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  1. #1
    FM
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    Salmon LeSac- Esmerelda, Jolly, DeRoux..?

    Camping with the family out at Salmon LeSac this week, so I am looking for recommendations on a ride near the campground (I can probably get dropped off at Big Boulder TH, or what's left of it)

    I have ridden Big Boulder up to Gallagherhead, down DeRoux, several times... that's probably my plan B. I'd like to explore a bit, check out some new stuff, but can't be gone all day....4-5hrs is probably about right.

    I see there are a lot of options, and I'll have a green trails map & gps.
    Any suggestions on the best bang-for-buck starting from the salmon-lesac side?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    I should be out riding
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    For something new, consider no name ridge. I seem to recall a lack of (legal) options for dropping back to that side of the valley though. Might have to be an out and back if not continuing on to Kachess.

  3. #3
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    Cooper River is your "go to" for a quick fix. You can go out past the Cooper Lake CG to the boundary on that two wheeled thingy. Many hide the bike there and hike on to Pete Lake. There is an old road option to the right climbing Cooper River up to the boundary and taking the aptly named Boundary trail back down to make it a little lollipop.

    Going the other way right now is sketchy. Still not logged out and plenty of snow up at Gallagher as of the last report. The NW Hiker forum may have new intel. You can try to get to Jolly from there as well and see what you can connect across the ridge towards Sasse and Hex too. My guess is the West Fork Side and Elbow to Yellow Hell may still be bad.

    IF you make it up Big Boulder to the first right, you may be able to ride (read: hike) up to the top of Middle Fork. This run down MFT to the Jolly Spur is pretty awesome. Jolly up is also a scree push but would leave you with a great descent back to the Sac.
    Check with Mikki Douglas (former pro DHer) at the Cle Elum RS. It's here moto crew that clears the trails.
    Or, check here: http://cleelumtrails.com/

    Report please! Hoping for Esmeralda in a week or two with a swim at Gallagher.
    Last edited by Borneo; 07-02-2012 at 12:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Hey FM, my wife and I were thinking of giving Esmerelda a go later this week (thursday or friday). Maybe wishful thinking but if it's still too snowed in we will just go ride off the West Fork. I'll give you a call if you'll still be there and we can swing by and pick you up.

  5. #5
    FM
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    Thanks for the info everybody!

    Woodway, it would be rad to hook up, but I may be out of your way- we're camping at Salmon Lesac thurs-sun. Keep me posted though!

    Given the snow level, cooper river does sound like the go-to... I have hiked the lower portion, even explored an overgrown spur trail to the right, up towards the ridge- wonder if that's what your mentioning Borneo.

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    Yep. If you look on the maps, climbing, you can go right at the road crossing coming into the Cooper CG and take that up to the boundary and then you take that trail down to the Cooper trail above the CG but below Pete Lake. The section from the CG to Pete is usually pretty nice.

    Another option is to hook up with Woodway and his better half at Corral Creek above Ronald and do an upper (Lower) WF loop down the big slab and then cross at Dingbat and head back up. Lots of fun new moto use options out that way and not too far a drive or ride from the Sac. Probably the best bet for a crossing of the ridge line in that area. But, check with Mikki. She's good people and will have the latest intel.

  7. #7
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Woodway, it would be rad to hook up, but I may be out of your way- we're camping at Salmon Lesac thurs-sun. Keep me posted though!
    Will let you know - maybe you could get a lift out to CleElum. My wife is not speedy but she is strong so the ride will be at a slow pace.

    Cooper River trail - if I were camping next to it I would ride it - but I would not make the drive over just to ride that trail.

  8. #8
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    Trail report for Jolly as of 6/10/2012 was still lots of deep snow. I believe it - you can still see visible snow above 5000' looking up that way from Ellensburg. Lush wildflower season still underway in the lowlands!

  9. #9
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    Photo from Gallagher road yesterday (7/1/12):

    Mikki's Cle Elum ORV FB group is handy...
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  10. #10
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Yikes! Guess Esmerelda is not quite ready to ride...looks like we will ride off the West Fork.

    Thx Megan!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Photo from Gallagher road yesterday (7/1/12):

    Mikki's Cle Elum ORV FB group is handy...

    wow...

  12. #12
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    Seems legit LMFAO

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Photo from Gallagher road yesterday (7/1/12):

    Mikki's Cle Elum ORV FB group is handy...
    That wouldn't stop a real rider.
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Photo from Gallagher road yesterday (7/1/12):

    Mikki's Cle Elum ORV FB group is handy...
    Ha. That photo is from this winter, in case anyone missed that...

  15. #15
    FM
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    There's some good info on the pre-recorded message @ cle elum ranger station.
    Sounds like snow level in the area is generally around 4700'.
    Gallagerhead lake looks to be around 5k'. I know it can get awfully swampy in spots before things have totally dried up.

    Might just try an OAB on #1307 Jolly mountain. Never been up there, sounds like it would be worth he effort even if I hit snow early.

  16. #16
    Squeaky Wheel
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    I've been perusing the recent (last few days) hiker reports on the nwhiker forums and it looks like Esmeralda is still about 3 weeks away. Several reports also mentioned that they would not attempt the creek crossing on the DeRoux trail yet.

  17. #17
    I just wanna ride my bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I've been perusing the recent (last few days) hiker reports on the nwhiker forums and it looks like Esmeralda is still about 3 weeks away.
    I phoned Sahaptin Outfitters in Cle Elum yesterday and they told me the same thing re: at least another 3 weeks before Esmeralda will be clear of snow.

  18. #18
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    Another lower option that may be pretty good now is Iron Bear to Iron Creek or vice versa. Up and over and back with a side trip to the false summit on the way to Miller Peak. TheotherH, you guys may also think about this one as it's heading over 97 on your way to Kettle too by Liberty It's always a good ride either wat. Iron Creek is on the 97 side. May do that on the 14th or 15th?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Another lower option that may be pretty good now is Iron Bear to Iron Creek or vice versa. Up and over and back with a side trip to the false summit on the way to Miller Peak. TheotherH, you guys may also think about this one as it's heading over 97 on your way to Kettle too by Liberty It's always a good ride either wat. Iron Creek is on the 97 side. May do that on the 14th or 15th?
    Sounds interesting. Is this the ride description for Iron Bear to Iron Creek: Miller Peak Mountain Bike Trail in Washington

  20. #20
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    Hahaha! Troy would be happy to know people still look at Dirtworld.

    Yep. But, don't go right to Miller and just go over and back on Iron Bear. (There is a 4 way at Teanaway Ridge. IF you have some left, go north towards Miller but stop at the false saddle and turn around and bomb back down to the 4 way and then back down Iron Creek. Iron Creek is fairly short but an easy climb and a bomber coming back. I usually pull off at any of the wide spots along the road by the creek a couple miles from the TH in the shade and get a warm up from there. These trails are on the Cle Elum map link I sent you earlier.

  21. #21
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    FWIW a couple pictures SupahRanger Mikki posted TODAY (July 8) from Gallagher lake:


    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

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    We're roasting pretty good over here now, so it shouldn't be long before that melts off. Should be interesting to see what the Teanaway and Yakima look like over the next couple of days. Still practically 100F here in Ellensburg at 8pm. And, bonus cloud cover to ensure that it doesn't completely cool off tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    FWIW a couple pictures SupahRanger Mikki posted TODAY (July 8) from Gallagher lake[...]

  23. #23
    FM
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    Trail report- #1307 Jolly Mountain

    Well, I "rode" it saturday

    The upper stretch of 1307/ Sasse mountain trail was beautiful and conditions were encouraging. I explored around a bit, awesome area.
    Views from the top...

    IMG_3892 by emailsucks98, on Flickr


    IMG_3900 by emailsucks98, on Flickr

    Once I dropped into the actual descent, snow in the drainage was deep- and the shady drainage was holding snow down to about 4300'. I decided to go for it anyways...Here's the top... this went on for 1.5-2 miles. Lost the trail several times and had to recon, but made it down.... all in all, a fun day

    IMG_3913 by emailsucks98, on Flickr

    I'll be looking to try again in August

  24. #24
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    I have(had?) Teanaway plans for the 20th-22nd. Not very encouraging pictures!

  25. #25
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Looks great FM. Glad you had a good ride. The wife and I went for a ride in the Leavenworth area instead. If you want to get some Esmerelda in August, count me in...

  26. #26
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle509 View Post
    I have(had?) Teanaway plans for the 20th-22nd. Not very encouraging pictures!
    Hey, there's more to the Teanaway that this stuff! The good news: Miller is looking increasingly clear from a distance. Keep an eye on trail reports, you might hit it right at prime-time.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  27. #27
    Yebo Numzaan
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    I was out in the Roslyn area and looking into the Teanaway valley on Friday. There is so much terrain over there - it is mind boggling. I love it.

    Is this "Mt Stewart" we are looking at?

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/davemutton/7524172942/" title="Mtb by davemutton, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8434/7524172942_6209d09b44.jpg" width="500" height="299" alt="Mtb"></a>
    I support EMBA

  28. #28
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    Actually thinking about a version of that in the next week or so. Though Middle Fork may be out for a while too due to the snow melt.

  29. #29
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    Looks like it.... Miller on the far right and maybe the top of Hawkins on the left.
    Can't imagine the heat climbing to to Rat Pac over the weekend though.

  30. #30
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    If you are looking northish from above Roslyn, yes, that would be Mt. Stuart and the Stuart Range heading to the east.

  31. #31
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    Anybody ever ride to Jolly Mountain from the East? Everything I read about it seems to be from the other side. I am thinking an OAB via 1383(Johnson-Medra)-1393(Middle Fork Tway)-1355(Jolly Creek)-Then the short jaunt up Jolly Mountain and head back.

  32. #32
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    It's a real hump. Medra also has some washout sections as of last year and not sure if Mikki and her crew have gotten up there to log out yet. Crossing lower at Way Creek may be deep right now with snow melt.. Still beautiful country. Hoping to be up that way sometime next week as I get up just about every drainage in there. Iron Bear/Iron Creek and maybe Teanaway Ridge sound like the best bet now...

  33. #33
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    Hey, what are your plans for Tues/weds? I can probably get over for both days. Tronson maybe?

  34. #34
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    Sounds good...

  35. #35
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    Esmeralda lollipop

    We did the Esmeralda lollipop starting from the Big Boulder Creek TH last Saturday (7/14). There is a lot of snow melting now so the creeks along the Big Boulder Creek trail are rather high plus there is a lot of water draining through the trail itself.

    The descent down DeRoux Creek is mainly snow free except for the top 500ft. But even there it's not too bad one doesn't have to push the bike a lot. Very few blowdowns.

    Going up Esmeralda Basin was great and since relatively early in the season there was not that much traffic on foot either. One big snow patch left on Long's pass and quite a few snow patches that force you off the bike on the way down.

    The jeep road back up to the lake is still covered by a lot of snow. Definitely the least enjoyable section of the ride especially since rain was setting in and shortly afterwards we were in the middle of a full-blown thunderstorm. I'd guess it will take at least another two or three weeks for the snow to disappear there.

    All in all a memorable ride but maybe better to keep it for a bit later in the season. On the other hand the climb up Big Boulder Creek was nice compared to going up that trail in blistering heat.

    Sorry, no pictures because I didn't take my camera along.
    Last edited by Wonko; 07-17-2012 at 11:30 AM.

  36. #36
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    We're going to take a shot at Miller Saturday. Hiker reports look good, will report back.

  37. #37
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    I did Miller Peak 10 days ago. At that point there were only two small snow patches on the County Line Trail on the long traverse and no blow-downs anywhere.
    Enjoy!

  38. #38
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    Good to hear, thanks Wonko

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