Ape Canyon-Smith Creek Epic | Sunday Group Ride | July 27

July 27, 2014

Carpool to leave Velo Cult at 8am.

This ride is for strong and fit riders looking to challenge their endurance.

Many riders forego this option in favor of simply riding out and back on the Ape Canyon Trail beyond the Plains of Abraham.  Some may adventure all the way out to Windy Pass for the views into Spirit Lake, accepting the grueling fate of hiking back up the "stairs."

The Smith Creek loop may miss out on the fun and zippy descent down Ape Canyon, but will get more than a fair share of advenure on this primitive trail. It covers a lot of dynamic terrain with a glimpse into the volcano's past. It is remote and offers unique challenges for the hardy mountain biker.

The route I am proposing is to drive down Rd 8322 to the lower Smith Creek Trailhead and start from there, getting the climb out done first instead of at the end of the day. It also adds over 4 miles of singletrack on the lower Lava Canyon Trail (2 miles in each direction).

I did this ride last weekend and it covered 30 miles with 5200ft climbing and took me 7 hours with frequent stops for pics.


This shot of Ape Canyon was taken on July 29, 1980.


Though this is an epic ride, we are planning to make it a little more bearable by arranging a sag wagon to meet us at Windy Pass with food and refreshments. Details will follow as the group materializes.

Even with the sag wagon, this is not a begginer ride. It is upper intermediate to advanced. Even with the sag wagon, plan on bringing plenty of water and ride food.

Please chime in if you are interested or have questions!




Price: $0.00

Carpool, etc.

For carpooling options we will meet at Velo Cult at 1969 NE 42nd, there is parking around back off of 41st. Please meet at 7:45 so we can be on the road by 8am.

Please chime in here if you are planning to drive and how many riders with bikes you can accommodate.

If you are planning to catch a ride, let the group know and bring a little cash for the driver to cover some gas.

We will want to expedite getting to the trailhead, so if you plan on driving, please have a full tank of gas so there is no need to stop en route

At least one vehicle will be driving the long way around to Windy Ridge to meet the group before we descend into Smith Creek. That vehicle will have a cooler that you can put your lunch in. Please pack in disposable package since that car will not be returning to Velo Cult. We will have water and maybe some other refreshments and snacks. However, this is a long ride, so bring enough food and water. A full 100oz bladder is probably enough to get to Windy Ridge, but you will want to top it off.  

The weather is looking favorable, if not hot and sunny. We will be riding along an exposed (no shade) area for a while during the middle of the day, don't forget the sunscreen!
It is the mountains and can be subject to it's own weather. Also, it's not called Windy Ridge for nothing, so a light windbreaker or vest might be a good idea.

It's a big ride: 30 miles/5000ft. A lot of the tread will be loose pumice that can be tricky, especially on the descent into Smith Creek.  There will be some hike-a-bike and exposure on eroded ridges.

Checkout the Facebook page for this event: