“A 500-foot climb on primitive roads to get to four miles of singletrack descent in Paine Basin.
— Kem Kough
Start at the south side of the Pequop Summit Rest Area.
Descend 0.25 miles to the west on a dirt road that parallels I-80. Turn left on a primitive dirt road that winds south through pinyon pine forest and climbs over 500 feet. This road eventually turns east (another left), crosses a ridge, and heads down.
At the Elk Pond, the trails turns to singletrack for four miles and 1,000 feet of descent. At the fence line at the bottom of the trail, take the interstate, the dirt maintenance road, or a trail back to the start at the Rest Area.
The trail is not well marked but features exceptional winding singletrack through the PJ forest (pinyon pine and juniper). There are four ways down the east side of the Pequops—two singletracks (Elk Ridge
and Nanny Creek
)—and two primitive ridge roads that have nice flow, views, and no traffic, so it sets up nicely for an enduro if you ride back up. It is also a quick five minute shuttle back up I-80 to the rest area where you started.
The primitive dirt road you start on ends up at a radio tower south of the interstate if you miss the turn to head east and cross the ridge, but that is not a bad ride either. At the end of the Elk Canyon ride, if you go west up I-80 or take the parallel dirt maintenance road for no traffic, it is a 10-mile loop.