Pit toilets available at the horse camp.
Park by the gate at the horse camp about 0.5 miles before the Trace Ridge Trail parking lot, or alternatively you can park at the Trace Ridge lot.
Start off with a long, steady climb up Wash Creek Road to get the heart pumping, then take a left at the gate a couple of miles in to start up Spencer Gap. Things start getting steadily steeper once you leave Wash Creek, but Spencer Gap is in good condition for climbing.
You'll steadily gain elevation until you are just below the Parkway, at which point the climbing turns into more of a nice traverse along the path of the parkway with a couple of little tech obstacles along the way. The traverse culminates in a fairly challenging root section that you need some speed for, after which you find yourself at the top of Spencer Branch.
Get ready, because you'll be loving life all the way down Spencer Branch. The descent starts off with several rocky drops in a row, followed by a quick turn that leads into flowy turn after flowy turn with some nice rock gardens to spice things up a bit. Dive into the rightward switchback with a big smile on your face, hit a few more rocks and some optional air, and be greeted with a beautiful flow section through a grove of young trees. The descent ends with some tight turns and drops, and a recommended not-that-bad-it's-super-chill-dude log skinny right before the fire road.
After some high fives with your mates, or a loud "I don't care who hears it" yell if you're solo, look to your right and you'll see a drop on the left side of the road into the lower portion of Spencer Branch, which meanders nicely along the creek with a few drops, crossings, and a tight turn or two thrown in. After this nice Lord-of-the-Rings terrain, you'll turn left onto Fletcher Creek Trail #350
, which continues the descent, until it doesn't, until it does again. The final descent at the end of Fletcher Creek
is fast, flowy, and just a ton of fun.
After this fun descent, you'll need to pay your dues a bit on Forest Road 142 back up to the Trace Ridge lot.