Thursday, October 18, 2012

Adams Mountain Trail, OR (10.14.12)

With an obsessive desire to ride new/rarely ridden trails, I decided to ask (via an email thread) if anyone wanted to shuttle Adams Mountain trail, right after Karly’s birthday ride on Crawfish. Since it parallels Crawfish only a couple miles to the east, and we’d already be getting our climbing in doing that trail, I figured it would be a great opportunity to shuttle it; although, at the same time, I didn't want to hijack the pre-established plans. Almost immediately folks seemed interested, including Karly, and who’s going to argue with the birthday girl?!

Being that I've already done a ride-report on Crawfish (here), I’ll focus specifically on Adams for this one. Leaving a couple of cars at Cedar Creek Campground (at the bottom), we loaded the remaining two cars with all the bikes and headed up the road toward the trailhead. Since none of us had done the ride, we relied on my phone's GPS/maps to get us to the trailhead. In reality it's not that hard to find, you basically continue past the Crawfish trailhead until the road dead ends into the Knott trail. Already in our biking gear, all we had to do was unload the bikes and get ready to shred some unknown downhill!

Adams Mountain Trail

After a quick climb up the trail, we made a hard left (at the T) and started heading down. It became immediately apparent that the trail had seen little use recently, with debris littering the trail surface and a few fallen trees to climb over. Another 1/8 of a mile or so down the Knott trail, we hit another intersection, this time with the Adams Mountain trail. Taking a left once again, we clawed our way through more blow-down and a short/steep up, before reaching a field of Beargrass and the start of the first real downhill pitch. From here we made our way down the ridgeline, with the trail following along its apex.

Karly enters the Beargrass meadow

Amanda, about to drop-in to some downhill

Things got steep for this first bit and getting your ass behind the seat, in certain sections, was a must. We also encountered quite a bit more blow-down, and even one section that led through a thick field of rhododendrons, with barely a trail to follow. I was out ahead at this point, and had no idea if I had ventured off of Adams, since it felt more like a game trail. But soon enough the trail entered the trees and it opened back up again and headed down the steeps.

Perry enjoying the ride

Amanda drops into a steep section

Randy, leading the pack

Randy getting in back of the seat for this one

Emily sets up for another steep one

Eventually we reached a road crossing and the trail conditions completely changed, with very little in the way of trail debris. Our assumption was that the DH’ers use this road crossing as a trailhead, and have maintained the sections below. Whatever the case, it was a much welcome change, and I went from feeling a bit guilty for convincing everyone of the ride to enjoying one of my favorite new trail sections in Oregon. Basically the trail from here is steep, really steep; it’s very reminiscent of Eula in that regard, but feels much more rideable, in fact, 100% so!

Andy rails around one of the many steep ass switchbacks

Perry finds an opening to build some speed

Amanda, all smiles

We did have one more road crossing, but on the other side we found more of the same, steep ass goodness! There was also a fun kicker right after the last road crossing, where I setup for a photo shoot. As you can see, you could get quite a boost – not bad for a bunch of lycra clad warriors!




and Andy

From here to Brice Creek road the trail gradient doesn’t let up. I was having way too much fun to stop and take anymore photos, which was just fine, since everyone else in the group seemed to feel the same way. By the time we got to the bottom, my brake pads, brake fingers, and quads were torched, always the sign of a good ride! One by one the crew exited the trail, all with a big smile on their faces, so I knew I wasn’t the only one that had fallen in love with the trail.

Conveniently the trail kicks out right near Lund Park, which has bridge access to Brice Creek trail, a great way back to Cedar Creek Campground. However, no one was especially motivated to shred some more trail – at least speaking for myself, I was spent. With that, we all took the road back, making it to our cars ~3 miles away in ~10 minutes. Since Karly and Andy needed to get back home setup for her birthday cocktail party that evening, the rest of us dealt with the shuttle logistics. Once all the cars were down from the mountain safely, we went our separate ways, ending a fantastic day of riding!

Bridge at Cedar Creek Campground

As you can probably tell, I became an instant fan of this trail, at least from the first road crossing down. The top part had quite a bit of blow-down and one stretch that needs some serious brushing, but with a couple days of trail work, it could really open this puppy up. With the top part in its current form, I probably wouldn't recommend it as a destination ride or want to climb up the road for it; however it’s a great addition to a Crawfish ride, and since you've already put your climbing in for that one, you don’t feel so bad about shuttling Adams. Another good option if you want to do the climb with your bike, would be to use the road that crosses the trail both times – that way you skip all the blow-down/climbs on the first half. Regardless of how you do it, it’s well worth doing, especially if you’re in the area. BTW, there was already talk of doing trail work.

The tracks from our ride:

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