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Thread: 5 drainages RR

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pinchflat's Avatar
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    Sep 2004

    5 drainages RR

    I rode the 5 drainages for the first time about 10 years. It's a tough backcountry ride that traverses 5 creek drainages including Stafford creek. Here is a map that gearz posted a while back:
    5 drainages RR-map.jpg

    The problem with doing the ride counter-clockwise is you end up descending 1000' down the road at the end, which also means you have to climb that much more on some tough singletrack vs going the other way. So I went clock-wise this time starting at the Beverly campground where I was camping (I did the ride a couple weeks ago).

    The first climb up Iron peak is tough but if you are a strong climber, it's mostly ridable. Once you are at the saddle:
    5 drainages RR-img_0303.jpg

    it's a short trip to Iron peak for better views of the Stuart range:
    5 drainages RR-img_0305.jpg

    Then you get a pretty fun but techy descent down Beverly creek:
    5 drainages RR-img_0307.jpg

    The climb up Bean creek is pretty harsh with long "push" sections. But once you are at the top, you are almost done with climbing. You just need to cross the Standup creek drainage to get to the Earl peak saddle:
    5 drainages RR-img_0309.jpg

    The trail unfortunately, heads down the mountain first so there is still a bit of climbing to get to the saddle but you get rewarded with some pretty cool views from the saddle:
    5 drainages RR-img_0313.jpg

    The final part of the ride is a descent down Stafford creek drainage. It's pretty fun changing from rocky/technical to fast and smooth keeping you on your toes or more like, keeping your index fingers on the brake levers. Having then to ride the road back to the campground was a bit of a bummer but it's fairly smooth and easy.

    The ride took almost 6 hours but I covered only 27 miles (including 10 FS road miles) with 6,700' of climbing.

    Since it was only 3pm at that point and I was camping, I figured I'd hike up to Ingalls lake, which I always wanted to do. Once you are in the wilderness, the scenery is absolutely stunning:

    5 drainages RR-img_0319.jpg

    5 drainages RR-img_0320.jpg

    I even jumped in the lake if only for a few seconds. At 54F (according to another hiker), it wasn't exactly inviting but I had to do it

    The way back down did remind me why I don't hike that much. I was walking down prime singletrack thinking "why am I not riding now and where is my bike?"
    5 drainages RR-img_0325.jpg

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Slightly more smoky up there now. I always thought the descent off Iron on El Dorado was pretty damn fine but climbing up Beverly to the saddle was a hump. Can't imaging riding down that. There is an abandoned FS trail that parallels the road from the horse camp to Beverly that I'd like to see re-opened. Would add a lot to the loop and get one off the road for the climb/descent from Beverly CG to the De Roux CG.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    great pictures !

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