Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore

    If you haven't ventured out to the infamous "Loon Lake Death March" lately, you might be surprised and pleased to know that SMUD (via the CCC's) spent most of last Summer re-working the trail from Loon Lake to The Rubicon Jeep Trail.

    Changes to trail are always hard to accept but honestly, it is a much better trail experience... and for those who hate losing nasty chunk and destroyed rear derailleurs, you can still experience all that on your return trip on The Rubicon.

    The amount of rock work done to the Loon Lake segment is astounding... not just the sanitizing and massive amount of stair work, but on the wide road section from the east end of the lake towards Buck Island Lake, the CCC's somehow buried the road in HUGE boulders and rocks, leaving a nice, narrow, mostly non-rocky trail to ride/hike/backpack.

    I didn't take more than a couple photos of the trail work, so you'll have to discover it for yourself. I think an out-and-back from the trailhead parking lot would be a pretty good ride, quite frankly. Only a few stair sections that mere mortals have to hike up now (vs. lots of HAB prior to this "improvement").

    What used to be a solid 4.5 to 5+ hour ride took us less than 3.5 hours the other day. Strong group, but still... the first half is so much easier now.

    Here are some tiny photos of the adventure (minus the one's that MTBR rejected):


    Loon Lake:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090124.jpg

    Sampling of the hundreds of rock steps:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090133.jpg

    Sweet singletrack:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090134.jpg

    All the rocks on the right used to not be there:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090136.jpg

    2019... what used to be a wide road on east end of Loon:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090137-2-.jpg

    2008... roughly the same spot 11 years ago:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-loon-7.27.08-023.jpg

    Huge cairns to follow on the main rerouted section (before Buck Island Lk.):
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090142.jpg

    Passing by Buck Island Lake:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090143.jpg

    New trail... new signs...
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090145.jpg

    Rubicon slickrock:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090155.jpg

    Lots of chunk and moon dust on The Rubicon:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090170.jpg

    Plenty of granite slabs too:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090172.jpg

    Dropping into the granite bowl before climbing back to Loon Lake:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090178.jpg

    Jeepers are jealous of our speed:
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-p1090179.jpg

    Only 4 of these this time. Gol dang I swear this is the LAST TIME I try to tell a story on MTBR!
    Loon Lake ain't so deathly anymore-mtbr-fucking-sucks.jpg

  2. #2
    Caca pasa
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    Hey, at least they're all right side up. ☝ And awesome pics.

    A most excellent adventure! Good to hear something positive re: trails these days.
    "합니다 행사에서 디비 판매 합니다 관련해" Lesleybien

    Hogan Lake blog. A section of Hogan Lake trails here.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Great report! Thanks
    2019 Canyon Strive CF 8
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    2015 Salsa Bucksaw 2

  4. #4
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    Many years ago me and a few friends rode from the bowl out to Cadillac Hill, two different times. Both fun - its a cool zone. Watching jeepers crawl up them rocks was rad. Always wanted to ride it point to point into Tahoma.

  5. #5
    Hella Olde
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    That's a lot of good pics! When mine won't upload it's usually because they're too big.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dchester View Post
    Many years ago me and a few friends rode from the bowl out to Cadillac Hill, two different times. Both fun - its a cool zone. Watching jeepers crawl up them rocks was rad. Always wanted to ride it point to point into Tahoma.
    Itís definitely a checkmark ride. I did it in 2006 and I still donít have any urge to do it again!
    https://forums.mtbr.com/california-n...il-228890.html

    AC did a sweet little video about his through ride or year or so ago. I remember towards the end of the video he says something like ďI donít think Iíll ever do it againď
    https://reviews.mtbr.com/video-biking-the-rubicon-trail

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    That's a lot of good pics! When mine won't upload it's usually because they're too big.
    Yeah Iím not resizing photos to post on MTBR. Itís cumbersome enough to add more than one photo as it is. Can you imagine other social media platforms rejecting photos because they are too large??

  8. #8
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    It was a fun ride for sure, but I still don't know if clockwise or counterclockwise is better.

  9. #9
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    Great report! What is the mileage for out and back? I have done a lot of rockcrawling there, but have never rode my bike there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToYZiLLa View Post
    Great report! What is the mileage for out and back? I have done a lot of rockcrawling there, but have never rode my bike there.
    It is a little over 6 miles each way... so 12-13 miles round trip. And you can always add some Rubicon to an out-and-back.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/21681069?filter=overall

    I wouldn't bring a newbie or "beginner" rider... but I think an intermediate+ rider who sees no shame in walking here and there would enjoy an out-and-back. I wouldn't say that 2 years ago when it was super primitive.

  11. #11
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    Cool, thanks! Don't know if I will be able to get there this year, but it is definitely on my list now.

  12. #12
    J-Flo
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    Great pics; thanks!

  13. #13
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    Empty_Beer, do you have a Strava of the complete loop? I've never this ride but it sounds awesome!
    Mr_Mojorisen

  14. #14
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    I liked the part with the rocks
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  15. #15
    Hella Olde
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Yeah Iím not resizing photos to post on MTBR. Itís cumbersome enough to add more than one photo as it is. Can you imagine other social media platforms rejecting photos because they are too large??
    I thought the new owners were going to update the [email protected]?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by oheckler View Post
    Empty_Beer, do you have a Strava of the complete loop? I've never this ride but it sounds awesome!
    Here's one: https://www.strava.com/activities/2672127754/overview

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