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  1. #1
    im4Gsus
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    question about ringtail trail

    from 124th street i've ridden the lostdog trail to the taliesen overlook and down to the quartz-taliesen loop (ccw), but it's been a long time. i was looking at this map and saw the ringtail loop i marked in blue. i'm planning on going back in a few weeks with some friends that, like me, are better at climbing than descending steep, sketchy sections. so my question is: which way is better for us iot avoid our nemesis. from the contour of the map, the section i highlighted in pink seems like a steep section. if so it would be better for us to do the loop ccw. am i correct? the section to the east, however, looks like it would be a hoot coming down or cw.

    your inputs on this short loop would be appreciated, as i would like to add it to our ride.
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  2. #2
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaboose
    from 124th street i've ridden the lostdog trail to the taliesen overlook and down to the quartz-taliesen loop (ccw), but it's been a long time. i was looking at this map and saw the ringtail loop i marked in blue. i'm planning on going back in a few weeks with some friends that, like me, are better at climbing than descending steep, sketchy sections. so my question is: which way is better for us iot avoid our nemesis. from the contour of the map, the section i highlighted in pink seems like a steep section. if so it would be better for us to do the loop ccw. am i correct? the section to the east, however, looks like it would be a hoot coming down or cw.

    your inputs on this short loop would be appreciated, as i would like to add it to our ride.
    the McDowellers on the board will probably give you more details, but I've done it ~5 times and it seems the hardest section is going CW. So yes CCW from Sunrise would probably be best for you.
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  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
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    I usually do ringtail CW after coming from the Quartz, Taliesin, then down Lost Dog. After the junction with Lost Dog, it climbs to the overlook, then a few short downhill sections through a couple washes. Nothing too frightening, but I used to walk a few of them. If you'd like some more climbing, at the junction with Sunrise, go left and up Sunrise trail. Probably not the hardest climb in the McDowells, but a good steady grade.

    Also, If you do those trails at the south end of the McDowells on the weekend, lost dog is probably the busiest with hikers. Ringtail is not bad, and sunrise isn't too bad either. Early Sunday AM's is usually the best weekend day for those.

    hope that helps....

  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
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    here's the elevation profile from the ringtail junction with LD (at vertical dashed line) going CW. The low point before the climb is the junction with Sunrise.
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  5. #5
    im4Gsus
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    thanks, raybum for the response. i can't believe that with so many people here that ride those trails a lot, you and cholla were the only ones to respond.

    i want to start from 124th and go past taliesen overlook to quartz and do the loop around the golf course. i wanted to add ringtale either at the beginning or on the way back. your directions kind'a got me confused as cw and ccw changes depening on which direction you approach the loop.

    come on guys, help a group of c-riders here! remember the times when you were not as advanced riders as you are now!
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  6. #6
    parenting for gnarness
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    add it at the beginning if you want to end up around Quartz. Ride from 124th to what becomes Sunrise, turn left and head "CCW" around Ringtail. You will be going up the harder slope rather than descending it.
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  7. #7
    EXORCIZE
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    add it at the beginning if you want to end up around Quartz. Ride from 124th to what becomes Sunrise, turn left and head "CCW" around Ringtail. You will be going up the harder slope rather than descending it.
    I rode Ringtail a few times a couple years ago, and liked it. From what I remember, I would agree and try it CCW, although I don't think it makes too much difference (which may explain the lack of responses).

    OP, if done this direction, not too far in on Ringtrail, there is a short pitch that quickly turns right and up a short, steep, slightly loose hill. The whole thing is quite short, but should challenge both your climbing and bike handling skills.

    Save Sunrise for cooler temps.
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  8. #8
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    Take the Jeep trail instead, it will take you up and over with two climbs to follow it before three nice decends. Good luck.

  9. #9
    I am Walt
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    Sativa - Start your ride with it, and definitely ride it CCW, so you climb the east side of the Ringtail ridge, and descend the west side back to Lost Dog. There will be a few challenging switchbacks and washes, and the climb up to the ridgetop is a grunt, but it's all doable, and non-sketchy. If you go CW, the descent to the east off that ridge is fun, but can be a bit tricky, with a wheel-grabber spot or two.

    Also consider working the Old Jeep Road into your route - it's a fun section of trail, and connects from the middle of Ringtail to towards the top end of Lost Dog.

    Edit: Your map is a bit misleading...start at the 124th St TH, head up Lost Dog, then shortly after starting, after crossing a broad wash, bear right at the juncture. This will take you to lower Sunrise, go right about a 1/3 of a mile, then bear left onto Ringtail and follow Ringtail from there. It's a far better start than what your map says.
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  10. #10
    im4Gsus
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    thanks guys for the info and tips.

    walt, i think i remember where the jeep trail is. i highlighted it blue on this other map i found. and the route you and cholla suggested, going up lower sunrise, i painted pink. am i right?
    can't wait to check this out.
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  11. #11
    im4Gsus
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    oops, senior moment. 4got the map.

    btw, if i remember correctly, this jeep trail was/is very rocky!
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  12. #12
    Ahhh the pain....
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    That route you show (lower sunrise then, ringtail(partial) then Jeep trail would be a good one on the way out towards the lookout. Going that direction up ringtail, you'll just encounter a few wash crossings that might require a very short HAB. At the ringtail/jeep trail junction, there's a short, rocky uphill that is rideable (if you choose a good line). After you decend from the lookout, I think the loop around the golf course is the most fun CCW, however, it's more challenging CW since you gain most of the elevation in a short stretch.
    Good trails out there...have fun !
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  13. #13
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    I have done this trail a few times, the CW climb to the lost dog out look is hard and loose, but yes that east side down hill is fun even though it only lasts about 10 mins, i haven't ridden the loop CCW yet but i'm guessing it might be just as fun
    hope i helped
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  14. #14
    Black and Sticky
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaboose
    oops, senior moment. 4got the map.

    btw, if i remember correctly, this jeep trail was/is very rocky!
    Most of the Old Jeep Trail is fine as Walt and Rayburn say. But the last couple hundred meters or so before it intersects Ringtail IS very rocky. Your memory is spot on. At least the rockiest part, however, is downhill as you are heading toward Ringtail, and that makes it not so bad.

    Bob
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  15. #15
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaboose
    thanks guys for the info and tips.

    walt, i think i remember where the jeep trail is. i highlighted it blue on this other map i found. and the route you and cholla suggested, going up lower sunrise, i painted pink. am i right?
    can't wait to check this out.
    Not quite...re-read my directions...when you hit lower Sunrise, go right, not left (which would be up Sunrise), which will loop you around to Ringtail.

    Again, follow my directions precisely...

    And Old Jeep is very rocky, particularly up from the Ringtail intersection, but it's doable and good work.
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