Goat Camp, Check

by Mike on December 23, 2008

After eight years in the valley, I finally rode the infamous Goat Camp Loop in the White Tanks. All those years I lived on the west side and was riding the competitive loops… all the while Willow, Mesquite, and Goat Camp were up there just laying around waiting for me… Sure I’d heard about them but when I asked the park rangers years ago, they said they were too rocky for bikes. Rangers.

Sure, Goat Camp is a rocky beast but it’s not too much for the adventure-hungry semi-insane or skilled rider. You’ve only got to be one or the other, but both doesn’t hurt at all (unless you fall). I made it out today with just a couple of scrapes, no hard crashes. Pretty happy about that. My first day of Christmas vacation and I have one epic ride under me.

group ride
Photo by Kathleen

Today’s ride consisted of a group of seven MTBR riders, including one Mike Curiak, the famous big wheel builder and Lenz rider. Left to right, DurtGurl, Mikesee, AKA Monkeybutt, Salty Dog, tonloc08, TheBarqsMan, and Cactus Joe. Scott and Chad were going to ride today but bailed.

There wasn’t as much HAB as I thought there would be, a lot of the tough stuff in the beginning was rideable. Once up above the initial buff stuff, the climb was incredible. For the most part, it wasn’t techy but, but it was at a pitch that motivated me into a sweet climbing groove. Around every bend seeing the next climb was inspiring. I could do this.

While Mike C. was taking pictures like crazy, I was enjoying the groove of the climb too much to stop and play photographer. Even with all his stops, he was back on the bike and climbing like a madman ahead of me. So not many pics from me on this ride, but I’ll link to some shots from the group later.

The descent is almost indescribable. With one adverb and an adjective I’d say it is dangerously incredible. If I want to keep riding this trail, I’ll have to consider a couple of things: body armor, a couple more inches of travel in front and back, and about 3 more inches of wheel. Watching the 29ers roll through the chunk was a treat. The combo of skills and bike (Mike C. + Lenz, DurtGurl +Lenz) made riding this stuff look easy. Christmas is coming up in a couple of days, I wonder if it’s too late to order a Lenz from Santa?

I was also amazed at the skills of Jeff and Cactus Joe. They nailed all the big stuff on their 26ers, a Turner and a Nomad. Spiral Staircase, Jackhammer, they rode through it like butter. I need to ride with guys like this more often. Thanks all for a great time.

Mike C’s blog report

Mike C’s photos in Picasa

Mike C’s mtbr report post


Goat Camp MTBR ride 12-23-08 from DurtGurl on Vimeo.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Crazy Irish March 13, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I finally got out to ride this trail yesterday and I was very excited about the “insane downhill” at the end. I love riding DH and try to get to places like Bootleg Canyon as much as possible. The climb is work for me but I truly enjoy doing it after the fact. The first time we attempted to complete this loop we ran out of daylight and rode Mesquite back down which was a nice reward for the work that was put in to get to the top. But…..I have to tell you I did not enjoy the last 3.5 miles of Goat Camp. Usually after climbing for several miles I look forward to a nice reward especially when I brought a full face and full compliment of body armor to ride the backside (per your reccomendation in the blog) but I have to say that was not enjoyable at all. The lines were dangerous at best and there wasn’t any place to put together what I would consider a reward for the climbing. Anyway, I had to write because I enjoy your blog a lot and have enjoyed your reccomendations up to this point but I guess this wasn’t the ride for me. Thanks again for the awesome blog! Would love some directions to Area 52 if you got them.

2 MTBikeAZ March 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Sorry you had a bad time out there. Too much hype and then the Goat Camp DH just didn’t pan out for you. You sure got the dangerous lines right. Goat camp is downright mean. But how could you not enjoy the spiral staircase? That section alone to me, is worth all the climbing to get there.

I enjoyed the DH so much because it was insane, way above my level. And riding with a group of A+ MTBR forum riders sure helped me find the lines. We stopped a lot to session the tough lines and take pics and vids.

Thanks for the compliments on my blog. Sorry I led you astray on this ride. At least you’ll always have the XC version to ride. More miles, less body armor :)

3 shoup dawg June 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I have to say the goat camp trail is one of the most chalenging trails I have ridden in a long time. When I was ridding the trail I met and older gentleman named Al he was a voulenteer for the park and is the man responsible for keeping the trail in such great shape. He was removing loose rocks and trimming bushes back along the edge. If you see him out there make sure you thank him for this trail is very dificult riding level but would be much harder with loose rocks and cactus thorns to avoid. And just to let ya all know this trail is not for everyone , especially for friends you want to keep as your friends. I rode it on my singlespeed hardtail with 4″ fork, it was nice not having a derailure to worry about. I did alot of walking for the first 1.5 miles up the mesquite but the rest was way climbable with good flow and nice grade. I started the trail at 6:30 am and finished around 11:30 after fixing 2 pinch flats and still had a good time. One last word don’t ride this trail if you do not enjoy steep rocky ledges with serious cosequenses, but if you do then Game On !

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: