“A mountain bike skills and fitness challenge trail; the preferred direction is clockwise—ride more to get better…”
— bart barlow
Please respect those who donated time and/or money to construct this trail and those who continue to maintain this trail—do not ride this trail if leaving tracks in soft soils or muddy soils. This is a high speed downhill mountain bike traffic—not recommended for equestrians.
Need to Know
No dog water. The trail ascends and descends many, many times to take advantage of natural features—so don't expect a long ascent followed by a long descent—until the Skills Giant Slalom Section.
Trail signage is very good; all MERA trails are signed with a carsonite post showing trail name, number, rating, and cautions as applicable, e.g., high speed downhill mountain bikes, preferred equestrian route, etc. All main intersections have a unique number, shown on the carsonite post, that corresponds to the MERA map. For additional Information, go to the Mt. Emily Recreation Area website
This is a very technical, strenuous mountain bike skills and fitness challenge. The narrow singletrack is moderately fast with short sections, loose soils, short and steep ascents and descents, bermed and off-camber corners, steep drop-ins, rock drops, jumps and rollers, “go big” jumps, table tops and slalom in the “Skills Giant Slalom” near the end.
Because of soils and aspect, this is best ridden during early spring and late fall at MERA. There are also great views of the Grande Ronde Valley and Eagle Cap Wilderness.
The giggle factor is high…so is the price for failure! This trail will challenge your mountain bike handling skills—especially braking, shifting, body position, and "air time".
This is not a destination trail; rather it is best used as a loop to challenge your mountain biking skills and fitness. From Upper Igo Trailhead, ride up Lower Hot Shot Trail #725 to Skills Trail #727 and go right (clockwise) on the Skills Trail. Skills Trail is a loop that drops you back at Upper Igo Trailhead.