Armstrong Saxon Creek and Mr Toads Wild Ride Lake Tahoe

Giant on the way to Mr Toads Wild Ride

Armstrong, Saxon Creek, and Mr Toads Wild Ride or whatever else this loop is called, all I can say is that this could well be the best trail the USA has to offer. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!. This trail offers everything any mountain biker dreams of.. and more!.. all bundled into a 18.84 mile loop

Map Armstrong Saxon Creek and Mr Toads Wild Ride Lake Tahoe

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby City: South Lake Tahoe

Length: 18.84 total miles

Trail Type: Loop

Skill Level: [ What the books say ] Aerobically: strenuous. Technical : difficult

Skill Level: [ My opinion ] Aerobically: strenuous. Technical : difficult / mental

Duration: 4 – 4.5 hours [ my time ] 5.58 hours

Trailhead Elev: 6,200 feet

Top Elev: 9,600 feet

Book Description

Saxon Creek Trail is more commonly known as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Noted for its wild downhill, this is one of the legendary trails in Tahoe. There are several ways to access Mr. Toad’s, but this loop eliminates a shuttle and minimizes the road riding. The first 3.0 miles up the paved Fountain Place Road are on a route that was one man’s dream for the main pass over the mountains. Today the ride from the end of the road to the ridge follows some beautiful and well-graded singletrack that connects to the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) at Armstrong Pass. An out-and-back to Armstrong Pass is a great ride in itself. It’s a bit of a huff along the TRT to Saxon Creek Trail, but the views along the rim are gorgeous. The descent on Mr. Toad’s is extreme: steep, technical, nicely banked turns, concrete lattice trail work, and some impossible drops. Mr. Toad’s is for advanced riders with the good sense to walk the crazy stuff.

My Experience

My previous ride Heavenly 2 Armstrong, I completely under-estimated the trail and myself, and I paid the price, I got slaughtered!! Today on the Armstrong Saxon Creek and Mr Toads Wild Ride I yet again misjudged the trail, however, this time it was to my benefit. I had already come down the Armstrong pass trail, but I was so knackered I for some reason convinced myself that it was gonna be a grunt riding up the trail. I started at the bottom at the trailhead parking, and cycled the 4 miles to the start of the “real” trail, the 4 road miles were not too bad, and an excellent warm up. Although I preferred coming down the Armstrong, going up was not bad at all, and although a bit of a slog, it is 100% doable, and it’s actually a really nice climb. At the Armstrong Pass junction the TRT trail continues to climb, however this section is more strenuous than the previous miles, not so much technically, but because of some very loose sand / gravel on the trail. Both Armstrong and the TRT section is very scenic, and excellent trail conditions. After 3 hours of great climbing, the trail tops out… from this point on, it’s 98% downhill, and not just any old downhill, this section puts all and any theme park to shame.. It’s time for a 9 mile downhill roller coaster ride. The first part of the “gauntlet” is short lived, a grade 5 section forces every human with a will to live, get off their steed and walk this section. Once that’s behind you, there is miles of fantastic but technical and narrow singletrack to enjoy. Just when you are on the brink of thinking you are immortal, Mr Toad brings you back to your senses. Let me just be completely honest, NOTHING I say, or the photo’s and videos you see online will give you a real impression of Mr Toad… It is the craziest shit I have ever seen, let’s put it this way, if I had the best DH bike on the market, with the best body armor on the market, and you offered me a million buck to ride down Mr Toad, i know there is no way I could convince my brain and my body to take me down. For any mountain bikers that have ever done the “Holy Cross” trail in Grand Juction Colorado, it’s 5 times more mental than that… So, I can now say I walked my steed down Mr Toads Wild Ride… even that was scary!! And although that is by far the most impossible section of the loop, there are LOT’S of hairy sections on the rest of the trail. Just be sensible on this trail, and it is possibly the best trail you will ever do.


All I can say is, JUST DO IT!!… EVERYTHING a mountain biker dreams and more packed into a 19 mile loop. Armstrong Saxon Creek and Mr Toads Wild Ride should be on everyone’s wish list.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : a handful of friendly mountain bikers ( No hikers ) Wild Life : who needs it on a trail like this?… I didn’t see any Scenery : excellent scenery Other : Take extra water and energy nibbles. Be sensible, a trail is only fun if you make it to the end in one piece. This is definitely not a trail for novices

My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a Gold Star

I would really like to thank everyone who works on these trails, you guys do an excellent job in maintaining the trails, and without you I myself and others would not be able to enjoy this activity.  



Hyalite to South Cottonwood Trail Bozeman Montana.

The Hyalite to South Cottonwood Trail is a real Jekyll & Hyde Trail, definitely not a trail for the cocky gung-ho riders, and definitely not a trail to test your $89 full suspension Walmart Mongoose.

But, if you are up for a scary challenge then this trail is definitely the dogs bollocks!!

Hyalite to South Cottonwood Trail Bozeman Montana

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby City: Bozeman

Length: 11.4 miles

Trail Type: Point 2 Point, or loop ( for loop add about 14 miles )

Skill Level: Technically very difficult. Physically difficult.

Duration: 3-4 hours

Trailhead Elev: 6,600 feet

Top Elev: 7,920 feet

Book Description

The History Rock trail almost immediately begins a 3 mile climb out of the parking lot. The first 1/2 mile is a good warmup before it becomes steep and sustained for about 2 miles to a junction. This is all cleanable, but will definetly get your heart pumping. Once you reach a meadow with beautiful views of Mt. Blackmore, you know you are done climbing, from here on it is downhill.
Technical switchbacks, rocks and roots will make this a terrifying ride.

My Experience

Traihead was easy to find, it was well marked easy to follow. The first 20 minutes on the History Rock Trail was easy going, and I was pretty confident I would manage to reach the top without stopping.. 10 minutes past History Rock and I was walking!! and I probably spent 10-15 walking, this trail was killin’ me!!.

The strange thing about this trail, is it looks and feels easy, it is not overly steep, the trail is in good shape, not rocky or many roots, but that was just deceiving!!.. I am a fairly decent climber, but you would have to come from a very good stable to make it to the top of this one without stopping and walking.

Once at the top, it all opens up to a mountain meadow with stunning views, and right there in front of you, is a beautiful very narrow singletrack dropping down as far as you can see.. I am not much of a poet, but when I saw that I almost became one!

I was off like a greased whippet screaming down the smooth singletrack, just as I was hitting take off speed, the trail became rocky, and I was up & down like Bangkok Betty still going too fast, then out of nowhere a 130 degree switchback was in front of me. Don’t ask me how I did it, but I managed to get around it in one piece, but I had been warned, this trail is not to be taken lightly. The 5 miles that followed were darn right abusive and pretty scary, absolutely zero room for error, if you fall on this trail, you are gonna have some serious bacon… and that’s if you’re lucky, this is definitely not a trail you want to fall off your steed. Uncomfortable with large rocks and tech switchbacks?.. how about a 3 foot fall on a switchback? thank the lord I saw it on time and managed to come to a safe stop, ‘cos if you Endo here, you are gonna have 5 seconds to learn how to fly, or get hurt very badly..

This is a fantastic trail, but to fully enjoy it you have to remember 2 very important things.. Go too fast and you are gonna get seriously hurt, and go too slow and you will get seriously hurt

Treat this trail with respect and don’t forget to thank the ” Trail Guardian” if you make it down in one piece.


Great Trail with a high buzz factor and some great views, really sweet singletrack. The climb is physically very demanding, and the downhill is pretty abusive and technical

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : no one untill the last mile from the Cottonwood TH

Wild Life : too tired to notice while climbing, and too much concentration on the downhill to notice

Scenery : Some very scenic stretches

Other : Just be very careful and Good Luck

My Trail Rating : 8.5 / 10



Mountain biking in the Dordogne

The Vezere Valley in the Dordogne, a region in South West France is the undisputed Prehistoric Capital of the World, and the place our Prehistoric Ancestors called home more than 460000 years ago.

Mountain biking in the Dordogne offers a unique experience, offering mountain bikers miles of trails that takes the rider through stunning ancient scenery, riddled with caves, shelters, overhangs, troglodytes, ruins and stunning views. The trails in the Dordogne are probably the oldest trails in the world.

In the past 5 years, the  Dordogne has  spent a lot of time and money clearing, marking and connecting hundreds of trails, creating a fantastic, well marked  trail system. The downside is, that maps and / or trail books for mountain biking are non existent.

Walking Dordogne, is owned and run by “Duke” who I met a few years ago in Fruita and then again in Moab. Walking Dordogne launched Mountain Biking Dordogne, and they offer without any doubt the finest and most unique mtb trails in the Dordogne. Mountain Biking Dordogne have combined the best trails, linking them together creating a trail network  that is second to none.

Quote from Mountain Biking Dordogne

We have spent the past 3 years creating a handful of Mountain Biking Trails, that have become the best trails in the Dordogne … Now we have taken another big step and have linked all our trails to create the fantastic an unique ” Neanderthals Revenge”.
Unlimited kilometers of off road trails giving every mountain biker an unforgettable experience.
Caves, shelters, troglodytes, medieval ruins, singletracks, downhills and lots more.
Without any doubt the best and most unique trail in the South West France.

I stayed at the beautiful 1000 year old B&B Ferme de Tayac while I did the trails in the Dordogne, and most trails actually leave from here.
Neanderthals Revenge is actually 3 completely different loops, connect to each other by other trails. This means that Neanderthals Revenge can be done from any direction, and can be as long as you choose.

Neanderthals Revenge Vezere Valley Dordogne

The trail option I went for was clockwise, and started with a scenic easy climb through the medieval hamlet of Tayac, but after just 3 minutes disappeared onto a singletrack into the woods. The following 20 minutes is climbing up an ancient very rocky track. The track levels out slightly and takes you onto a dirt double track for another mile. A singletrack on the right quickly drops off, this is the trail you have to take, so make sure your gears are out of granny and you are prepared for a fast bumpy, slippery and grade 3 technical downhill.. choose your comfortable speed and your path, and stick to it, be easy on the brakes, ‘cos this is a “slip & slide” section.

The trail takes you down to a road, that you must follow for 2 minutes to continue  off road. Ride over the bridge, and make an immediate left down the steep short path that leads to the river, continue past the canoe outfitter and follow the river for about 2 miles.. Cross a railway line, and take an immediate left and follow the double track for a few miles, passing a very picturesque  medieval hub of  houses. The trail leads to a rural road that you will have to follow for a few miles.. This road is a steep climb, taking you to the top, so keep telling yourself that you will soon be on a long sweet downhill singletrack.
The downhill is fast and fun, somewhat rocky, but technically a grade 2, however, there is little room for error at these potential high speeds.

The smile on your face will soon disappear, ‘cos you bottom out to a long and tiring climb, the good news is, you are nearing “Hells Gorge”
Hells Gorge is just under 2 miles, but believe me, it is steep, extremely fast, slippery as an eel in a bucket of snot, rocky, bumpy, blind spots and it bottoms out onto a busy road. Being Gung Ho on Hells Gorge is definitely not a good idea, and I suggest you do a “Granny Run” before you attempt this section… don’t get me wrong, Hells Gorge is not a technical run, as in “Technical” but due to a combination of all the above, it is a very demanding section, with zero room for any errors.

Two loops down, one more to do, and without doubt, we have saved the best and most unique for last. This is also by far the most technical section of Neanderthals Revenge. Anyone not comfortable with heights, and very narrow sections with extreme drop-offs should avoid this loop, or contact Mountain Biking Dordogne for an alternative section of this loop.

This section of trail is just mental, both physically  and mentally, and you will spend some time walking your steed, sometimes ‘cos because you have to, and sometimes ‘cos you’ll prefer to.

I have done 100’s of trails worldwide, but never anything like this.. I was told to make sure I had flashlights fixed in the bike, but I did not realize I would be disappearing into caves!! Some sections of this trail takes you on a 4ft rock ledge with a 60ft sheer drop.. definitely not for the faint hearted.
Once you’ve topped out, you’ll spend a few fast miles on some fun singletrack that takes you to the final downhill section..
This section is an adrenalin rush, narrow singletrack that dives down through the forest, dodging the trees. You will feel like you are part of an extremely fast video game, you need to plan at least 3 trees ahead, cos the come at you out of nowhere.. There are 2 very short but grade 4 tech. spots on this section.

About 3 hours after I left, I finished this trail with a huge smile on my chops, thankful that I made it in one piece and still on my steed… I had conquered Neanderthals Revenge!!!