Monday, December 17, 2012

Rain or Shine - Bikepacking West Fork Bike Trail

Rain for some reason was never a concern when I go backpacking but somehow, I have managed to beat it despite what the weather reports would predict it would be.  Perhaps I am just lucky?  Who knows?

Well, this past weekend was no different.  I invited some people to go with me and a few braved the impending rain and decided to join me to go bikepacking/backpacking this past weekend to Glenn Trail Camp via West Fork Bike Trail.

The drive up Highway 39 on a Saturday morning was quiet and the sky though gloomy, had enough sunlight coming through to allow us to see snow from distant was beautiful.

We arrived at the parking lot at around 9:00AM and I unloaded my bike and loaded my gear.  I decided to go a little heavy than normal on this trip since I was letting my bike carry most of the heavy stuff.

Here's a quick breakdown of what was carried on my bike and what was carried in my Golite pack:

Bear Canister (Bear Boxer Contender)
Mountain Hardwear Lightpath 2
Tyvek groundsheet
Spare tube and toolkit (inside DIY Frame Bag)
1 liter drink

Alps Mountaineering 30 degree down bag
Thermarest Inflatable Pad
Uniqlo down hoody
North Face fleece pullover
Sierra Designs Microlight rain jacket
Outdoor Products 5x7 tarp (bike cover)
Imusa cook kit
First Aid kit and Ditty items

I didn't weigh the items I brought with me on this trip since the West Fork Bike Trail is paved all the way and had very little elevation - I knew my legs and feet weren't going to be an issue knowing the distance to Glenn Trail Camp was only 6 miles...this was a very easy trip.

I typically try to avoid West Fork during the summer months because this area gets too many visitors.  However, during the colder months, this place is deserted...sometimes it's better that way - less trash!

Before entering the gate, there is a trail map that shows you the many fishing ramps and it also shows our destination at the top of the trail map.

Once passed the gate, you can truly appreciate how nice this area is when clean and devoid of people who are just clueless to how to keep this place clean.  It was a nice sight to see for sure.

A quick bike photo-op at the trail marker indicating the entrance to Bear Creek Trail.  If you've followed my blog, you will know that Bear Creek Trail was the very fist trail I did for my first backpacking trip.

Easy trail! From the gate to Glenn Trail Camp, it's only an 800 ft. elevation gain throughout the 6 mile distance.

One of the things you can expect to see on this bike trail...a Heron!

There were two gentlemen who were in this cabin by the trail that were members of a fishing club that had special access to this area - they had keys to the gate that allowed them to take their vehicles in.

The gentlemen in the cabin offered us a firelog that we put to good use that was a life saver since there was not a piece of dry wood in the area due to recent rains.

Shortly passed the cabin, we arrive at Glenn Trail Camp and we find that we have this place all to ourselves and we couldn't have asked for anything better.  There are many places to setup your shelter with flat spots and the water source was nearby.

My friends setup, Mountain Laurel Design Bivy and an 8x10 Campmor Silylon Tarp (he uses Dyneema for his ridgeline)

My other friends setup, Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis

My plush shelter, a 2 person Mountain Hardwear Lightpath 2 tent.

A nearby mistletoe tree...we stayed away from this tree and took a closer look one at a time :)

Shortly after setting up camp, we day hiked to Cogswell Dam to take a look around.

On the way to Cogswell Dam, you will pass by this Heliport.

Which way to the dam?

Ahhh...there you go...

The Dam was really low...

A nice view of snow capped mountains from a distance

Glamour shot of yours truly...suck in that gut!

Going back to Glenn Camp from the Dam, we decided to check out this trail recommended to us. They said we would find something interesting...we sure did.  The photo below is of a trolley that takes you to an old water testing station...which I believe hasn't been put to use in quite some time.  There was a ton of poison oak at the station itself which indicated inactivity.

I didn't molest the darn thing! I promise!

The water testing station. Check out all of that poison oak at the base!

We went back to our camp where we enjoyed a nice campfire and a nice conversation about politics, social media, our countries deficit...typical stuff you talk about :)  We managed to solve some of the worlds problems that evening...seems like more politicians need to take a hike more, might do them some good ;)

That evening, it was forecasted to rain at 3:00AM with temps as low as 32 degrees...didn't feel that cold and it didn't even rain a drop.  It was a great night.

The following morning, we had our breakfast and coffee and packed out to head home.  I would definitely visit this place again. preferably in a similar situation when we can have this place to was so peaceful.

The ride back was a bit bitter sweet for me, it was too fast and I should have slowed down more to enjoy the place.  I reach my car after making quick work of the 6 miles...thus ending another 24 hour adventure.  Next year is a new year with more Bikepacking and Backpacking Adventures to come!  Stay tuned!


  1. Still think you do a great job here. Really enjoy it

    1. Thank you sir! Hopefully I can add more trip reports here for next year, really looking forward to that.