“The best all round ride up the West Fork: ridge and creek riding and peak to bag along the way.
— Lance Pysher
A rewarding and challenging climb to the top of Rombo Mountain with killer 360 views followed by a steep descent to Piquett Creek
with the option for a side hike to several the the beautiful alpine Piquett and Slate Lakes.
Overall the climb along the ridge is nontechnical, if steep in spots. Most of the challenging riding occurs while dropping down into the creek bottom where it mellows into a fun cruise out.
The ride can be done as a shuttle or a loop depending on your interest in adding a several mile long gravel road climb. The climb isn't that strenuous and gets the legs warmed up for the real climbing on the ridge.
If shuttling, leave one vehicle at the main fork of Piquett Creek
Road where the branch to the Piquett Ridge
trailhead branches off.
There's no chance to warm up on this ride - start with a steep mile plus grind up to the ridge. A meadow just past this climb is a great place to catch your breath before the climbing starts anew. Afterwards, this the grade mellows but you'll still be climbing for the majority of the next seven miles. A brief downhill at 2.3 miles gives you a short reprieve.
In general, other than the climbing, the trail along the ridge is not technical until about 7 miles where the pitch increases and a few boulders bordering the trail. From here to the top the trail is slightly more technical and the last push to the top of Rombo will drain the rest of the reserves from your legs. The very top of Rombo is quarter mile off the trail. A clearing at the top has the remains of an old Lookout.
From here a loose downhill drops you to the saddle above Piquett Creek
. Ride your bike up past the intersection a quarter mile and then take the detour on Drop Creek trail over to Piquett and Slate Lakes. They are worth it.
Head back down to the saddle a take the Piquett Creek
trail. The drop into the creek is the most technical section of the ride with numerous manageable rock drops. Once along the creek the trail eases up. The Forest Service rebuilt the trail a few years ago and did a great job. Along the way out expect multiple creek crossings in the last 3 miles.