Friday, August 27, 2021

Mountain Biking the Iceplant Trail in Ely, Nevada

I have a really nice mountain bike, bought used from my brother. Unfortunately, it doesn't get used nearly enough. I just feel intimidated by mountain bike trails, and my husband and kids aren't particularly interested. Fortunately, there are a bunch of mountain bike enthusiasts in Ely, Nevada who have been building and promoting the mountain bike trails there. After seeing a bunch of posts, I decided to give the Iceplant Trail a try. It's rated Easiest (green).

The first task was to find the trailhead. It was down a road I had never been on, not far from the high school. I had installed the Trailforks app on my phone and had a 7-day trial of the pro version, and it helped me figure out what unmarked road to take and where to park. 

I got out my bike, reinflated the tire that keeps going flat (sigh--the other one is tubeless, thank goodness), and set off. I soon got to the gate pictured above. There's also good parking right here. 

On the other side of the gate, it becomes delicious singletrack, heading out in the pinyon juniper at a slight incline.

I was grinning as I rode. I was doing this!

It wasn't too hard at all. Along the way there were some more advanced features next to the beginner track.

One was this narrow bridge over a gully. Maybe someday...

I puzzled over the piles of rocks until I realized they were jumps. Maybe

The views were nice, not spectacular, but pleasant enough. 

I stayed on the easiest trails, going from the Iceplant Trail onto Senior Moment. Soon the fun began--the downhill. I don't like a lot of speed and was by myself, so played it conservative. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the banked turns and ups and downs. 

I ended up at this sign and went back uphill a little bit on the Tin Pan Alley trail and reconnected to the Iceplant trail.

It really helped to have the Trailforks app, as then I knew where I was. Most of the trail junctions are marked, but not all. 

Overall, it was a great experience. I imagine a lot of the people in the area don't know what a fantastic resource this is, just like me an hour earlier. I intend to go back and take the family. Many more bike trails are in the process of being planned and built. Hooray!

Here's an overview of mountain biking in the Ely area.

Trail map

Nice article about mountain biking in Ely

Hopefully this serves as an inspiration to go out there and give it a try, even if you're a newbie like me. It's worth it!

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