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Old 07-11-2011, 07:41 PM   #1
MadChap OP
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Probing the Jefferson Wilderness

I'm an adventurer at heart. I love to explore new places. Today was one of those days. I love maps and have been looking at the Deschutes National Forest maps a lot lately. I've ridden some areas too much and wanted to check out some new roads.

The Metolius river valley from it's headwaters gushing out of the ground to where it flows into Lake Billy Chinook cuts a deep canyon with Green Ridge making up the eastern edge. The western side drains the Cascade s mountain range, primarily the Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson slopes.

I've ridden Green ridge but never the western side of the river. There are a number of roads which lead to trail heads right on the edge of the Jefferson Wilderness Area.

I decided to ride to every trail head between Warm Springs Indian Reservation and Hwy 20 which is Santiam Pass.

Here's a Google Earth picture of the track I took. I zoomed in to focus one the area of this report.



My route comes in from the east and you can clearly see Green Ridge and the large switch back coming down from there.

Once I cross the Metolius, I take FS1290 to the edge of Warm Springs. I've been warned by numerous friends who live on the reservation that if I got caught riding there, I would be taken to tribal court and given a huge fine. So today I just took a picture of the boundary:

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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To The Trailheads

Now to head up the slopes to the trail heads. First up is Jefferson Lake TH. Easy road, not too wash boarded.

Before I get to the trail head I see a road heading to the top of Abbot Butte. Super rocky, but if I can reach the top it will be an amazing view. Well I guess not today:



Here's looking north towards Jefferson:



Turn around get back on FS1230 to Jefferson Lake
No one at the trail head. This trail head is in a huge grove of trees and was really dark, but I found an opening which looked right at Jefferson. My camera didn't handle the lighting very well, but you can still see the mtn.



Back down the hill and take a quick right to Brush Creek Trail head. I found the road but it ended in just a turn around area, so sign marking the trail head, but here's the turn around:



On the way down from that one, I took a pic looking south at the Three Sisters:

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Old 07-11-2011, 08:01 PM   #3
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More trail heads

Back to FS1230 and take a sharp right on FS1237. There wasn't a trail head listed on this one, but it looked like it dead ended right on the border of the wilderness and passed a place called "two springs". Let's check it out. Turned out to be really gnarly. Lots of water bars, loose rocks, tight corners and steep slopes. Never saw the springs but I had to turn around with there were downed logs crossing the road:








Now I'm sweating big time still have to get back down...Fun.

Once back in FS1230 head further south to FS1235 to Bear Valley Trail head. What a beautiful little valley. Even with all the burned forest. By the way, the deer love the brush that has grown up after the burn. I must have scared up a dozen right on the edges of the roads.



The next trail head was Jack Lake, FS 1234. The most horrible, wash-boarded road of the day. Absolutely nasty. But so worth it when I got to the trailhead. There were several cars here and I chatted with a young couple with a baby. They drove their Dodge Minivan on that horrible road with a beautiful cedar strip canoe on the top. Wow. The lake was just about 150 feet from the parking lot. Beautiful small lake right at the foot of Three Finger Jack. I'm going to have to come back here to camp.



There were a couple smaller roads that looked promising to get off the washboard on the way down. I took FS1234-260. It turns into a jeep/quad trail that was actually a lot of fun.



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Old 07-11-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Final TH

Once back on 1230 it quickly ran into paved FS12. I passed FS1220 which looked like it just dead-ended in the middle of the slope, because I didn't want a repeat of FS1237

Took FS1210 up to Round Lake. On the way this little buck stayed in the middle of the road looking at me. I killed the bike and and fast as I could grabbed the camera out of the tank bag. He bolted just as I got the camera on, but I still got a picture:



FS1210 is a nice little road up to Round Lake where there is some kind of organized camp on the far end of the lake.



Back down the hill and into Sisters for a burger and fries at the Snow Cap!

This was a great day. So lucky to have these type of views within a day ride from home. Just right at 200 miles for the day.

Get out and ride.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:35 PM   #6
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Beautiful edge of Wilderness ride on a beautiful day,
Thanks for the pics.
I gotta visit some more down that way sometime.......
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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Cool write up, back in the mid 90"s I worked for the USFS in the Sisters Ranger District on their Initial Attack fire crews. That area was my patrol area. Looks different now then back then. Cool places up there.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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Oh man, this really gets me excited for our planned move to Bend next summer. Looks like mostly great riding w/ amazing views - and even lots of blue sky! Great photos, too. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:50 PM   #9
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bretedge View Post
Oh man, this really gets me excited for our planned move to Bend next summer. Looks like mostly great riding w/ amazing views - and even lots of blue sky! Great photos, too. Thanks for the inspiration.

LOL I want to ride Moab and you're moving from Moab are are stoked about riding this area. Isn't if funny how we too often miss the things right in our backyard. Lived in Alaska for 6 years and never went to Denali Park. Lived in North Dakota 6 years and never saw the Badlands or Mt. Rushmore.

Making sure that now I really get to know where I live....and now with the kids out of the house, I have the time to spend riding.

Tim
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
Apple Jam
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Originally Posted by MadChap View Post
LOL I want to ride Moab and you're moving from Moab are are stoked about riding this area. Isn't if funny how we too often miss the things right in our backyard. Lived in Alaska for 6 years and never went to Denali Park. Lived in North Dakota 6 years and never saw the Badlands or Mt. Rushmore.

Making sure that now I really get to know where I live....and now with the kids out of the house, I have the time to spend riding.

Tim
The world needs more of that attitude.
Mexico, Europe and all those exotic places can kiss my a$$.
What we gots here is STELLAR!!

That road in your Avatar looks like Trout Creek, below Ashwood, maybe??
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On the other hand, if it has been logged or mined and roads already exist,,
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Jam View Post
The world needs more of that attitude.
Mexico, Europe and all those exotic places can kiss my a$$.
What we gots here is STELLAR!!

That road in your Avatar looks like Trout Creek, below Ashwood, maybe??
Yep - Trout Creek road in about May...

Here's what the road looked like:



And here's what the first crossing looked like, I waited until later in the year to cross :

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