Ellis Peak Trail has some of the most stunning views on the West Shore. Those views come with a cost. The first 1/2 mile of this trail is steep. Same with the last 1/2 mile. Everything is rideable, but in 15 years I've never been able to clean the entire trail uphill in one shot. After the first 1/2 mile, this trail pops out onto an amazing ridge. On the left, a cliff with gorgeous views of the lake. On the right, 100 mile views into Desolation wilderness. This is backcountry trail with amazing views and physically demanding. Catch it at the right time of year, and the wildflowers up here are amazing too.
Here's the local knowledge hookup- The best way to ride this is as a large (about 16 miles) loop from the bottom. Take Grand Avenue off Highway 89 to Gnome Trail- Take Blackwood Canyon Alternate to actually see the amazing collection of gnomes.- then do the big paved climb up Barker Pass Road. You'll gain most of your elevation on a lightly used paved road that usually has more bike traffic than cars. From the summit, take Ellis Peak Trail. Grunt out the first 1/2 mile till you pop out on the ridge with it's amazing views. Take the 1/2 out and back spur to Ellis Lake for a cool natural alpine lake stop. We skip the Ellis Peak Trail to the top and ride up the jeep road instead. The trail is an old moto trail and nearly unrideable uphill. The jeep road is still a tough climb, but totally rideable. If you haven't been to Ellis Peak, stash your bikes and make the 1/3 mile hike up there. More gorgeous 360 degree views. From the top of Ellis Peak, we drop down the backside into Homewood, following the Ellis-Homewood doubletrack (mostly singletrack in reality). From the Ellis Chair, follow the Noonchester road to Sunrise trail for a singletrack drop back down to the lake. It's still a solid backcountry ride with lots of climbing and a mix of rocks, roots, summer dust, big descents, huge views.
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More Stats for Ellis Peak Trail (16E16) bike trail
Altitude change725 ft
Altitude min7,764 ft
Altitude start7,764 ft
Altitude end8,490 ft
Distance climb2 miles
Distance down5,127 ft
Distance flat380 ft
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- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
Ellis Peak Trail... Trail Reports
Nov 17, 2017 @ 8:13amNov 17, 2017
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