By Brian Ecker
The idea of the Canyon Ridge Epic route first came to mind earlier this summer when Logan Wetzel pulled it off. Follow up conversation with him centered around how the trail wasn’t really rideable due to lots of blowdowns, etc. A few weeks ago he received a note from a bunch of folks that were up on the route with motorcycles and chain saws. The message coming back was that the trail had now been buffed out! With that knowledge in hand I was anxious to get up on the route before we lose too much more daylight and the weather turns on us.
Paul Clement and Dave Bishop both said “I’m in!” when I proposed we try to pull it off. We were all under the impression that this would be a 4hr or so hard but doable jaunt. Let’s just say, the trail still isn’t rideable for over 50% and 4hrs was a gross underestimate. The label “mini epic” soon morphed into full “eipc”. Don’t get me wrong, the route is amazing with views that are out of this world however just be prepared to do a lot of hiking and for the Canyon Ridge Trail to go on FOREVER!
Cool sightings included a black bear. Another interesting feature is that a lot of the trail is on the north slope of the ridge. Even though it was in the 60s for much of the afternoon, parts of the trail were full of ice and frost! (All the more motivation to make it out of there before sundown!!)
In the end, we all survived albeit barely considering we did the full gravel road decent in the dark with only 2 of the 3 of us having meager headlamps. See the Strava file at: http://app.strava.com/rides/24265748 Enjoy the pics!