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Wyoming Peak Ride #3

Contributor: Cody Feuz,
Riders: Cody Feuz, Phil Clemens
Activity Type: Mountain Biking     Level of Difficulty: Advanced due to elevation gain, (~3,200 feet), narrow trail, plenty of obstacles
Mountain Range or Region: Bridger-Teton National Forest     State: WY     Country: USA

The Adventure:
I have now completed this ride 3 times since 2009.  Each time has been dramatically improved in terms of the overall experience.  The first year we got lost, trying to find the trailhead.  That adventure is documented here, First two Wyoming Peak Rides.  Last year was much better, but I had intended to shoot GoPro video of the ride and left my memory card in the Explorer at the trailhead.

This year I checked out a different access road further to the south on Greys River Road, and it proved to be a much easier and consistent approach.  This cut off some of the vertical, while adding a slight amount of distance.  The impact was a much more enjoyable ride and over an hour of time savings from last year’s ride.  We did the round trip in 3 hours and 50 minutes.  That is 15 miles and 3,200 foot of vertical.

I have divided the ride into 4 areas.  The videos below correspond to the different areas.  All the video was shot on the DH, so I have started at the top and the videos flow back to the start point.

Upper climb – The last 400 foot of elevation is not much over a quarter of a mile.  It has 9 very tight switchbacks.  The trail is loose and has several rocks to be negotiated.  I have to push the bike up this section, but I ride down – with extreme caution.  Average slope on this section is approximately 26%.

Old Trail (to upper saddle) – The main single track is about 4 miles long and it is a very consistent 10-12% grade.  It has 4 very tight switchbacks and an upper switchback that is much more wide open.  You will encounter rock slide sections, tree roots, rocks, steep drop offs, and a trail that is seldom more than 12-18 inches wide.  The upper saddle is 11,000 feet high.
New Trail – The old, original trail started less than a mile to the south of the present trailhead.  The “new” trail that is in place has two minor issues to deal with; 1-It is cut with a steeper grade.  2-The base is not as compact and that makes it more difficult to ride or hike.  In addition, it is further degraded by the occasional dirt bike that ventures up the trail, (especially on the two switchbacks).  I don’t believe the dirt bikes are allowed on this trail, but I’m looking into that with the FS offices.  The good news is that this is only .3 mile in length.

Access road – This section is 3.5 miles in length and is a well maintained forest service road.  There is approximately 650 feet of elevation gain, and it is fairly constant.  This is a great warm-up ride into the single track.

Final thoughts:
The biggest improvement this year was the “discovery” of the new access road.  The new route changed the access from a gnarly kick-butt, rock-strewn, steep road to a nice little warm-up ride into the trailhead, (even though it added a couple of clicks to the distance).  The window of opportunity is fairly small for this ride – basically August and September.  As you read this post and view the videos, if this looks like something that you would like to do, feel free to contact me.  I would be happy to do this ride again next year and in the future.  It is a true backcountry style high adventure!

Downloadable GPS data that includes both access point options:

2 comments

  1. Andrew Shaber

    Looks like a good ride. Did you ride down all the switch backs? I like the primitive trail.

    1. admin

      Yes, i rode thru them all. I did drag my foot on about half, and had a wreck on one because Phil had stopped too soon after the turn and I wrecked trying to avoid him. I will post a video later of the wrecks and bloopers. We each had a couple.

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