Merchant Basin is an old motorcycle / hiking trail that no longer allows motorcycle access likely due to the deep rutting in the upper meadow. The trail effectively has two climates, the lower forested trail with nice soil and the upper treeless alpine meadow and loose rock area. Walling off the middle of the two areas is a steep and technical cliff section that requires some thoughtful tire / foot placement.
This is a trail that unfortunately descends directly with the fall-line through the meadow, resulting in much of the snow melt and rainfall turning the trail into a nice deep creek or ditch. It's so deep in places, one cannot ride a bike through it, resulting in the free-riding down through the grass, something less than desirable on several levels.
This trail should be rebuilt with drainage, some corners and switchbacks in the meadow area. It's a stunning, private wilderness that sees little riders. In fall, you will run across hunters. Wear your orange, make noise and say hello!
Recommend this as a descent only.
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More Stats for Merchants Basin Trail 417.1 mountain bike trail
Altitude change-1,860 ft
Altitude min6,078 ft
Altitude max7,942 ft
Altitude start7,938 ft
Altitude end6,078 ft
Distance climb1,330 ft
Distance down2 miles
Distance flat545 ft
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