Thursday, May 7, 2015

Camping and Biking and Trail Running at Sacramento Pass Rec Area

 Last weekend we had Saturday night free, so I came up with the grand idea of camping at Sacramento Pass Rec Area. It was camping night #7 for the kids (12 is our goal for the Desert Survivor's Get-Out-and-Camp Challenge, so we're doing really well!). We decided we would catch our dinner at the Sac Pass Pond, where rainbow trout are stocked by the Spring Creek Rearing Station.

It didn't take Desert Boy long to catch three trout and then Desert Girl two more. They were on the smallish side, but we decided we'd eat them all.

Meanwhile the almost-full moon came up.

And Desert Girl had fun being silly. We moved to the upper campsites to get further away from the road. They were recently redone with money from a SNPLMA grant, and the whole area is so nice. Even though it was a Saturday night, we had it all to ourselves, which was quite surprising because it's so easy to access and free.

We had our little camping trailer, which creaked all night. We might get a better night sleep in our tent, but it still is kind of fun to be in the trailer.

I woke up before everyone and decided to go scamper on the nearby rocks to take advantage of the great early morning light.

The road up and over Sac Pass looked especially pretty, with the Schell Creek mountains in the background.

A bit later I left to go mountain biking. I really wanted to check out the Mineshaft trail, a 4-mile long loop trail that departs from the Lucky Boy spur off the Sacramento Pass trail. Desert Boy and I had biked much of the Sac Pass trail last fall, and so I knew it would be technically difficult. But I found I can only take so much technically difficult. Once I got to the loop part of the Mineshaft trail (1.5 miles from the trailhead), I decided I would be much happier if I just did the loop as a trail run and didn't have to worry about going over my handlebars as I navigated the rocky course.
The views were terrific on the Mineshaft trail, and I enjoyed it so much (even though I didn't have a camera!). It was obvious that the trail doesn't get much use, so I built up some rock cairns marking the trail that had toppled over. If you want technical singletrack all to yourself, this is the spot! If you want a trail run all to yourself, this is also your spot! And the trails are designed for equestrian use, but I don't think a horse has been on them yet.

If four miles is too long, there is a shortcut--a wash connects the trail at the narrowest spot, so you could  make it a much shorter loop. There's also a two-track road that crosses the southwest part of the loop, so you could bail out there if you're bike riding and the singletrack is getting too much for you. 

You can find the Sac Pass Trail map here

Time to head outside!

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