• 07-09-2012
    uberstein
    Conditions? Foggy Dew, Cooney Lake, Eagle Lake
    Does anyone have info on trail conditions in the Sawtooth area? Specifically the Foggy Dew, Cooney Lake, Eagle Lake areas.

    Methow Ranger District trail info hasn't been updated since 6/20, and certainly the snow level is much higher now...
  • 07-09-2012
    scotteric
    Talk to Methow Cycle and Sport. They are usually pretty dialed on that area. I was just over in the Methow and didn't have time for a long ride but the info I got was Cut Throat upper still snowed in and lots of questions about general shape of things (blowdowns etc...) on some of the stuff starting out the valley but the area you're asking about is further south so snow-wise maybe more melted out???? Seems like most upper elevation trails elsewhere in the state are still snowed in.....Let us know
  • 07-09-2012
    Kyle509
    NWHikers is a good place to check up on conditions. Here's one from the 7th on Foggy Dew..

    NWHikers.net - View topic - Foggy Dew leads to Mountain Duo! (Martin & Switchback)7-7-12
  • 07-09-2012
    uberstein
    Terrific! Thanks for the NW Hiker link. Good info (and very recent!).

    I'm taking a shot at it on Tues, and I'll post conditions info in a day or two.
  • 07-09-2012
    FM
    That is pretty encouraging- please keep us posted!

    FWIW, Martin creek trail OAB to Cooney lake is super fun. I rode that last year around July 20th, and hit deep snow just before the lake- but coming down the martin creek trail was an awesome consolation prize.
  • 07-10-2012
    uberstein
    It was quite hot out there today. But Foggy Dew was clear and clean and great riding (something of a grunt climb), and snow free until nearly a mile beyond the Merchant's basin junction. With the very warm weather we're having it should melt out pretty quickly.

    It would be interesting to find out how far you can get from the Eagle Lakes trailhead...
  • 07-21-2012
    uberstein
    A group of five (including me) rode from the Crater Creek / Eagle Lakes trailhead today (July 21), going to Cooney Lake, and then descending via Foggy Dew trail. There's a little snow around the shady parts near Cooney Lake, but the trail was clear all the way up (2 downed trees).

    Very few mosquitoes at the lake... ...there was a back-country ranger at the lake, and she said the south side of Angel's Staircase Pass is snow-free, and all trails from there to Boiling Lake and up and over Horsehead Pass are clear. The north side of Angel's Staircase Pass (facing Cooney Lake) still has a fair bit of snow, but might be passable in 7-10 days.

    As usual, the first mile down from Cooney Lake toward the Merchant's Basin turn-off (on Foggy Dew trail) is chunky but completely rideable. Lower down it's a steep and fast ride out.

    Trails are in great shape, and not dusty right now since we've had a few rain days in the past week.
  • 07-30-2012
    henrychinaski
    As suggested above, I'm going to try touching base with Methow Cycle today, but am wondering if anyone has an update on the current conditions? I'm planning to ride this area on Saturday, August 4th. I've done the Martin Lk->Cooney->Foggy Dew loop a couple times previously. If conditions are good, I'd like to try going past Cooney over Angels Staircase->Horsheads pass->descending Boiling Lk/Eagle Lk.

    I'll also be riding solo, so if anyone is interested in riding Saturday, feel free to shoot me a PM.
  • 07-30-2012
    GeePhroh
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by henrychinaski View Post
    As suggested above, I'm going to try touching base with Methow Cycle today, but am wondering if anyone has an update on the current conditions? I'm planning to ride this area on Saturday, August 4th. I've done the Martin Lk->Cooney->Foggy Dew loop a couple times previously. If conditions are good, I'd like to try going past Cooney over Angels Staircase->Horsheads pass->descending Boiling Lk/Eagle Lk.

    I'll also be riding solo, so if anyone is interested in riding Saturday, feel free to shoot me a PM.

    You should be good. A couple of us did Safety Harbor/Uno Peak from the South Navarre trailhead, including a short side-trip up to the other edge of Merchant's Basin last week. There was a tiny patch or two of snow at the very top of Uno Peak; but otherwise totally clear. The rainstorms in Chelan over the last couple of weeks had the wildflowers popping as well -- nutty to see so many this late in the year.

    The bummer was lots of blow-down on the first set of steep switchback traverses in the old burn zone coming off the top of Uno Peak. It looks like either avalanche damage from the winter and/or landslide action from the recent heavy rain.

    Otherwise, conditions were pimp and the weather was incredible.
  • 07-31-2012
    joelsman
    are there online maps? i rode here in 99 but somebody else had the map and route planned.
  • 07-31-2012
    FM
    definitely recommend using the proper greentrails maps for these rides. It ain't duthie! :eekster:
  • 08-01-2012
    Snosaw
    The Green Trails maps work, but if you would like a map with more detail, try one of these.
    You can purchase them at the Goat's Beard (Mazama, behind the Mazama Store) or Winthrop Mtn Sports or Methow Cycle (both in Winthrop). Ask for the "Golden Lakes" map. If you purchase the 3 map set for the valley you save a few bucks.
    I rode the Cooney Lay/Foggy Dew loop a few weekends back and it was clear...a few very short patches of snow, though still ride-able.\
    Have fun!
  • 08-06-2012
    uberstein
    A group of 3 of us rode Angel's Staircase loop on Sunday (Aug 5). Other than hot temps, conditions were pretty ideal. Mosquitoes at Cooney Lake, but not at Boiling Lake. Spring flowers everywhere (Lupine, Paintbrush, etc).

    We ran into a group of guys at the trailhead who were just coming out after riding/camping for a few days. I can't imagine riding with a big back-pack on, but the idea of riding for a few days from a basecamp seems pretty attractive.

    If you haven't ridden Angel's Staircase, you should. It's got a pretty high metabolic cost (i.e. not easy), but the scenery on the west side of the ridge is just amazing. And the trails offer plenty of challenges.
  • 08-06-2012
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by uberstein View Post
    conditions were pretty ideal.

    ^This. I rode it Saturday and missed the high temps. Angels was epic in every sense. The scenery is obviously some of the best around. It's going to be hard for me not to return again this year (despite the longish drive from Vancouver). I can't stop thinking of the flowy descents on Summit Trail and down from Horseheads pass. So dope...

    As good as the views are from the top, if I go back this year, I'm thinking of trying an alternate route that would access the singletrack you can see in the basin looking West from Angels Staircase. I'm assuming that this is the South part of the Summit Trail that hooks up with Deadmans Pass. I'm thinking of heading towards Foggy Dew (instead of going up to Cooney Lk), climbing trail 424 to trail 1258 and then heading over Deadmans Pass to Summit Trail. Does anyone know if this is feasible? 424 looks pretty rugged on the map. Speaking of maps, as recommended above, the Golden Lakes RightMAP is fantastic!
  • 09-20-2012
    Greydon Clark
    Thinking about heading this way next weekend, are any of these trails closed because of fires?
  • 09-20-2012
    FM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Greydon Clark View Post
    Thinking about heading this way next weekend, are any of these trails closed because of fires?

    Yes- I spoke with meathow ranger station yesterday, since I was hoping to ride Angels tomorrow or saturday. The gold creek fire (which is basically on the road to the TH) is still going, and they reported poor air quality.
  • 09-20-2012
    woodway
    All the roads and trails in the area are closed. I was also hoping to ride the staircase the weekend. Bummer.

    InciWeb the Incident Information System: Okanogan Complex Closure
  • 07-29-2013
    henrychinaski
    Has anyone ridden this area lately? Heading down to Winthrop soon and was planning on another Angel's loop.
  • 07-29-2013
    FM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by henrychinaski View Post
    Has anyone ridden this area lately? Heading down to Winthrop soon and was planning on another Angel's loop.

    I haven't, but it seems like the full loop usually opens up first week of august or so.
    2011 I attempted Angels July 26th and wasn't able to get past cooney lake. This year the snowpack seems lighter so you might be OK? I'd say go for it.

    The good news; riding up to cooney lake & back down is an awesome ride- super fun descent. So even if you don't get the full loop it will be well worth the effort.
  • 07-29-2013
    henrychinaski
    Yeah, the backup is Foggy Dew, which is obviously an awesome plan B;-)
  • 07-29-2013
    raekwon
    1 Attachment(s)
    I rode Angel's Staircase solo on Saturday. It's in great shape, with only about 50 feet of snow to traverse just above Cooney Lake. The bugs are epic. I didn't bring bug spray and now have about 50 bites.

    Attachment 820261
  • 07-29-2013
    henrychinaski
    Thanks for posting! Crazy how year-to-year the bugs are. I stopped for a fair amount of pics last year and had almost no bites.
  • 07-29-2013
    FM
    Yeah thanks for the report. Heading out there next week!
  • 07-30-2013
    bighitboy
    We rode a good loop there on moto Saturday as well. Foggy Dew still needs some logging out but it is passable via KTM so mtn bikes would be fine. Horsehead pass is clear to Deadmans pass. The Uno Peak loop still needs some major logging out to make it.

    Overall conditions are prime, wildflowers at Cooney were awesome.
  • 07-30-2013
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bighitboy View Post
    Horsehead pass is clear to Deadmans pass. The Uno Peak loop still needs some major logging out to make it.

    Do you know how feasible it is to haul an mtb over Deadmans Pass? I haven't been down late enough in the season for a long time but I'm interested to know if it's possible to ride from Cooney Lake to Uno Peak, via Deadmans Pass.

    Anyway, thanks for posting.
  • 07-30-2013
    FM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by henrychinaski View Post
    Do you know how feasible it is to haul an mtb over Deadmans Pass?

    Can be done, I've explored that area pretty thoroughly. The difficult part is how to turn it into a loop doable by mere mortals without some really complicated shuttle logistics.

    Bummer Uno Peak still is a mess. That's a great ride, but the last portion of the decent was a mess when we rode it last year, sounds like it hasn't been logged out yet.
  • 07-30-2013
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FM View Post
    The difficult part is how to turn it into a loop doable by mere mortals without some really complicated shuttle logistics.

    Bummer Uno Peak still is a mess

    Yeah, a clean Uno Peak would be key. I was thinking Cooney Lake, up over Deadmans, Uno Peak loop, and then working back towards a Foggy Dew descent. It would obviously be a painful day, but so f#cking epic;-)
  • 07-31-2013
    bighitboy
    A moto group is going to try and cut out Uno this weekend. It may take more than 1 weekend to clear this. The old burned out section was a war zone.

    That being said from Foggy Dew, to Martin Crk, to Horsehead, Deadmans, Around Uno and back is about over 70 miles round trip.

    Make sure your carry Iodine to get more drinking water and start extremely early!
  • 07-31-2013
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bighitboy View Post
    That being said from Foggy Dew, to Martin Crk, to Horsehead, Deadmans, Around Uno and back is about over 70 miles round trip.

    I think you're misinterpreting my level of ambition. Leaving a car at the Foggy Dew trailhead...

    crater creek trailhead to Cooney Lake via the Martin Lakes fork (not Horseheads Pass) - 8.5
    Cooney Lake to the top of Deadmans Pass - 4.6
    Deadmans to the start of an Uno Peak loop - 1.8
    Full Uno peak loop - 9.7
    Back over Deadmans and up to Angels Staircase - 5.2
    Descend 417 and Foggy Dew to the trailhead - 7.6

    A total of 37.4, but it might feel like 70 given the elevation. Knowing little about the trails in the Uno Peak area, it also seems possible to take 1258 from Deadmans to 424, which spits you out onto Foggy Dew. I'm planning to explore 424 this weekend to see how feasible this would be. My legs aren't where the were last year, but I hope to tick this off the list at some point.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bighitboy View Post
    A moto group is going to try and cut out Uno this weekend. It may take more than 1 weekend to clear this. The old burned out section was a war zone.

    Definitely indebted to the Moto folks down there. I've run into more than a few over the years carrying chainsaws.
  • 07-31-2013
    FM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by henrychinaski View Post
    Full Uno peak loop - 9.7

    That ain't right.... I have 2 GPS tracks I've recorded for Uno Peak, one is 11.3 miles and the other is over 16, neither include the fire road climb up grade creek road. Looks like the shorter track does not include safety harbour trail or the road connection between lower safety creek and grade creek road. Adding that up the full loop is more like 18-19 miles.
    If you were to climb up safety harbor, instead of the road, it may be more like 12-14?

    regardless, it's definitely 3000' up and down.
  • 07-31-2013
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FM View Post
    That ain't right.... I have 2 GPS tracks I've recorded for Uno Peak, one is 11.3 miles and the other is over 16, neither include the fire road climb up grade creek road. Looks like the shorter track does not include safety harbour trail or the road connection between lower safety creek and grade creek road. Adding that up the full loop is more like 18-19 miles.
    If you were to climb up safety harbor, instead of the road, it may be more like 12-14?

    regardless, it's definitely 3000' up and down.

    I'm referring to just the loop, accessing it from the North, not the climb up. It's splitting hairs and it would almost be nicer to experience 3k elevation over 12, but the following seems to confirm ~9.7 for the loop.

    Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Uno Peak Loop near Stehekin | Times and Records | Strava
  • 07-31-2013
    FM
    Ah I see...so doing all the climbing up safety harbor... 3k' up in <5 miles of technical singletrack!

    :cryin:
  • 07-31-2013
    FM
    the way I daydream of doing it....
    one group starts at S. Navarre CG and group #2 starts at eagle lakes TH.
    Meet at the bottom of angels staircase, have a beer & swap keys.

    As I recall safety Harbor and eagle lakes TH are about the same elevation, so it would be a lot of extra work for no extra vert. But the scenery would be epic!
  • 07-31-2013
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Ah I see...so doing all the climbing up safety harbor... 3k' up in <5 miles of technical singletrack!

    :cryin:

    Yeah, there would probably be some soul searching and crying involved. You ride counterclockwise when doing the Uno Peak loop, right?

    The 3k up to deadmans via Safety harbor seems like it could be pretty damn unpleasant and I wouldn't even think of an attempt without having ridden Uno earlier in the year. That said, looking down that direction last year left me with an itch that needs some scratching. I'll leave it for another year where the road bike gets hammered in the winter.
  • 07-31-2013
    henrychinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FM View Post
    the way I daydream of doing it....
    one group starts at S. Navarre CG and group #2 starts at eagle lakes TH.
    Meet at the bottom of angels staircase, have a beer & swap keys.

    As I recall safety Harbor and eagle lakes TH are about the same elevation, so it would be a lot of extra work for no extra vert. But the scenery would be epic!

    That's what I'm talking about. I'd even volunteer to haul the beer. How'd this taste on top of Angels...

    Oskar Blues¬*|¬*Dales Pale Ale - Oskar Blues
  • 07-31-2013
    FM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by henrychinaski View Post
    You ride counterclockwise when doing the Uno Peak loop, right?

    Yep, starting at S. Novarre CG, descend to intersection with safety harbour, then up & over Uno Peak CCW, following the aquifer at the bottom out to the lower safety harbour TH. From there I have both climbed up grade creek road 1-2x and also shuttled it. The climb up grade creek road sucks, as does the first uphill section of uno peak. So shuttling out the road is preferable, but doing it the way you posted might actually be less miserable/epic than pedaling the full loop (you'd miss the first dh section from s. navarre, which is really good).

    I'll be out in the area in early september, hopefully it will be clear by then!