Need info on JM's "big loop"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    SHU
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    Need info on JM's "big loop"

    I am going to do the "big loop" tomorrow and would like to get some info on the trail #'s and the direction.

    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHU
    I am going to do the "big loop" tomorrow and would like to get some info on the trail #'s and the direction.

    Thanks,
    John
    If you don't get hold of him e-mail me at rexhylton at hotmail.com and I'll forward it to you.

  3. #3
    Jm.
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    trails;http://www.sharlot.org/archives/maps/trailmaps/

    What you do is drive on highway 69 (if comming from phoenix) through prescott valley, and past. About halfway between prescott valley and prescott, there is a costco on the left. You take that left off of 69. The road is called "walker road". Go through the first stopsign. Then on your left, is a restaurant called "china buffet". They have a huge parking lot, and at the southern end (pull in and turn right) is where all the mtbers park.

    From here you get on your bikes and ride down walker road a bit untill you see a trail-head area on your right. It is only about a quarter to half a mile at the most. From here, there are two trail heads. You want to take the "trail 62/ranch trail".

    This starts out pretty flat, but fairly soon it shoots up, and it goes up real fast. This entire ride gets progressively better, so don't get too dissapointed by it. Trail 62 basically gets you up and on the ridge that goes to spruce mountain. Eventually you'll work your way into a little canyon/washout that is kind of like a "half pipe". You'll konw when you get here.

    Just a little ways past this area there is a trail junction. If you turn left it is called 7-mile-gulch. DONT TURN LEFT. This is fun on a DH bike, but it will assuredly melt XC disc and V pads . Continue to the right. The trail is following the ridge, and there are a good number of little climbs interspersed through it.

    About a mile later you come to another trail junction, this time turn LEFT. If you turn right it takes you down to Senator Highway and the frontside of Spruce Mtn. The trail is now called trail 299 and you contiune on this trail for a few miles untill you come to Spruce Mountain Road. This is a no brainer-as the trail dead-ends at Spruce Mountain Road.

    It's almost time for lunch, but turn LEFT and head UP Spruce Mountain Road. You ride up Spruce Mountain Road for about a mile, there is a sharp turn to the left where if you go straight, you will be on "Midnight Test Mine Road". You don't want to go this way, continue going up Spruce Mountain Road, evenutally it levels out some and you will see a trailhead on your LEFT. The trail is called trail 297. This is where you want to have lunch.

    Trail 297 is a blast. We don't have much technical here in prescott, but we do have some good "roller coaster" rides. 297 is an awesome roller-coaster rides. There are some short climbs near the top of the trail, but most of it is just super-fun roller-coaser type stuff. This is where you'll swear it was worth it to work your way up the F*@#@#(ing ridge.

    Trail 297 will end at Walker Road (but it's many miles down from where you started). You cross the road, and direcly across the road is the trail 305 trailhead. Trail 305 will take you all the way back to the trail 62 trailhead that you started at. Trail 305 is also a blast, although it is a lot flatter than 297, but it has a lot of "roller coaster" stuff in it in the exact same way as 297. Trail 305 will cross a lot of camp grounds comming back (paralleling walker road) and near the end of it there is a "choice" to turn right or left (although the more worn path should be to the left). Turn left here, and it will cross back over walker road and end up at the trail 62 trail head. If by some mistake you went the wrong way here you'd just end up riding through a big jump-park in back of costco, no big deal.

    This is a great ride for a day. Like i said, the inital climb up sucks, but comming down 297 and 305 is just sweet. Took us 4hrs 15 minutes last time, me with a couple of canadians. Really hard to say if it will take a lot longer or not for others doing it, but if you bonk one thing that is nice is that you can ride back on walker road at several points, so you aren't commited to comming back on the trail.

    Email for a pieced together-highlighted map.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  4. #4
    SHU
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    Thanks for the thorough description. I will let you know how it goes.

    John

  5. #5
    SHU
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    I went and rode the "big loop" yesterday. The climb up was an ass kicker for a good while. Some small ring stuff mixed with tough mid ring climbing. Right about the time you were red lineing there was a nice level off or down hill, so it wasn't too terrible, but definately tough.
    Once we reached Spruce Mountain Road I knew we only had a little bit of climbing left. This is my first time down Smiths Ravine. What a kick. Super smooth singletrack through the trees. A mountain bikers dream. I have ridden the 305 portion before so I knew to expect great fun there. I was a little disappointed in a couple of corners I saw cut at the top or 305 though. I have ridden 305 for years and believe it is one of the better trails in the Prescott area. I was bummed to see someone straightening out the trail. Once again people, bring your skills up to the level of the trail. Don't bring the trail down to the level of your skills.
    JM thanks for the info on that ride and for the great description. I wouldn't mind doing an out and back on 305 and Smith's. The climb would be tough, but it is pretty smooth.

    Shu

    p.s. It took us 2:10 from China Buffet to China Buffet, but that was pushing it pretty hard.

  6. #6
    Jm.
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    yeah...you just gotta keep reminding yourself as you are doing the initial climb up 62 that "this ride gets progressively better!". The gnats out right now are quite distracting, but I've seem then worse. Linking 297 and 305 is just a ton of fun though IMO.

    Glad you had fun, it's a nice area to "change it up", sometimes after work/school I go up and take 7 mile gulch back for a "quick downhill fix" and then come back on 305. There's also a "lower" loop out there. I'm going to do some riding on it next week around 530pm with someone else.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

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