Secesh River: Chinook to Ponderosa- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Secesh River: Chinook to Ponderosa

    Could anybody provide some information on the Secesh River Trail from Chinook campground to Ponderosa campground? I have heard about the section between Chinook and the Loon Lake Cutoff, but anybody have any knowledge of the lower section to Ponderosa? I am planning a multi-day trek and am thinking of a McCall-Yellow Pine-Big Creek-Warren-Burgdorf-McCall loop so would be riding with a loaded bike. The Secesh River Trail could potentially cut a day out of the western side of the loop and add a day to the eastern side. Any other comments on this loop? Side trips, biking, hiking, hot springs? Or any other suggestions for self-supported 4-6 day mountain bike trips in the area? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'd recommend a phone call,

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamW
    Could anybody provide some information on the Secesh River Trail from Chinook campground to Ponderosa campground? I have heard about the section between Chinook and the Loon Lake Cutoff, but anybody have any knowledge of the lower section to Ponderosa? I am planning a multi-day trek and am thinking of a McCall-Yellow Pine-Big Creek-Warren-Burgdorf-McCall loop so would be riding with a loaded bike. The Secesh River Trail could potentially cut a day out of the western side of the loop and add a day to the eastern side. Any other comments on this loop? Side trips, biking, hiking, hot springs? Or any other suggestions for self-supported 4-6 day mountain bike trips in the area? Thanks!
    to the ranger station, or at least the folks at Gravity Sports or the other bike shops in McCall, to see if that section will be cleared of dead fall and slides. A couple years back, a guy from our group after the Ruby Meadows to Loon Lake to Chinook campground trip took off and "rode" it and most of it was hike-a-bike. He was pretty beat when his wife picked him up late that night and brought him to the bbq. But he did it.
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  3. #3
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    not recommended.

    He said, "man did that ever suck". Unquote. Emphasis on "suck" And he's a good, strong rider.

    At that time, ( august 02) it was a couple of hairs shy of a total bushwhack. It's twelve miles and he thought it could be done in just a couple of hours HAHAHAHAHA. Lots of up and down, narrow, sidehill, unpleasant. It is most definitely NOT the caliber of fun trail that the section from the bridge N to the campground is. When I went to go pick him up at the trail head, it was dusk and he had **just** gotten in. I'd expected him to be waiting for me for an hour or two. He was sitting in the creek in his shorts, literally, trying to cool down.
    I would imagine that if you had panniers, or a bob you would be really sorry that you tried to do that section.

    formica
    Last edited by formica; 03-16-2005 at 11:27 AM.

  4. #4
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    CBro and formica,

    Thanks! Well, it looked like a good idea on the map. Thanks to the internet, this will make one less time I have to use that statement!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamW
    it looked like a good idea on the map.
    That's what he said. Actually, that's what we all said, but he was the guinea pig.

    ;-)
    Last edited by formica; 03-16-2005 at 11:48 AM.

  6. #6
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    good from far, but far from good

    Darian rode it last year and pretty much re-iterated your friend's comments- that sucked. About 1 mile from Ponderosa its OK, but after that it deteriorates quickly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamW
    I am planning a multi-day trek and am thinking of a McCall-Yellow Pine-Big Creek-Warren-Burgdorf-McCall loop so would be riding with a loaded bike. The Secesh River Trail could potentially cut a day out of the western side of the loop and add a day to the eastern side. Any other comments on this loop? Side trips, biking, hiking, hot springs? Or any other suggestions for self-supported 4-6 day mountain bike trips in the area? Thanks!
    Here are some thoughts about your ride-
    Leaving McCall and climbing out Lick Creek Road you'll pass East Fork of Lake Fork trail (a good ride and a nice campground, but probably too close to town for your first night).
    Just over LickCreek summit is the trailhead to Duck/Hum Lakes and 20 Mile trail (also a good ride, but it doesn't help your loop).
    Further out Lick Creek, across the road from Ponderosa CG, is the trailhead for CowCreek (a fun ride, that can be pretty overgrow and remote, but also doesn't help your loop unless you want to try to loop to Krassel Guard Station)
    Just after Ponderosa CG, there's Zena creek trail, which I've heard is a pretty mellow dirt road that turns to singletrack and goes to a lake, but I haven't personally ridden it.
    Still further out, I just found a natural arch on the topo map north of the road to Yellowpine and I'm planning on hiking to that this summer. Check out the Payette N.F. website for photo of it.
    I don't know much about the trails or road beyond Yellowpine and around to Warren as I've only been out there once.
    Coming back toward McCall from Warren, I would camp at Burgdorf CG and explore this area. There are several good rides from here- Bear Pete, Loon Lake and Ruby Meadows to Loon Lake (Ruby Meadows was completely re-built last summer) Ride the road up to Crystal Mountain and then take the singletrack back down to the PNF Burgdorf CG. Soak at Burgdorf in the evenings. There's the Marshall Mtn ride that I've never done, but have heard good things about.
    In general I would say that you should plan on being able to ditch all your gear for an occasional out-and-back trail. Personally I would pack everything in a backpack and then put that in a a BOB trailer. That way you can easily hike, or bike, or hikeabike. Get one of the hot springs books for the area as there are lots of them around and I think some are right along your route. Remember there can be bears and wolves throughout the whole area too so camp accordingly.

  8. #8
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    You could also do..

    A couple trips north and west of sunvalley sun valley. The first one that comes to mind is going from pine to alturas lake and then to atlanta and back to pine. It would be a lot of singletrack and a cool ride indeed.

    Or you could do a long loop in the whiteclouds also and start and finish on pole creek rd to make a nice loop ridiing by frog lake and castle peak.

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  9. #9
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    don't forget to stop for ice cream in mccall....

  10. #10
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    Don't Esp. Don't loaded

    Of the 3 people I know who tried this route 1 turned around a quarter of the way into the ride (he's the smart one), the other two ended up ditching their bikes and staggering out in the dark. They retreived the bikes the next day in considerable pain.

  11. #11
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    So I guess Mr Adventure was ahead of the game if he made it out by dusk with his bike?

    formica

  12. #12
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    Chris,

    I was thinking of a variation of your first suggestion -- Ketchum over Dollarhide eventually to Atlanta and then to Alturas Lake -- but wasn't sure what the trail from Atlanta to Alturas would be like with loaded bikes and someone who isn't that technical a rider. Any inputs?

    I really appreciate everybody's comments; they have really helped. Thanks.

    Adam

  13. #13
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    Great hike but...

    I attempted that section 2 summers ago and would've been happier hiking or running rather than hiking in my cycling shoes.
    A LOT of downfall and a poorly built trail on a steep sideslope with very little traffic but it is beautiful back there and I almost guarantee that you won't see anyone else until you hit the bridge along the Loon Lake loop.
    Lots of our trails up here are rugged and technical and weren't built that well let alone for mountain bike traffic. But we do what we can and the more concerned and willing riders we get moving here then we can slowly make a difference and increse our rideable mileage.

    Give a shout if you're looking for any riding buddies/local knowledge.
    Wayndar, myself and Bob @ Gravity will get pointed in the right direction.

    Anyone up for a "little"epic this summer?;

    Shuttle to Duck Lake TH riding 20 mile south to north, head up pavement to Victor Creek and ride up and over ridge to Loon Lake, kick out the loop with lunch @ the lake with the flies (and maybe the moose) and ride out Willow Basket to a dropped vehicle filled with beer and chips and salsa.
    Then, if needed, can soak at Burgdorf...

    Only looking at 45-50 miles but it'll be sweet!

    Could make it longer by riding up Lick Creek Rd from town and hitting East Fork of Lake Fork as a little warm up instead of driving...

    I'll be putting in lots of quality "daddy time" this spring to hopefully make this happen.

    How's the riding down in the "Valley?"

    Got to get out and spin the legs; skate skiing just didn't do it for me this year.
    Kind of need snow and good cold and consistent temperatures.

    Ciao,

    Darian

  14. #14
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    hmm..non technical then you should do

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamW
    Chris,

    I was thinking of a variation of your first suggestion -- Ketchum over Dollarhide eventually to Atlanta and then to Alturas Lake -- but wasn't sure what the trail from Atlanta to Alturas would be like with loaded bikes and someone who isn't that technical a rider. Any inputs?

    I really appreciate everybody's comments; they have really helped. Thanks.

    Adam
    the frog lake loop. It is on the east side of the whiteclouds and about 3 to 4 hour drive but it is an awesome ride and perfect for a first time bike camper without a ton of technical skills. The ride in is on a really nice and trail that has cool views and in about 7 miles you reach frog lake. Setup camp and then the next day hike or ride to castle peak. Then ride out the same way you came in or go out little boulder creek which is a little more challenging.I did this over a three day weekend with a much less technically skilled ex girlfriend. http://www.trailwize.com/frogcastlec...castlecamp.htm

    The trail from alturas to atlanta or pine might be a little much for you. I am actually thinking of doing it this summer so we could do it if you feel up to it.

    Chris
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