Posts

Portal trail moab

. The Poison Spider Messa and down Portal was one of last years favorite trails. The Poison Spider Messa is definitely a trail that you either love or hate. This trail can make a grown man cry. Poison Spider Mesa is technically, physically and mentally a challenge. . . Trail Stats & Information Nearby City: […]

Giant HDR

Giant at Star Lake getting ready for Freel Pass

.

A few days a did the Heavenly Valley from Stagecoach to Armstrong Pass, it was a slaughter, but the downhill section from Freel Pass all the way down Armstrong was probably the best ride / section I have ever done.
I did not want to leave Lake Tahoe without enjoying this section one more time. However, there was no way I wanted to get slaughtered again on the Stagecoach to Freel Pass section, so I decided on a different route that was hopefully gonna be slightly, or even better a hell of a lot easier, but with the same fun factor…
Cold Creek to Star Lake to Armstrong Pass down Corral Trail.

Did I succeed?

cold creek, star lake, armstrong and corral Trail

Cold creek, Star Lake, Armstrong Pass and Corral Trail

.

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby City: South Lake Tahoe

Length: 21.01 total miles

Trail Type: Point to Point ( for loop add about 3 miles )

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

Skill Level: [ My opinion ] Aerobically: strenuous. Technical : moderate

Duration: 4 – 6 hours [ my time ] 7.05 hours

Trailhead Elev: 6,500 feet

Top Elev: 9,500 feet

Book Description

This is a self put together ride connecting various trails, below a short description of each individual trail :

  • Cold Creek : The lower Cold Creek Trail is a popular and easily accessible ride out of South Lake Tahoe. It begins with a ride up the graded High Meadow Road. After less than 2 miles, the loop segment crosses Cold Creek and heads downstream on smooth,wellpacked singletrack. Real hammerheads can continue up the painfully steep climb to Star Lake. This ride makes a nice side trip off the Power Line Trail.
  • Star Lake : Very steep and strenuous climb from High Meadow Road or Cold Creek Trail to Star Lake. Be prepared to walk a lot on this trail. Star lake is a beautiful place to rest and eat before heading up to Freel Pass
  • Star Lake to Freel Pass : The climb continues, however it’s not as bad as the previous grunt and it’s more scenic, it should take between 40 – 60 min. to reach Freel Pass
  • Freel Pass to Armstrong Pass and down the Armstrong Connector Trail : Spend 15 min. at Freel Pass, enjoy the superb scenery, test your brakes, and make sure you don’t have any loose parts on your steed. The coming 1.5 hours is gonna be one of the best rides imaginable. Do not admire the scenery, just keep your eyes on the trail. The “Connector” is 100% fun with very little margin for error, short section but unique… very unique.
  • Corral Trail : This trail is a FFF Trail “Fun” Fast” and “Furious”… this is a trail gives you the feeling that you are the main character in an out of control video game… Not to be missed


My Experience

Well to honest, from Cold Creek to Freel Pass was just as brutal as the Heavenly Valley Stagecoach to Freel Pass section was. The ride to Star Lake is very steep and physically extremely demanding, and I kept telling myself that it would be worth it. I spent 45 min. at Star Lake relaxing and stuffing myself with fluids and energy nibbles. From the Lake to Freel Pass it’s about another hour slog, the first section is pretty easy going, but the second section is strenuous.

Once at Freel Pass, you can rest assure that the real fun is about to start. 100% fun filled adrenalin rush that will last between 1.5 – 2 hours… that’s if you manage to stay on your steed. From Freel Pass all the way to the finishing point could well be the best ride in the USA.

For the real “Gear Grinders” among us, at the Armstrong Pass, you can continue on the TRT and head down Saxon Creek and Mr Toads Wild Ride.. Let’s put it this way, once you are at Freel Pass, no matter which way you choose, it’s gonna be a 10/10 ride.

Conclusion

Mountain Biking just doesn’t get better than this, the nice thing about this is that no matter how you approach it, you will have to work HARD for the reward, but the reward will make you forget everything… If there is any such thing as a “Natural High” then this is the place to be.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : 2 mountain bikers 1 hiker

Wild Life : Coyote and a (dead?) snake

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




.

.


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.

Conclusion

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.  

 


.