The Tumala Tank Trap is a mixed-discipline affair Blending equal parts road, gravel/dirt and technical mountain bike terrain, TTTT offers the rare opportunity to ride 100% to the summit of Tumala Mountain and over the other side.
This will not be easy however, as the route is frontloaded w/ a wicked amount of climbing. 4271 feet in the first 23 miles over increasingly rocky, rutted and pitchy grades as you climb from Abbott toward the summit, the primitive access road bearing some resemblance to Barlow in its rocky, rutted and rather difficult upper reaches near the summit. Expect pitches in the 15%+ range in the final stretch to the top, which provides expansive views of Wy'east and the Hood National Forest.
The descent from the Tumala summit is a harrowing 1.5 mile section of steep highly technical singletrack via Old Baldy Trail. Hardtail mountain bikes are optimal here, but it is navigable on CX bikes for those with advanced handling chops and wise instincts for self-preservation.
A second set of singletrack connects decommissioned forest road 4614 to 4615 via the rarely spotted Bissell Trail. Expect a few steep and loose sections, but overall this section is short and sweet. From there we count down to 4613 and drop down around old Bedford Point which is a quiet stretch, roughly five miles of forest doubletrack that doesn't see too much traffic. This section will require one creek crossing - and depending on the time of year, a few deep puddles. After exiting this lost logging world, we're back on pavement for a smooth drop down to Estacada and relaxing at Fearless Brewery.
Disclaimers, warnings, caveats and wisdoms:
* There is no single-discipline bike that will be perfect for the entire route. The challenge here will be tire selection, gearing and setup to optimize comfort and capability across a wide range of difficult terrain. Low gears + wide tires.
* Running tires smaller than 35c will make this an extremely difficult and rather dangerous ride. Seriously. If you're inexperienced riding single track - WALK IT. It's just not that far, and it's frankly a lovely place for a walk. You are riding off a mountain top. In mountain bike terms, this isn't very technical. Just be careful.
* While unlikely we'll see anyone, be very considerate of any hikers you might come across. This is a wild and lawless mountain, but we want to convey how nice cyclists are on trails that don't often see them.
* You will need to be prepared to filter/treat water for refill. There are many ideal opportunities to do so. We marked one that runs along side the upper White Iris Trail. It's a lovely spot.
* You will want a wind/rain jacket and more nutrition than you anticipate. It can actually be quite cold up there. You just don't know.
* You will want to pace yourself on the climb upfront. It intensifies in stages the higher you get.
That said, this is a beautiful, wild, remote and humbling experience that you won't soon forget.
Stay safe and enjoy!
ROUTE FORMAT: LOOP
SURFACE: 30% maintained gravel, 40% PAVed, 20% primitive forest road, rutted, rocky climbs, 10% mountain singletrack
TIRES: MINIMUM OF 35C. 40C-2"MTB. HEAVY DUTY BOX OR FILE TREAD RECOMMENDED.
BIKE: CYCLOCROSS/GRAVEL/RIGID 29Er/mountain bike
WATER/SERVICES: NO SERVICES. WATER FILTER REQUIRED. RIVER/CREEK REFILL POINTS NOTED