Thursday, May 23, 2013

North Umpqua Trail, Oregon

This trail seemed intriguing to me so last Saturday, after getting a shuttle setup in the morning with a local, a young guy named Alex who wrestles at the local (Glide) High School, I started out 55 road miles and 60 plus trail miles up river at Kelsay Valley (Lemolo Segment) heading west to the take out at Swiftwater campground (Tioga Segment) hopefully all in one day. The late start did not help.

One of the IMBA Epics.

The first section, Maidu, is partially in a designated wilderness area, so no mechanical methods of travel are allowed, not even if one is walking them...bikes not allowed.

The Lemolo section had not been cleared and so there were 10-12 tree crossings.

The start...Umpqua at Kelsay Valley campsite.

First creek crossing...dang cold water, but with the Keen sandals, my feet dried off as much as possible in a short time.

Small falls.

Lemolo Falls.

See the bike?

At water level.

Bench step over. With flash.

Straight down.

Day hikers.

Random Falls.

Hundreds of feet above the river many times........... down to water level many times.

A little water on the trail.

Another straight down view.

A different kind of water falls, called Columnar falls.

Another side falls........

Another example of a Columnar falls.

Trail work needed!

A very unique section, huge rocks that resembled giant toadstools.

Buff trail.

View at the top of Deer Leap section.

Hundreds of feet above the river, again!

HA! found it....

Large burn area.

I started at 11 AM. By 7:15 PM, when my GPS died, I was about a mile from the Mott Trailhead. 25 or so  miles to go on the trail, Mott for 5 and Tioga for 18-20 miles. After looking at the Tioga elevation map, I knew I couldn't make it and Mott in under 5 hours, maybe more. Rain, only one light, foliage over the trail and some very tough climbs coming up, I decided to bail. I maybe crazy, but I try not to be stupid! 45 some miles of singletrack up and down the river in 8 hours was enough.
I hopped on the pavement to race the river down to Swiftwater and 75 minutes later I beat the darkness to my car.
It was a fun day!
The trial has very varied riding from segment to segment. Never boring, frequently very difficult as well as frequently fantastic singletrack and always interesting and something new around the corner.

1 comment:

tom said...

Hi Mark - Thanks for the awesome post and pictures! I am going to ride the NUT later this week - just wondering if I could get a little more information from someone who has ridden most the trail this season already. my email is
no pressure - thanks