Start and head back down out of town, turning right at the Firehall onto the bridge over the James creek. Continue down on Main Street and straight onto Cemetery Road where you start to climb uphill. You'll see a gate (no motorized beyond) that lets you know you are in the right place and about to get on CR208.
Ride up and past the restored ruin of the Blue Jay Mine (see photo). Continue on rising up above the mine, through high alpine meadows, and pass the ruin of an early homesite where the meadows end and you enter aspen glades. Here, it gets steep to attain the ridge-top where you turn right (north) onto FS Road 509.1 (Flying Squirrel)
if you can ride this, you are a beast.
At the top, turn right onto Walker Mountain (FS Road #509.1A)
, keeping up the clockwise (right) turns. You climb a few more rises up top and roll north, getting to huge views including snow-topped peaks of the Continental Divide. On the top, while riding north, you'll come across other turns but stay on Walker Mountain (FS Road #509.1A)
. Eventually, you'll see well-ridden unsigned singletrack (Walker Mountain Alternate
) break off to your left, staying north. This is what you want and some of the best riding on this route.
Begin descending the Walker Mountain Alternate
sweet downhill track, until it bottoms out rejoining Walker Mountain (FS Road #509.1A)
lower down. It's extremely fun, in a gnarly kind of way. People have clearly done a little trail building on this section, sometimes ramps over log-fall, berms, etc. In a minute, you're at the end of this track and hit Walker Mountain (FS Road #509.1A)
where you turn downhill to your left. In a minute, you see the juncture with the old Gold Lake Road (County Road #102J)
. It's closed to all motorized, but you can ride sections of it.
You follow Gold Lake Road (County Road #102J)
all the way back down into town, this section is pretty wild and only sees a few hikers usually, because the very bottom is un-rideable due to the flood of 2013.
The trail starts out fin, passing through meadow, following the Jim Creek until crossing it. You might be able to ride it in low water, but, otherwise, it's time to shoulder that bike and portage through the water. Ride the old Gold Lake Road down toward town until you just can't anymore. There was ~one mile of hike-a-bike, ride the rest and roll back into town. After this, you just might want to drop in for Breakfast / Brunch / Pints at the Merc! (9-2 Sat, Sun).