Postby silverback » Sat Jun 28, 2003 3:20 pm

many thanks to Mike who sold me my first mountain bike 4 years ago. It was a red DBR vlink.

I was curious to know if anyone has been riding the trail I designed called the Silver Back. This is a trail not for beginners, Advanced only. Its on route to the elevator shaft described by Mike in the "Mt. Watson"---see this post.

Its off the tahoe rim trail heading towards Mt.Watson from the fiber board freeway. Its a trail that goes directly down to your right. Super steep. Its before the junction "right up to mt.watson" or continue straight to elevator shaft.

Please tell me about the condition of the trail. I haven't been back since I designed it. Are the signs still up naming the sections. "Chicas Notch" "Mogs tea bags" "Goose way" Mogs is named after my friend Morgan Peckingham, (Mogy for short) and Goose way after John my old boss who works for Sal Monforte painting. The chica's notch is self explainatory.

The trail dumps out in the NTC. Left brings you to a fireroad that passes directly by the bottom of the elevator shaft. If you go right at the bottom it will bring you back up to the fiberboard freeway.

I hope everyone enjoys the trail, advanced users only. Stop in and see Mike and the back country where all your bike needs are met for all levels.

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Postby backcountry » Tue Jul 08, 2003 1:01 pm

I've heard people call that trail 3-arrows down. Not sure why. I also heard others claimnig to have built that trail, but maybe they just did more stuff to it after you moved away. Anyway, it's pretty steep with a few huge obstacles built from lots of logs. Bigger travel bike people do enjoy this trail, and it's ridden enough to keep the bushes from growing over.

happy trails!

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Postby eric o » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:50 pm

Many thanks for a good trail. I only hike on it and probably won't bike it much unless I get a different bike or fork...

Just to add a note from 2011, this trail now has a 4-way intersection with a new (or maybe rebuilt from many many moons ago) trail that takes a level line across the south side of Mt. Watson. Hopefully this description makes sense.

So let's say you're on the Tahoe Rim Trail eastbound, like going clockwise around the lake. You ride over Painted Rock, then cross the Fiberboard Freeway and continue on singletrack a quarter mile, then you're on reclaimed logging road for a bit. You pull a hairpin right turn to avoid hitting the Fiberboard again and come out at a killer lake view where there are posts to prevent vehicle access further east. You continue on reclaimed logging road that is starting to narrow to quasi-singletrack over the years as trees and brush grow in and logs fall. Continue eastbound until you reach the intersection where the Rim Trail takes a fairly steep left up the hill to get on up and over the shoulder to Watson Lake. Instead you continue eastbound fairly level. This has always been the way to Elevator Shaft (and the trail mentioned by Silverback). Used to be your only options from there (although there was some flagging that I followed a couple of times continuing level and eastbound... but all I got was a lot of scratches).

So. What's new is that the level, eastbound trail has been fully constructed, singletrack, *not* reclaimed road, all the way across. There is some hike-a-bike where it gets rocky before and after a creek crossing. Not too long after the creek crossing is the intersection with Silverback or 3 Arrows Down. Anyway, we continue east and still very level (with hills, of course, but kind of keeping on an average altitude). The best part of the trail is the next mile where it's beautiful singletrack with just enough swoops and obstacles. Then you cross another small creek and come out at forest road 49 (i think?).

I could write a lot more encouraging words for all the loops you can make out of this, but maps will do a better job some day, just not today.

The main thing, though, is... where it used to be that if you continued on the Rim Trail from Painted Rock eastbound, you would be forced to choose between steep gnarly downhills to Burton Creek and TC High School and the X/C area, or going all the way up to Watson Lake. Either way you had to choose between too short and too long of a ride with not enough loop possibilities. Now there is a non-Rim-Trail alternative that lets you continue eastbound from the Watson area without having to hump that hill all the way up to Watson Lake... makes about four more really good loops possible.
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Postby matiasek » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:11 pm

Sounds like fun! I have not ridden any of that stuff yet, I am tempted to try your squaw, western states- OTB loop this weekend. But this could be fun as well. Got any more of those incredibly helpful google maps of this other trail you speak of? thanks!
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Re: maps?

Postby eric o » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:34 am

matiasek wrote:Got any more of those incredibly helpful google maps of this other trail you speak of? thanks!

Why yes, yes I do! Hang on a sec, I'll post it up.
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Postby matiasek » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:46 pm

Nice thanks! I think we will give that a go tomorrow. I was thinking it would be cool to merge those those two rides (squaw - western-otb and watson loop) together since we are coming up from Davis, it is always nice to ride more than you drive if possible. So if we merged those two loops together about how many hours would that make? It also would be cool to ride down the TRT back to tahoe at the end of the ride, and get back to the car along the bike path on 89. I realize it is hard to give time estimates for others, but how long would it take you to ride that?

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Postby eric o » Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:25 am

OK, to really merge those two rides it would be: Western States > Tevis Cup > OTB > TRT eastbound > come down Shale Trail or really your choice of any of the many ways down the hill east of Watson. Then ride the lower trails westbound to wherever you want to drop down to Hwy 28 and pedal into Tahoe City. Recommendation there would be to continue west to Antone Meadows then take one of several possibilities straight south into Tahoe City.

If you really wanted to ride the Tahoe Rim Trail into Tahoe City you would not really include any of that Watson Loop I described in it, because that puts you on the TRT eastbound away from Tahoe City. So unless you want to make it an out-and-back on that, it's kind of one or the other.

Another idea is when you get to the top of OTB, turn left/north on paved road 73 (the Fiberboard Freeway) and ride up to Watson Lake, or ride the dirt road up Mt. Watson and then the nice singletrack that descends off its eastside. Either way meeting the TRT east of Watson and going westbound on it to end up riding the awesome Painted Rock section and eventually follow the TRT all the way to Tahoe City.

All of these ideas are oh, say, around 3-4 hours depending on fitness, energy and motivation level. Bring lots of water.
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