This loop is primo backcountry singletrack that definitely makes a top notch ride. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty tough, but very fun. We rode from camp and it was 22 miles with 3876′ of climbing.
This ride required a semi-early start because the temps this week are in the 90’s. From camp we rode up the Temple Fork gravel road and turned right on Willow Creek. Singletrack follows the creek down to the junction with Ricks Canyon. The trail is pretty narrow in a lot of places and winds along with rocks and roots peppered throughout. At the junction with Ricks we turned left and headed up.
The climbing on Ricks Canyon is pretty gentle at first and then gets steeper and rockier in the middle section before ending with a series of pretty steep switchbacks. Again, this trail is beautiful and passes through forest the whole way. I whole heartedly expected to see moose along the way but I’m sure we scared them off. It was pretty muggy back here with all the greenery holding in the heat and I was dripping by the time we reached the top.
At the top we turned left on some dirt road and did a series of climbs and descents until we reached a major intersection. Turning left led to some more hot climbing before we reached Steel Hollow Trail. Steel Hollow Trail is a rugged, rocky, steep and technical descent and I loved it. This is also a moto trail so heads up. We didn’t see any other mountain bikers on this trail but we did see a couple moto riders. Down at the bottom we turned right and headed back to Willow Creek Trail to climb back out and on to camp.
Tired and hot, we didn’t even need to turn on the water heater for showers, we took cold ones! After that we drank cold ones.