Friday, January 09, 2009

MTB- Grasshopper Peak Lookout

Distance: 14 miles
Climbing: 3350 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Start: Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Weott


This is one of those rides that you do once to check off your list. If you are deciding between this and Look Prairie/Thornton Loop, choose the later. This is because the climb is really steep and particularly aggravating. It might be worth it if there was 10 miles of sweet singletrack waiting for you at the top, but there is not. Maybe I was just having a bad day, but I saw my GPS read 30% a couple of times as I granny ringed it up a steep climb at 2.5 miles per hour. I cursed the climb and threatened to turn around more than once. When I got to the top my GPS read 6.66 EVIL miles. If you do this ride, please don't curse me, because I warned you! I rated the difficulty as moderate because of the steep climb, but it is a short ride and technically easy since it is all fire road.

Once you get to the lookout you have a 360 degree view. If you look to the east you will see signs of the 2003 Canoe fire, which started from lightning. The fire burned particularly hot near the lookout. There are many miles of roads to explore throughout the area if you want to extend your mileage. Most folks will settle for a fast ride back down the road. However, for the adventurous there are a couple of simple backcountry trail camping sites you could use. There is Grasshopper Trail Camp, Hanson Ridge Trail Camp, Whiskey Flat Trail Camp, and Johnson Trail Camp. For more information contact Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Directions to the start:

Start at the base of Grasshopper Road, which is located 5.25 miles west of Highway 101 on Bull Creek Road. There is a sign on Bull Creek Road which says "fire lookout 7 mi." The road is just west of the entrance to Albee Creek Campground. There is a small parking area on Bull Creek Road and and a small parking area a little way up Grasshopper Road. The directions to the lookout are well marked at each intersection. There are only three turns:
  • At 0.72 miles stay left at the intersection of Squaw Creek Ridge Rd.
  • At 4.14 miles stay right at the intersection of Johnson Trail Camp Rd.
  • At 6.33 miles stay right at the intersection of Grieg Rd.

Squaw Creek Bridge Crossing (Click for Larger View)

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