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  1. #1
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    New question here. Anyone familiar with the Fremont NRT near Lakeview?

    I live in the Bay Area. A few days ago I discovered an interesting-looking trail system in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Lakeview. I did some more Internet research and spoke to the forest's trail-specialist ranger, who told me that the trail from Moss Pass to Chewaucan Crossing on the Fremont National Recreation Trail consists of 18 miles of prime singletrack.

    It's particularly intriguing that the Fremont NRT is or will be more than 50 miles long and that major parts of it, according to the ranger, have been rebuilt or newly built in recent years. It might be a great ride.

    Does anyone know anything about the Fremont NRT or the other trails out there? Would the Fremont NRT be worth the 400+ mile drive from the Bay Area? I see that the 2006 Outback Challenge was held in the same forest, probably along the Crane Mountain National Recreation Trail.

    As a former Oregonian, I realize that Lakeview is a long way from anywhere. I've been there!

    Here are two websites with info:

    https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recr...oxtrails.shtml

    (The pictures linked to on the web page above look pretty nice.)

    https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recr...-nrt_south.gif

  2. #2
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    Here's the skinny....

    Been there, done that, won't do it again....

    Went there about 6 or 7 or 8 years ago, after seeing an article in (now-defunct) Oregon Outside magazine and talking to a FS employee there. I was pumped. I thought for sure I had found an undiscovered gem. I got all the maps, spoke to the FS guy some more, and he talked it up some more. Drove all the way out there from Eugene on a well-planned four-day trip, and started riding.

    Cow trails.

    Cow f#$%^in' trails.

    Cows suck.*

    I did a section around Lakeview, then moved a bit north and did a section out of Paisley -- I think that might have been the Moss Pass/Chewaucan section. The trails were pretty chewed up and soft. In fact, the FS employee I had spoken with and had told of my itinerary showed up at the end of my first day's ride. I looked at him and knew immediately that he may have mountain biked now and then, but was not "one of the tribe." To him, that was good riding. Of course, if you live in such a desolate place, you don't have a big frame of reference.

    I was bummed.

    Kind of.

    I had wanted solitude along with my riding, and I definitely got that. I did 100 miles of trail in 4 days and I don't think I saw another human on the trails.

    I think the best section is near Silver Lake. I camped a couple miles north of Thompson Reservoir and rode east, to (I think) Hager Mtn. Lookout. Great conditions, obviously not cattle-scarred like the rest of the trail. But it doesn't last all that long. NOT worth the trip just to do that.

    The Fremont NRT is so long, that if it were good quality, it would be the pinnacle of mountain biking, and everyone would have heard of it. But it's not. Cattle rule this area, not humans.

    If you want to come that far and do an epic, do the North Umpqua Trail. It won't disappoint.

    There. I just saved you a big disappointment. I feel like a regular Mother Teresa.

    I'm just going from memory, not from the maps. I still have them if you have any other specific questions. Feel free to PM me, or just throw 'em out on this thread.



    *unless they're on my dinner plate
    Last edited by Albee; 04-04-2008 at 08:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    Haven't been on the Fremont NRT but I did some hiking a bit northwest of Harvey trailhead in the fall of 2006. Nice country, excepting the beetle kill, though I personally wouldn't drive 800+ miles roundtrip for 18 miles of singletrack in it.

    (Then again, I'm not exactly sure what 18 miles I would drive that far for, though I did just get back from a 2000+ mile two week trip to Moab and Fruita and must admit Horsethief Bench has its temptations.)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albee
    Been there, done that, won't do it again....

    Went there about 6 or 7 or 8 years ago, after seeing an article in (now-defunct) Oregon Outside magazine and talking to a FS employee there. I was pumped. I thought for sure I had found an undiscovered gem. I got all the maps, spoke to the FS guy some more, and he talked it up some more. Drove all the way out there from Eugene on a well-planned four-day trip, and started riding.

    Cow trails.

    The Fremont NRT is so long, that if it were good quality, it would be the pinnacle of mountain biking, and everyone would have heard of it. But it's not. Cattle rule this area, not humans.

    If you want to come that far and do an epic, do the North Umpqua Trail. It won't disappoint.

    There. I just saved you a big disappointment. I feel like a regular Mother Teresa.
    Thanks to both of you for replying. You're right--you did just save me from a probable disappointment, plus whatever it costs to drive 800 miles these days with gasoline at almost $4/gallon (it might be even higher in Lakeview). I had the same experience you did: saw the trail description; got excited, because I was sure I'd discovered a hidden gem; called the trails specialist for the Lakeview forest service office; he talked the trails up; I got more excited.

    He did imply that recent work had been done on the trail system, but I bet you're right: if a great trail had come into being, even as far away as Lakeview, others would be talking about it, and they're not. I won't make a special trip to ride it, though I might check it out if for some reason I'm in the area. I've heard great things about the North Umpqua Trail and will head that way at some point.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    The Fremont area is a gem, but with lack of trail work due to lack of volunteers and a huge forest fire a few years back, a good portion of the trail network is still not up and running. The local forest service is very eager for us to do tours and the old owner of Cog Wild is also very eager for us to do tours out there as it is beautiful country, but only for the experienced rider. Some fact finding missions included 12 hour days of riding on singletrack trails that made some of our guides come back amazed and wanting us to ask for riding resumes for people who we take riding out there.
    The main trail that is still under fallen burnt trees is the rim trail, once that is up and running again I would say come and check it out, but I would not do it alone and not without a lot of water and food - it is very remote out there.
    So until that happens, I agree - go ride the Umpqua Trail. That is also another trail that is very remote and maybe not the best on your own, but will not dissapoint and is worth the drive!
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  6. #6
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    Thanks, Cog Wild. The information is much appreciated. Would you and others mind posting updates on this thread if the riding in the Fremont-Winema NF improves? A few of us diehards in California would be interested in checking it out if you tell us it's become worthwhile.

  7. #7
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    The Fremont area comes up over and over again, but honestly we know we are going to need to get a group of people together and go spend a few days, if not plan a few trips to get out there and help with trail work. Getting that organized is what overwhelms us. But I know the trail work is getting done slowly - if we hear great things or plan to get out there and even just ride what is already ready, we will post it.
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  8. #8
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    try Rockville Park if you're in the area.

    I used to live in Sacramento for 2.5 years and rode everything worth riding in the area, but have never heard of the Fremont NRT as a destination mtn. bike trail. I will tell one of the most fun trail systems in the area and a little north of Fremont is Rockville Park in Fairfield. This park is small (a little over 1 sq. mile) but is packed with very fun and some of the most technical trails around. Check it out if you are in the area.

    Downieville, CA has some of the best trails anywhere and that is alot further north than the Bay Area. Downieville would definitely be worth the drive.

  9. #9
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    Hey all, just wanted to let you all know that I put in a call to Fremont NF to talk to the head guy for trail work and am waiting a call back. We got a few emails from people saying they would be interested in going and helping with trail work and as soon as I hear back from them I will share the info.
    Cheers!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cog Wild
    Hey all, just wanted to let you all know that I put in a call to Fremont NF to talk to the head guy for trail work and am waiting a call back. We got a few emails from people saying they would be interested in going and helping with trail work and as soon as I hear back from them I will share the info.
    Cheers!
    Make sure to post up. It would be great to get that area in shape.

  11. #11
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    So was there any work done down there??

  12. #12
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    Good question - San Soucie (misspelled, but you know who you are). This is a question only for you.
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  13. #13
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    I'm flattered

    I will make the appropriate calls and follow up with a trail conditions report tomorrow.

    I can say that the Fremont NRT is the most epic back country biking trail that I know of. It can be a little grazed over by cows and is very dry, but in many ways there is a good season also: FALL, after some rain has been through. Early and mid summer the mosquitoes will carry you away but it has some of the greatest diversity of wildflowers.

    Every year that I have been there a work crew from NW Youth Corps has worked to open and maintain the trail under the guidance of an FS official in Lakeview. I heard the portion most heavily damaged by the forest fires in 2002 has been repaired but I will get specifics.
    "“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=sans soucie]I'm flattered

    Early and mid summer the mosquitoes will carry you away but it has some of the greatest diversity of wildflowers.

    QUOTE]

    mosquitoes LOL sounds about right for the area. This year would have been terrible.

  15. #15
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    Fremont NRT conditions 8/12/09

    So, I got to talk to the Trail Supervisor in Lakeview today.

    The executive summary is they have had one of the most successful trail clearing years since he's been there, over 20 years! He said more people have turned up to help out on the Fremont NF than ever before.

    They have built new connectors and opened trails that have been closed for years, all in a year that had some of the worst blow-down ever.

    He told me they cut over 300 logs just between the Antler trail head and Silver Creek C.G. They also rebuilt several bridges and brushed out many miles of trail that were overgrown due to the fires and consequent lack of maintenance over the past seven years.

    All segments are open except:
    The upper sections of Yamsay Mt.
    Few logs left down on the N. & S. Warner basins
    Lewis springs area where the trail crosses private land (this is west of Farm Wells TH)
    Work is progressing down (South) from Rogger Meadow, about half way there today.

    One of my favorite sections is from Chewaucan Crossing south to Cox Pass TH. He said that section is in the best shape he's ever seen it.

    They have finished the connector from the Hannan Trail over to the NRT at the top of the Winter Rim, and then well cleared and in good shape south to Chewaucan Crossing. (this is appx 20 miles downhill)

    I think we (some masochistic Benders) will be taking a recon mission down there soon.
    "“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

  16. #16
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    Sounds like it is almost time to get the water filters, packs FULL Of food and water, beacons, walkie talkies, motos, beer and lots of around campfire food ready - after hearing this talked about for years, this fall might have some time in the Fremont in it..... sounds exciting!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sans soucie
    So, I got to talk to the Trail Supervisor in Lakeview today.

    The executive summary is they have had one of the most successful trail clearing years since he's been there, over 20 years! He said more people have turned up to help out on the Fremont NF than ever before.

    They have built new connectors and opened trails that have been closed for years, all in a year that had some of the worst blow-down ever.

    He told me they cut over 300 logs just between the Antler trail head and Silver Creek C.G. They also rebuilt several bridges and brushed out many miles of trail that were overgrown due to the fires and consequent lack of maintenance over the past seven years.

    All segments are open except:
    The upper sections of Yamsay Mt.
    Few logs left down on the N. & S. Warner basins
    Lewis springs area where the trail crosses private land (this is west of Farm Wells TH)
    Work is progressing down (South) from Rogger Meadow, about half way there today.

    One of my favorite sections is from Chewaucan Crossing south to Cox Pass TH. He said that section is in the best shape he's ever seen it.

    They have finished the connector from the Hannan Trail over to the NRT at the top of the Winter Rim, and then well cleared and in good shape south to Chewaucan Crossing. (this is appx 20 miles downhill)

    I think we (some masochistic Benders) will be taking a recon mission down there soon.
    Are there any online maps of these trails? My Google finger is tired.

  18. #18
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    sans soucie thanks for getting and posting that info. My trip was cancelled but I will be heading down there later in sept. Looks like I will have a small epic on my hands

    20 miles down hill?? really. Think I will have to verify that myself!!!

  19. #19
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    build it and...

    Let's hope people come to check out this truly unique opportunity.

    here's a good link with lots of info (I think the OP referred to this):
    https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recr...e-trails.shtml

    I'd like to share one short story of my experience down there:
    We showed up on a Friday night hoping to ride a little segment (35 miles) the next day. Went to the local pub in Paisley (I think it's called the Paisley Saloon, good burgers & pizza). We met a guy who said he'd be willing to shuttle us the next morning. Show up at his house at the appointed time, where's dude? Sleeping. Get shuttle going after some local socializing and drive (seriously) one and a half hours to park cars at the South end of the ride (Cox Pass - https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recr...e-coxpth.shtml ) Leave our cars there and hop in dude's car back up to Paisley and then over to the start of our ride, Chewaucan Crossing - https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recr...-chewcan.shtml ). Finally get started riding at the crack-o-noon! Schweet.

    Ride climbs. Climbs. climbs, and climbs. soft pummy climb, steep a$$ effing climb. interminable climb. holy cr@p does the climbing ever end? Yes, here: https://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recr...morganview.jpg

    Downhill. down some more. still going down, yep. sh!t my arms hurt, down more? Y. My smile muscles hurt, too! Whoa, did you see all those wildflowers?, that old growth pondy forest? view? OMG. Epic. How far are we? Half way there. How's water? OUT. Anybody bring a filter? Oh yeah - RED SHREDS! Pump out of this manky cow stomped "spring" but damn, need that effing water. gotta do it. Spring is here, better check it: (right, can't ruin the surprise!)

    Climbing again? yes. and yes. What was that you asked? shut up. Where is the trail? OK so there is some serious route finding in some areas, especially South of Morgan Butte. Apparently the locals prefer to drive to the top of Morgan Butte and ride back (N.) to Chewaucan Crossing. 18 miles mostly downhill. Don't say I told you so. Ride this the other way, it's more stupid.

    Anyhoo, the trail from Morgan Butte south goes up and down a LOT. There's a huge climb close to Cox pass, we ran out of daylight and rolled into the Cox Pass trailhead at 9:00pm. Whoa. 35 miles. 6800 feet climbing. When can we go again?
    "“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
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    We rode from Moss Pass north to Chewaucan Crossing.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=11323521

    I'll be back for more!

    Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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