Boulder Mountain - Torrey, UT- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Pedal Bike
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    Boulder Mountain - Torrey, UT

    Has anyone ridden the trail system on Boulder Mtn.?

    Any good? How about Thousand Lakes or Capital Reef?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    As far as I know, Capitol Reef NP doesn't have much more than dirt roads open to both motorized and non-motorized use. I usually go down for camping, hiking, and some easier canyoneering. The mountain biking I've done down there is more like touring with fat tires.

    That said, I've heard riding down the Pleasant Creek road down into the park and back around back to the start via the paved roads is a beautiful ride well suited to beginners on hard tails. More advanced riders will also enjoy it but won't be as inclined to use their brakes. I've also ridden parts of the Burr Trail and other roads but I haven't heard of anything there that's technical as well as legal.

    I haven't done any biking around Thousand Lakes or Boulder Mountain but I'd love to hear what they're like if anybody out there knows.

  3. #3
    Pedal Bike
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    I visited the local Torrey Ranger/Tourist Station and picked up a map for Boulder Mtn.
    There is a fairly extensive trail system on the mtn.
    Dirt roads, double track and single track cover the place.
    Also, ATV usage seems prevelant.

    I plan to investigate as soon as the snow clears. It looks unbelievable...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Bike
    It looks unbelievable...
    It is. The place is called Boulder Mountain, so obviously its pretty rocky, but if you enjoy technical single/doubletrack the whole mountain is a hoot for riding.

    One of my favorites is the Rosebud trail. It is 5-6 miles from the main highway to Lower Bowns reservoir. The trail basically paralells the dirt road to ther lake so you can make it into a loop if you like. The road can get busy in the summer, but traffic on the trail is all but nonexistant.
    This space for rent.

  5. #5
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    I've spent some time in area

    Here are few pics (look towards the bottom of the post) I posted awhile back from Boulder Mountain back in the day.

    Both Gregg Bromka and Michael McCoys' books, combined, cover the most popular rides: Velvet Ridge (Torrey), Boulder Top/Behanin Creek (Boulder Mtns), Cathedral Valley (Capitol Reef), and Rosebud (Boulder Mtns). But for the adventurer, the possibilities are endless. One of my favorites is to start at the top of Rosebud and descend all the way to the scenic drive in Capitol Reef.

    Trails on Boulder Mtn. are not maintained for mountain bike use and are typically choked with large basalt boulders, but are definantly worth exploring. The jeep roads are fun too. The closest place for mountain bike-friendly singletrack is Fish Lake.

  6. #6
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    Good Stuff...

    Definetely some fun exploring to be done in the Fish Lake Nat'l Forest. I was there in August 2004 and all the riding that I did was done alone. So, if you enjoy serious backcountry exploring on knobbies this place is it. I can't even begin to explain how bummed I am for not making into this area last summer. I'd also like to check out the Tushar Mtn. range one of these days...two weeks of exploring on bike, and carcamping would do the trick next time around in this part of Utah.

    Damn...I wanna move to Utah.

    D


    Here's a few pics from Fish Lake taken in August 2004, coming down Doc Creek Trail and another of the Fish Lake Hightop...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dirty D; 02-17-2006 at 08:48 AM.

  7. #7
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    Just a few more shots... The beaver dam was located on the dreaded hika-bike to the Fish Lake Hightop located on the N.E. side of the mountain. ( no beavers to be seen, they wouldn't come out ). The GPS came in real handy on the meadow at the top, at which point I was having to stop every quarter of a mile or so, to catch my breath.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dirty D; 02-17-2006 at 08:52 AM.

  8. #8
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    Nice pics. How is the car camping in the Fish Lake area? Are there good spots not in campgrounds or does the place get overrun on weekends? I've been meaning to check out that area but I can't seem to get farther north than Red Canyon.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    Nice pics. How is the car camping in the Fish Lake area? Are there good spots not in campgrounds or does the place get overrun on weekends? I've been meaning to check out that area but I can't seem to get farther north than Red Canyon.
    The place is awesome...there are designated campsites right near the lodge that didn't appear to be too busy when I was there in August. If the campground is full and you have a vehicle with a bit of clearance or better yet a 4x4 you can drive down dirt roads or climb into some of the desolate mountains to camp out. I highly recommend this area if you're wanting to explore the backcounry on your bike.
    Stop by the lodge to pick up a map of the surrounding trails in the area, since the odds are that you will not run into a single person on your bike ride if you climb up to either plateau. Also some things that I brought with me on the ride which helped out -- GPS, lots of food & water and some rain gear ( nothin like sitting out a thunderstorm under a tree at 10,000ft. all alone -- absolutely epic )

    Don't forget to stop by Loa for some exceptional shakes and burgers on your way home.


    D

  10. #10
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    So is this fish lake area all under snow right now?anyone have more info on this area?

  11. #11
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    Boulder Mtn.

    Anybody have any recommendations for riding Boulder Mtn.?
    Still thinking about heading down there for a cruise around/over it...

  12. #12

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    headed to the Fish Lake area in September. how long is the hika-bike portion? does the mytoge mountain loop access the Fish Lake High Top trails?

  13. #13
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    If I were you I would invest in a decent topo map of the Fish Lake National Forest because the maps at the main lodge are pretty generic, and they were out of stock when I was there. Give the Notional Geographic maps a try.

    As far as doing the the Mytoge Loop and getting to the Fish Lake Hightop...I broke it up into two seperate rides since I knew that I'd be doing some exploring and perhaps some backtracking as well. The Fish Lake Hightop is located on the western side of the lake and the Mytoge Mtn. loop is located to the east.

    I accessed both rides in the northern part of Fish Lake and I did a lot of HAB to reach the summits/plateaus, and both descents dropped me off at the southern tip of the lake. I personally enjoyed the meadow on the Fish Lake Hightop much better but the HAB to get up there was more strenuous through lava rock - it prolly took a good 2-2 1/2hrs. to reach the meadow. Once on top it was amazingly beautiful covered with wildflowers and herds of sheep. Descending down Doc Creek Trail was a great payoff as well.

    The Mytoge Loop was epic as well with some HAB up lava infested switchbacks. I was then dropped off into a bowl shaped meadow and I worked my way south along meadow.
    There were several delapatated trail markers pointing me in the right direction. Then you begin a nice climb into some white aspen trees. At this point you start catching glimpses of Fish Lake below as you traverse the ridge on some smooth singletrack...followed by some steep swichbacks down to the lake.

    A couple of suggestions, bring more water then you think you may need, as mentioned before, a good map, enough food, and light raingear. The terrain is easy but you gotta pay to get to the top for the awesome rewards. I did these rides solo with no advice from anyone so maybe someone thats been there and knows the area better could chime in... Hope this helps out.


    D
    Last edited by Dirty D; 08-07-2006 at 10:33 AM.

  14. #14

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    DirtyD: thanks for the detailed info; your pics of the High Top are enticing, but our group will only have 4-5 hours in that area as we pass throu on our way to SLC from an Escalante backpack trip, so we may have to stay on the lower loop around the lake. Trying to line up an outfitter who can meet us at the trail head with bikes, they will have info as well. We're going to ride Thunder Mountain down in Red Canyon on our way down to Escalante. Have you ridden there?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bainhameen
    DirtyD: thanks for the detailed info; your pics of the High Top are enticing, but our group will only have 4-5 hours in that area as we pass throu on our way to SLC from an Escalante backpack trip, so we may have to stay on the lower loop around the lake. Trying to line up an outfitter who can meet us at the trail head with bikes, they will have info as well. We're going to ride Thunder Mountain down in Red Canyon on our way down to Escalante. Have you ridden there?
    If you have 4-5hrs to kill, you may have enough time to do the Mytoge Loop. If you know which way you're heading and everybody keeps a decent pace you would be A-Ok.

    I haven't ridden Thunder Mtn. yet, but on September 9th my wife and a good friend are heading out on a two weeker to Colorado and Utah - Thunder Mtn. being on the list of rides on the route home.

    D

  16. #16
    JMH
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    The Money Ride

    D-

    Keep us posted as soon as you know your dates and locations (also how long you will be here) so we can keep time free. I know of a ride that will make you forget about CO and move directly to SLC, but I want to know if we should hit it the first day or leave it til the end.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty D
    If you have 4-5hrs to kill, you may have enough time to do the Mytoge Loop. If you know which way you're heading and everybody keeps a decent pace you would be A-Ok.

    I haven't ridden Thunder Mtn. yet, but on September 9th my wife and a good friend are heading out on a two weeker to Colorado and Utah - Thunder Mtn. being on the list of rides on the route home.

    D

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Bike
    Anybody have any recommendations for riding Boulder Mtn.?
    Still thinking about heading down there for a cruise around/over it...
    I haven't ridden in the Fish Lake area but I recently rode from hwy 12 up towards Brown's Point (or is it Bowns?) to the Great Western Trail. Then west or southwest on GWT which is hardly a trail in places to the jeep road to Green Lake and then singletrack to Chriss Lake. From there you drop down a sometimes fast and sometimes technical, rock-infested descent to the hwy. That took about 2 hours. 30 min back up the hwy and about a 17 mile loop. More scenic that epic riding. 10 years ago I also went the other direction from Bown's Point to Behanin Creek (spelling?) which was pretty fun and epic. This one was in the Bromka's original edition of Utha Mountain Biking which curiously didn't make the cut in the 2nd edition.

    My 2 cents is that riding in the Boulder Mountains is for the adventurous and those who don't mind a little exploring, hike a biking, and technical challenges.

  18. #18

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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Lots - O -Ridin' On Boulder

    There is an awesome trail system that I know of has everything...rock gardens, dh, singletrack, views, gnarly drops, etc.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by joyridergirl
    There is an awesome trail system that I know of has everything...rock gardens, dh, singletrack, views, gnarly drops, etc.
    That is some impressive beta! Thanks for sharing.

  20. #20
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    Boulder Mtn.

    The maps I have show Boulder to have a lot of potential.
    The top is evidently flat.
    The local tour guide won't offer anything up.

    Has anyone ridden up Boulder Mtn. out of Teasdale?

  21. #21

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    Beta is a measure of its volatility and therefore its risk. Nothing flat about that!

  22. #22
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    Pedal Bike, I stumbled on this guy's website a while back and he's done some interesting stuff in the Boulder Mtns. Check it out http://www.chpc.utah.edu/%7Emcuma/su.../torrey_e.html

    Joyridergirl your post is nothing but a taunt. Why post at all?

  23. #23
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    Thank you Rockman!

    Great find...pretty good stuff!

    I'm heading down there this fall.

    I'll post my results.

  24. #24

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    Rockman...

    you get more bees with honey!

  25. #25
    No, that's not phonetic
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    joyridergirl, you are truly useless.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  26. #26

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    Wwjd

    WWJD?
    Let's wait for his reply. In the meantime, look where you want to be...there are alot of trees out there.

  27. #27
    JMH
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    Um, okay Cryptic One. Time to head back to the Dojo.

    What are you talking about? So far you have posted three times in this thread and offered 1. no information and 2. barely intelligible replies to the posters who pointed out that you weren't offering any information.

    What gives? Just write something to the effect of: "I know a great trail, PM me for details!"

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by joyridergirl
    WWJD?
    Let's wait for his reply. In the meantime, look where you want to be...there are alot of trees out there.
    Last edited by JMH; 08-21-2006 at 10:20 AM.

  28. #28
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I just spent 2 days riding on Boulder Mountain. I accessed it from the west side, along the main road that leads to the top (just south of Bicknell and Torrey). On the first day I started from the Aquarius Guard Station (8,700'), rode up the road to the top (11,000'), then descended via the Government Point Tr, the Wildcat Tr, and the Aquarius Tr 133. It was a super ride. Here is a map. The road climb is in red, the trail portions are in blue. The crushed cinder road is in excellent shape and a 2wd car can easily drive up (if you are a shuttle bunny). It is a 1.5 hour climb for a fit rider from the guard station to the top, middle chainring the whole way imo. Note that I am from sea level and have no particular affection for high elevations, and I was riding a 37#, 7" travel freeride bike with DH tires. The road up begs for something light and efficient, but the steep and rough trail down begs for something substantial. Bring armor if you like your skin where it is, and some big rotors are a good idea since the descent is long, technical, and steep.



    Once you crest the summit plateau, after about 1/2 mile the first spur on the left is the Government Point trail, which supposedly is closed to motor vehicles. If they let cows on it, then bikes are ok too.



    This is what quite a lot of the Gov Pt Tr on top looks like, though at times it can be quite faint. Cows and game are keeping it open somewhat, though at times it was very hard to see. Not a big deal because the area is open and easy to navigate and you can ride basically anywhere due to the low, sparse vegetation and compacted soils:





    This is Grass Lake near the Gov Pt Tr descent. It is slow elk and waterfowl habitat. A beautiful spot. There are lots of lakes like this on top. The trail does not actually go past this spot, but I had lost the trail a mile back and was just following the narrow cow paths through the grass.



    The Gov Pt trail descent to Cook Pasture bench is extremely steep and rough. Some short sections are totally unrideable. I HIGHLY recommend armor for parts of this ride.





    Once down on Cook Pasture, you ride south for a couple of miles until you hit the junction with the Wildcat Trail. The trail is nonexistent in the beginning:



    After a hundred yards, you can begin to see it. This trail gets almost no use at all.



    Some sections of the trail seem barely developed. Here the trail crosses an old lava flow. Yes, that is the trail straight ahead.



    A lot of the trail is very rideable and incredibly beautiful at this time of the year. It is consistently very narrow and technical. Loose, round lava rocks abound on the steeper sections, and there are lots of embedded rocks to deal with too. A very fun descent.





    After the initial descent, you will hit a wide service road. There is no indication here what you are supposed to do. I searched the area for a while trying to figure out my next move and rode down a number of seeming dead end spurs. What finally worked was this: when you hit the service road, turn LEFT and follow the road south for about a 1/2 mile. On our RIGHT you will see a clearing with a large log and rock cairn (if you miss this spot, you will hit the main road going up the mountain in another 100-200 yards). Enter this clearing, and angle a bit to the left where you will see a narrow passage through the trees with a wider clearing on the far side. As soon as you are through this passage you should start to see large cairn rock piles. There is no trail here, just a wide mountain meadow leading downhill with posts and cairns occasionally. Ride anywhere you want down through this meadow to it's end (a bit left of center). This is the Aquarius 133 route.



    At the end of the meadow, you will find this spot where the singletrack picks up again:



    The trail is again steep and narrow and loose in places with lots of switchbacks, but consistently rideable and fun. Lower down you reach the end of the trees and break out into the vast plains again. You are near the guard station now.



    I'll write the other one up later.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  29. #29
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    Awesome. Great trip report. Way to resurrect a thread that had ended on a sour note. Ya made me get out my utah gazetteer. How long did that loop take you?

  30. #30
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    nice report, TS!

  31. #31
    No, that's not phonetic
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    The road climb took 1.5 hours, and all the rest was another 2.5 hours, so 4 hours total. I was pretty wiped at the end of that. 4 hours of steady effort at that elevation is taxing. Probably a half hour was wasted messing around with the trail confusion between the Wildcat and Aquarius trail portions. Looking at the map it seems that there is a somewhat circuitous route you could follow to link the two, and I think I followed a lot of it at one point before backtracking, but it is basically totally unmarked and pretty confusing with lots of old fireline cuts through the timber.

    If you are in the area and have the legs and lungs, I say go try it.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  32. #32
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Ok, the second ride I did was to knock out the whole enchilada, and I did it all on my bike. Based on that experience, I recommend shuttling this one . I started down in Bicknell Bottoms at the Boulder Top turnoff from Highway 24 where the Great Western ORV trail parking lot is. This is at 6,900' elevation. I then rode 18 miles and nearly 4,000' up Boulder Mountain to 10,600' to Cooks Meadow again along the same road as the previous day- basically the same climb but starting from much farther down in the valley. The climb took 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was hard. And long. Again, the road climb in red, the trail in blue:



    This is what Boulder Mountain looks like when starting out in Bicknell Bottoms. The highest point in picture center is where the descent will begin in a few hours:



    About 6 miles into the climb, the road stretches quiet and lonely:



    Finally on top, I leave road 178 and head north into Cook Meadow and past Cook Lake:



    The trail starts out as a wide and well-traveled jeep road but over the next few miles becomes fainter and fainter:



    By the time I pass Government Point where I descended the previous day, the trail is down to singletrack, and sometimes seemingly not well-traveled singletrack at that. Some sections are smooth, some are chunk, and some are superchunk. It's all downhill though.







    The first trail junction comes just above Government Lake. From here you can traverse east, but I kept heading down and past Govt Lake. Looking back up at the junction:



    Going past Government Lake is confusing until I figured out that the trail picks up on the east side of the beaver dam at the lake outlet. A few hundred vertical feel further down you hit the junction with the Great Western ORV trail. They are doing their best to keep the motorhead Freds off the steep upper trails:



    At this point I followed the GW ORV trail down to the base of the mountain. I had already traveled down about 2/3 of the total elevation, and about half the trail distance, so wasting the rest on a wide and well developed ATV track was sort of anticlimactic.





    At the end to add insult to injury, the trail even got sandy and I had to push some sections.



    All in all, the previous day had a lot more bang for my climbing buck. The trail is more fun, a lot less painful to reach (if you ride the shuttle), and you don't feel like you are wasting precious vert on motard trails.

    Hope this was helpful.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  33. #33
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    Outstanding!

    I've been on the atv trail...but the other stuff looks great. I'm heading down the first week in Oct. Did you encounter any hunters? I know Boulder Mtn is a big hunting area....
    "Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an e-mail." - Eliot Spitzer, former NY state attorney general

  34. #34
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    That had to be 50+miles? Sweet pics! I especially like the one of Cook Lake. I'm guessing you probably didn't see any other humanoids out in that remote part of oota?

  35. #35
    No, that's not phonetic
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    No hunters, and only a few fisherpeople at Cook Lake. All those hours on the road pedaling uphill I think only a half dozen cars passed me. Don't expect to thumb a ride. Pretty quiet area overall, at least at this time of year. Dunno how it would change if it opened for mulies or slow elk.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  36. #36
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    Great shots man. Amazing how much the Aspens had turned in just a week or so after we passed through Dixie Nat'l Forest. After passing through Boulder, and Torrey it became a must on my list of places to explore.

    D

  37. #37
    Andykiller
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    Nice Exploration. That forest looks like it is in desperate need of water. That mountain looked really dry. It would be nice to ride those trails in the late spring.

    andykiller

  38. #38
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    May have to check out Option #1 next week if I make it out there.

  39. #39
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    Smile Riding around Escalante

    I have spent a lot of time riding on the Boulder Top and all over the Aquarius Plateau. A great ride is the dirt road from Jacobs Reservoir up to the Boulder Top. From there ride to Spectacle lake and then do a loop the takes you to Elbow lake, Blueberry Knoll (over 11,000 ft) and back to Spectacle where you backtrack to your vehicle. I think the ride starts at about 10,000 ft elevation and never goes lower than that and is over 28 miles long. Summer afternoons usually deliver spectacular thunderstorms on Spectacle lake so be ready to assume the position and wait them out. Typical storms last a few hours at the most and then it is so beautiful to have the late afternoon sun bring out the smells and flowers. Love it! I have this and many other rides in the area in Garmin gps format and will email it to anyone. There are a lot of other rides in the area but be warned that not many people venture into this terrain except hunters/cattlemen and it often hails/snows 12 months out of the year at 10,000 ft.

  40. #40
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    Fish lake is fun but navigation on the ridge can be difficult. I took the wrong downhill which was fun until lead to a Ike a bike around a quarter of the lake...
    www.24hrBikeShop.com 10% of your purchase price is donated to the trail organization of your choice!

  41. #41
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    another great spot up there is Rim Lake... AWESOME VIEW of the desert to the SE. have always loved riding Boulder Mtn since we discovered the trails up there back in the mid 80s.
    Klingon

    Ride Hard, Die Free

  42. #42
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    I'm with you on that veiw LowDesertRider. We usually incorporate a little side trip to rim lake when we do the sperm shaped loop I descirbed above. Great stuff up there if you are willing to explore and deal with lightning!~
    If it doesn't include a hike a bike, it isn't a ride.

  43. #43
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    Hey Doctor,
    I spend a few weeks around Boulder Mountain every year and would love to get your gps files. I just joined this forum for that reason. But I have to have 10 posts before I can PM you. This is post #1

  44. #44
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    This Monday

    I'm going down to do the ride that thegooddoctor posted. Can't wait to check it out. One scarey thing though. Last week a 24 year old man and his dog were struck by lightning and killed at Row Lakes which is VERY close to where this ride begins. From what I heard they took cover under a tree from the rain and then the tree was hit. The weather looks favorable at this point. Hope it holds!

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