Today we tried the Oregon Gulch trail as a possible ride for the coming
Sun Valley Mountain Unicycle Weekend on September 14, 15 and 16, this
year. Jared and I really liked the trail although he said the two mile
loopy runout at the bottom was long and boring. I was having a great time
on the whole trail although I do wish it had a few more sections that
could be labeled as extreme riding as this is the extreme option for the
Easley Gulch Trail. Still it was a great trail and I think we have to
include it in the weekend. It is eleven miles long so people who do not
want to ride that far will want to ride Easley Gulch instead.
Easley Gulch starts with four miles of gentle climbing, except where it
gets a little steeper, on an unimproved road that winds up into the
mountains. I felt like I was able to ride much more of this than I could
of the climb to the Flume trail last year at Tahoe. The vertical gain is
1,000 feet. Then the trail wanders down a ridge top for another five miles
descending about 1,500 feet. The difficulty is moderate with a few loopy
ups and downs at the top and some reasonably steep smooth trail near the
bottom. Some minor obstacles with tree roots and rocks and a few bumpy
stretches where a horse walked in the mud which then dried.
Oregon Gulch starts with the same climb as Easley, but then continues up
for another mile and two hundred feet before descending about 1,900 feet.
There are some steep places with rocks and tree roots and some stretches
of steep sidehill. I did fall twice, from catching a pedal but I was able
to ride the whole thing. There were only two times when I was hanging on
for life, but there were enough obstacles to keep my attention and I was
thankful for the easy stretches when they came.
Both rides have good veiws of the Boulder Mountains, even though I know
noone is coming for the veiws.
Yesterday I did some exploring for an extreme alternative for the North
Galena ride. I couldn’t arrange a shuttle so I hiked up a couple thousand
feet and started down what I thought was a good ridge. I was riding
through alpine meadows with scattered trees and having such a good time
that I didn’t pay much attention to where I was going until I ended up at
the bottom of a long meadow completely surrounded by dense trees and
deadfall. I hiked on out and I will try again, maybe next weekend. I
looked at a topo map and I think there is a better way.