY active

  42. #42
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    I started a wiki for the trails. Please add/edit the page!
    Trail:Rocky Top - Evergreen Trail Guide

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    I rode Rocky Top yesterday. The trails are in great shape and the weather is perfect right now. The trails in general are wearing in very nicely--they've come a long way from this spring Great job and thank you to everyone involved in STAY!

  44. #44
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    Thanks for the words! It's a little bit late now, but there's a group ride at 11AM at the RT parking this morning. Get there in the next hour and go shred. Also, we have some new trails in the works, when the ground thaws we'll be able to cut these puppies in!

  45. #45
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    Here are a couple pics of the signs we've installed this fall,

    Thanks to the City of Yakima Parks and Rec who provided the signs

    and

    Pacific Steel and Recycling who donated the steel for the posts



    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-img_9378.jpg

    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-img_9381.jpg

  46. #46
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    Uplands Trail addition

    Here's a rough map of the proposed South Rim connector from #1 down to Blue Ribbon… only flagged at this point.
    It's all on Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and BLM land and should be pretty fun including great canyon views.

    William O Douglas:
    "I do not envy those whose introduction to nature was lush meadows, lakes, and swamps where life abounds. The desert hills of Yakima had a poverty that sharpened perception. Even a minute violet quickens the heart when one has walked far or climbed high to find it. Where nature is more bountiful, even the tender bitterroot might go unnoticed. Yet when a lone plant is seen in bloom on scabland between batches of bunch grass and sage, it can transform the spot as completely as only a whole bank of flowers could do in a more lush environment. It is the old relationship between scarcity and value, one of the lessons which the foothills of Yakima taught me."
    William O. Douglas Trail: Cowiche Valley Wagon Road
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-southrim.jpg  


  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huanyao View Post
    Here's a rough map of the proposed South Rim connector from #1 down to Blue Ribbon… only flagged at this point.
    It's all on Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and BLM land and should be pretty fun including great canyon views.

    William O Douglas:
    "I do not envy those whose introduction to nature was lush meadows, lakes, and swamps where life abounds. The desert hills of Yakima had a poverty that sharpened perception. Even a minute violet quickens the heart when one has walked far or climbed high to find it. Where nature is more bountiful, even the tender bitterroot might go unnoticed. Yet when a lone plant is seen in bloom on scabland between batches of bunch grass and sage, it can transform the spot as completely as only a whole bank of flowers could do in a more lush environment. It is the old relationship between scarcity and value, one of the lessons which the foothills of Yakima taught me."
    William O. Douglas Trail: Cowiche Valley Wagon Road
    Thanks for posting Haunyo! Let's go out soon and follow those flags on fat bikes...

  48. #48
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    Looking NWS it appears Yak did not get the rain that was forecast yesterday (though the accuracy of those data is always suspect). Does anyone down there know if RockyTop is dry enough to ride today? Thanks!

  49. #49
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    I bet it gets softer the higher you go but mostly ridable.

  50. #50
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    Rode it this afternoon. Still too soft in places near the top for regular tires
    (and hikers) but perfect for my fatty. Even rolled that new set of descending linked turns that are almost done. Nice! Singletrack and sunshine, just what I needed!

  51. #51
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    Tomorrow at 11 AM there is an open invite group ride at the Rocky Top parking lot. Should be a nice day for a ride.

  52. #52
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    Got out twice this week to ride the trails at Rocky Top. All I can say is, WELL DONE! To all of the people who put in the man hours and sweat to create this trail system, thank you! The trails are fantastic. Over the course of two rides, I put in about 17 miles. On the first ride, I rode Green Harvester to Orange Harvester to the Bench Trail and out to Dynomite. This was the first time I had ridden Dynomite and I was not disappointed! GREAT trail section. Love that it has a little of everything--rough, rocky terrain; tight switchbacks; steeps; smooth flowing sections; uphills. Hooked up with Dumb and Dumber and for a couple of tough miles--lots of hilly sections but still fun. Hooked back up with Orange, Green, and then Wholly Moses to the parking area. Almost 10 miles later, I was exhausted but ready to go again! It was that good!

    Two days later, I was back out at Rocky Top, looking to explore some of the other recently-finished sections. This time, I took the Bench Trail to Heh Heh Heh Heh and up to the top. However, instead of turning right as the map shows, I turned left and followed it to the an unnamed section that was nothing but smooth, fast, banked switchbacks that brought me back down to the bench trail and then took the same route back down that I took up for a long, fun, fast descent.

    This is, hands down, one of the best trail systems in Eastern Washington! If you are in the area, go ride it!

  53. #53
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    Anyone have a recent trail report? I'm guessing they're too muddy, but I figured I'd ask. Thanks in advance!

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    The trails are essentially un rideable as of yesterday. The mud is sloppy right now. Its been pretty warm here and the trails are thawing out. Cherrs.

  55. #55
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    Are the trails still wet and un-rideable? Looking at the weather Yakima seemed to have been spared from most of the rain, hoping to check these trails out this weekend.

    Any feedback would be great!

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    Same story unfortunately. We got a big rain yesterday. They are just slop.

  57. #57
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    Ok, thanks for the update.

  58. #58
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    What a difference a week makes. Trails are in great shape right now.

    Rocky Top - Yakima, WA-springtrail_zps4c47be37.jpg

  59. #59
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    STAY PSA:

    A 24yr old farmer guy has purchased 75 acres of Rocky Top. He is not friendly and is hostile and likes guns. In fact he plans on building a shooting pit where the trails passed his land. This land ownership change kills most of lower dumb n dumber, including Sage Islands. It starts at the top of Grassy Knoll and doesn't end until almost to Canal Trail.

    We are working on the re-route currently and should have the loop up and running again within the next few weeks.

    If you see a young man 4x4ing around over the trails, do not engage. He likely doesn't know his land boundaries and is likely carrying firearms. He is surveying his corners and once he knows his lines he plans on installing a fence and ripping the inner boundary with a D9. Until the lines are clearly defined be careful out there!

    Thanks

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    Until the lines are clearly defined be careful out there!
    I was planning on riding at Rocky Top today while passing through Yakima. Do you feel its OK to ride the normal loop(s), but be prepared to de-escalate and adapt if I run into the new landowner? Or are you suggesting that folks stay off the impacted trails until the re-route is finished?

  61. #61
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    The only trail directly effected by this land sale is dumb n dumber. This is located at the absolute bottom of the property. All the upper trails are still good to go and gus's gully is still safe. Wholly Moses, green and orange harvester, school n tools, hahahaha, and tnt are good to go!

  62. #62
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    How have the trails held up since the rain last weekend? Will they be ride able this coming weekend?

  63. #63
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    Rocky Top is in great shape right now! Rain over the weekend didn't hurt conditions at all.

  64. #64
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    The big loop is back up and running, although it is shorter now. No trails cross onto the gun toting farmers land anymore. Wildflowers like crazy out there!
    Last edited by boostin; 03-23-2015 at 08:38 PM.

  65. #65
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    Hey!

    If you've been to Rocky Top, please take a minute and fill out this survey.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SM9HNH7

    Thanks,

    S.T.A.Y.

  66. #66
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    Is there a current PDF trail map?

  67. #67
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    Hi,

    The most current PDF map is ===> http://www.singletrackalliance.org/w...ak_9_23_15.pdf

    We don't have a map which shows the newest trails, yet There are three trails we've cut in this season which aren't up yet. Taco Traverse, Mojo Rising, and Canal Trail need to be added.

    This strava map shows Taco Traverse and Mojo Rising ==> https://www.strava.com/activities/751804302

    Canal Trail connects Gusses Gully to Dumb n Dumber.

    Thanks for asking!

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    This is great! I'm actually riding in the area tomorrow. I'd like to string this together with the Cowiche Canyon trails for a good-length ride. Is there a connector trail/road between the two systems? If so, do you have details, including which trail head should I use?

  69. #69
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    Hi Sal, Yes there is a connector between the uplands and Rocky Top. It will involve riding down the paved Rocky Top road from Summitview to the RT parking lot. This Strava map shows the path along the South and west end of the gravel pit, connecting to the two systems.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/754137300

    You can park at RT and ride both as out n back loops, or park at the uplands and ride through, hit RT, riding back through the uplands at the end. People do both regularly!

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    Perfect. Thanks a bunch. I'll park at the Rocky Top TH and will do OAB loops on each. Heading out shortly!

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    Right on! You scored a perfect morning to get out.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    Hi,

    The most current PDF map is ===> http://www.singletrackalliance.org/w...ak_9_23_15.pdf

    We don't have a map which shows the newest trails, yet There are three trails we've cut in this season which aren't up yet. Taco Traverse, Mojo Rising, and Canal Trail need to be added.

    This strava map shows Taco Traverse and Mojo Rising ==> https://www.strava.com/activities/751804302

    Canal Trail connects Gusses Gully to Dumb n Dumber.

    Thanks for asking!
    Thanks for the info. I will only be able to ride hear when we drive through. Unless you think it would be worth driving up from Portland when the weather becomes gloomy on the wet side.

  73. #73
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    Well it depends on how bad the winter doldrums have you I suppose. I think of RT as really nice towny trails. The big loop is 9ish miles and 1k vert. There's quite a few ways to mix it up with short loops and figure eights, etc... but we are landlocked on all sides with little oppurtunity for growth. Across Summitview to the east is another trail system (The CCC uplands) with similar mileage and vert(If you drop into the canyon). It's alot more spiderwebby and most of the trails aren't even on CCC lands. They are basically rogue trails that have served as the backbone of Yakima's singletrack for 20 years until RT. But, by riding both systems in one ride you can get into the 20+ mileage pretty easy and 2k vert. It helps to have a local guide also.


    I think Snycline has a similar season to RT, maybe even longer. Echo, OR has more miles and an equally long season. Ancient Lakes outside of Quincy should also be on the winter radar. I think the Ephrata trails are good towny winter trails also.

    Hope this helps.

  74. #74
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    Based on one visit, I consider Rocky Top worth the 2 hour drive to get dry singletrack in the midst of west side rain. I don't know that I'd drive much further though, and if Echo OR was a similar or shorter drive, I'd probably go there instead. Rocky Top is a very nice system though, the locals have done a great job with it.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

    Worshiping at the Church of Singletrack since 1993.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    Right on! You scored a perfect morning to get out.
    Thanks for the help!

    As to ride report for all, between Cowiche and Rocky Top I managed to string together a decent ride: ~24 miles, ~2,800' and ~3.5 hours. It was a bit overcast and ~60F with a bit of a breeze. I hit the trail at about noon and parked at the Rocky Top TH.

    I hit Cowiche first, riding from the Rocky Top TH and entering at the Summitview road trail head. I hit both trail sections (one east and one west) and the Winery trail (hike-a-bike up so FYI). I even hooked up with a local that showed me around for a bit.

    After a quick tour said local directed me to a shortcut through the gravel pit to get back to Rocky Top road. Rocky Top is somewhat similar to Sage Hills in Wenatchee - rolling single track in open terrain. Like Sage Hills I kinda just followed my nose for a couple of hours.

    All in all great trail system. I will add it to my Seattle rainy weather tour!

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