This classic loop is one of the best ways to get a longer day on the bike while sampling a little bit of everything that the Cache-Game area has to offer (especially the wings).
Head to Snow King where there is accessible parking at the base area. Immediately head up the switchbacks under the lift toward Shade Monkey. Briefly duck under the cover of the trees before linking up with Sink or Swim. This will take you east back under the lift toward some of the newer snow blowers and the adventure course.
Continue past the Summit Trail cutting along the contour of the hill until the intersection with Ferrin's. Head right (south) to start this long and sustained switchback climb as the faint mirage of frosted pints and crisply fried wings takes shape in your mind. As much as possible, be aware of riders descending Ferrin's, though they should always yield.
Emerging from the trees, a couple more switchbacks will take you through the upper meadow to the intersection with Skyline Trail
and West Game Creek. Until recently, West Game Creek was the only option to continue the loop, but the newly opened Skyline Trail
makes for a great alternative (as shown), though arguably not quite as "classic".
Head southeast on your trail of choice (in this case Skyline Trail
) to link up with Game Creek. In the summer, you'll be getting pitted by waist-to-head-high multi-color barrels of wildflowers, which make for an exhilarating lightspeed effect. Be cautious of a couple sneaker rocks and one short stretch of eroded trail that was in the process of a reroute down toward the pond. The singletrack beings to widen into doubletrack, which eventually becomes Game Creek Rd.
Head across Hwy 89 to the Game Creek Pathway, as wing tunnel vision begins to take hold. You're almost there.
With a full belly and clear
mind, continue along the Game Creek Pathway past Smith's toward the Grand Loop Pathway: Flat Creek Section. This easy, paved path will have lots of other folks using it so be courteous and use a bell if you have one. Look out for flooded sections from Flat Creek spilling over. These can usually be ridden through. Once back in town, follow the path and streets east back toward Snow King.