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Guide to Hog Heaven
 
 

Hog Heaven Trail Guide

Mountain Bike Guide To Hog Heaven
Moscow Mt, North-South Area, McCroskey State Park
by Jim LaFortune


First published in 1995. Updates for the trails in the guide are published on this website. Current trail conditions and route changes due to logging are available below.

All three areas covered by the guide are within one hour drive from Moscow and Pullman. In addition, mountain bikers from Spokane and Coeur d'Alene may access McCroskey Park in about an hour.

The book includes original topographic maps and detailed descriptions of how to get to the trailheads of 16 rides, as well as ratings for novice, intermediate, and expert bikers. The guide also contains dozens of options for making the rides shorter or longer.

The Hog Heaven Guide is available from Paradise Creek Bicycles in Moscow. Cost is $10.

Paradise Creek Bicycles
513 S Main St
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 882-0703


Book Sections

 
 

Moscow Mountain Area - Trail Updates

There are many new gates on Moscow Mountain that were not present when the Mountain Bike Guide to Hog Heaven was written. This is good news for mountain bikers, so let's support Bennett Lumber, UI, and City of Troy foresters in their efforts. If you discover a gate where you weren't expecting one, you aren't necessarily lost—although you might be.

 


Ridge Rd (Paradise Point, North Contour Trail)
posted 06.16.06

Ridge Rd follows the spine of Moscow Mountain from the Foothill RdPond 9 gate to the old ski area on Tamarack Rd. If you’re looking for a good place to take people for their first off-pavement mountain biking trip, Ridge Rd is a good choice. It’s a full width road, but does have bumps, ruts, and some great views. Ridge Rd is a perfect trail for novices to start practicing their off-road riding skills.

Heading up towards Paradise PointIt is best to begin at Four Corners and head west. Most beginning riders can make it as far as Paradise Point and it’s largely a gradual downhill all the way back to Four Corners. For an easy singletrack experience on your return to Four Corners, take North Contour trail (the western-most section of the old Sand Trail). As you head east on Ridge Rd from Paradise Point, go about 50 yards past the east exit out of Triple Crown. There you will find the beginning of North Contour trail which drops off on the left (north) side of Ridge Rd onto a delightful singletrack. North Contour trail remains a great trail for novices to advanced riders with its smooth, swoopy turns.

An alternative starting location for Ridge Rd is at its west end—starting from the gate on Foothills Rd below Pond 9. Although there is large gravel on the road from about mile 1 to mile 1.8, the dirt beyond is smooth and sweet. Since you are starting at a higher elevation, the climb is pretty mild. The road gains in elevation all the way until it is right next to Paradise Point. When you get tired, simply turn around and coast back to your car.

Hog Heaven guide corrections/updates
The blue gate at Paradise Point that is referred to in the Hog Heaven Guide was yanked out of the ground a few years back by vandals. A replacement gate has been erected farther east, between Paradise Point and West Twin. There are also relatively new gates in the Four Corners area, which restrict access for motorized traffic during the wet season in all directions except northward down Rock Creek Rd.

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Southside Trail (now South Side Trail & Jack's Route)
posted 06.16.06

Southside Trail used to be primarily accessed from Ridge Rd. However, since Headwaters was constructed, Southside Trail access from Ridge Rd has been more or less abandoned.

New directions to South Side Trail & Jack's Route
After you reach the first open landing on Headwaters (heading counter-clockwise), continue up the trail. Headwaters crosses another trail. Turn right on that trail and follow it up to a larger dirt road. Turn to the right and pedal about 40 yards. Where the road bears left, follow the bike tire tracks that descend off the road and to the right. Pedal about 1/4 mile, and climb onto another piece of the same road. Bear right on the road and go straight to the end. The road ends, but the trail continues first as South Side Trail and then as Jack's Route.

If you run into Jack Carpenter (land owner), be sure to thank him for the opportunity to recreate on his property!

Hog Heaven guide corrections/updates
The old Southside trail head (as described in the Hog Heaven Guide, where Southside meets Ridge Rd) was rearranged in the year 2000 by logging activity. There is no longer a trailhead sign or wire fence, but the singletrack is still there. The remainder of the loop is in fine shape, thanks to the MAMBA's efforts to divert water off the trail.

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Triple Crown
posted 06.16.06

Triple Crown consists of three short, interconnected loops off the north side of Ridge Rd near West Twin. Since the writing of the Hog Heaven Guide, each of the three crowns has been affected by logging.

Down one of the Triple Crown Turkey FiltersBegin at Four Corners and head west up Ridge Rd. Ride up toward Paradise Point. After passing the gate on the way to Paradise Point, look for an over grown dirt road descending to the right. This is the entrance to the West Crown. Turkey Filters (huge dirt piles to keep motorized vehicles out) block the entrance, but mountain bikers are allowed to ride there. When you come to a new logging road, temptation is to turn to the first right, but just continue straight on the road (bearing neither left or right) and you’ll be back on singletrack in no time. To head back to Ridge Rd after completing the West Crown, just keep heading uphill and you’ll hit it eventually. If you decide to ride Middle Crown, look for a singletrack descending on the left during the climb back to Ridge Rd.

The Middle Crown starts with a singletrack descent with a small water crossing at the bottom. Currently the water crossing has no bridge across it. The most daring can ride it, but most will opt to dismount and hop across the water though. As you emerge from the singletrack, you will find new logging roads. Turn uphill (to the right) on the main road. If you intend to do the Third Crown, take your first left. If you’re heading back to Ridge Rd, just keep heading uphill.

The Third Crown was logged in 1997 and is just starting to come back. If you’re heading over to North Contour though, or are just looking for a sinister climb, then it’s still worth riding. Take the first left off the uphill road at the end of Middle Crown. About 75 yards later, you’ll come to another intersection of skid roads. Take the one going downhill with a slight curve to it. After a few turns you should find yourself going by an old dwelling. Right about there you start heading uphill again. You’ll pass an outhouse, then will enjoy another 75 yards of uphill. There’s a small turkey filter at the top, making it an extra challenge. There’s another landing/intersection at the top. Take the road that’s on the left and you’ll find yourself on Ridge Rd again about 50 yards from the beginning of North Contour (formerly the upper section of Sand Trail).

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Sand Trail (now North Contour, Cave Trail, and Sand Boulevard)
posted 06.16.06

Hog Heaven guide corrections/updates
Most of Sand Trail was lost due to logging. The majority of the trail was built on some ancient logging roads, and when it was time to harvest again, the trail was lost. However, our favorite part of Sand Trail avoided the chopping block. This is the western-most section (which we now call North Contour Trail) and offers a great singletrack experience for riders of all skill levels. To take North Contour Trail, go about 50 yards past the east exit out of Triple Crown as you head back down Ridge Rd toward Four Corners. There you will find the beginning of North Contour trail which drops off on the left (north) side of Ridge Rd onto a delightful singletrack. North Contour trail remains a great trail for novices to advanced riders with its smooth, swoopy turns.

In place of the lost Sand Trail, MAMBA volunteers have constructed (with landowner permission) a new singletrack parallel to Sand Trail. It is called Cave Trail and was funded by a Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation—Recreational Trails Program Grant. This trail allows you to continue on trials all the way from the end of North Contour back to Four Corners. For directions, see the MAMBA Trails section on this Web site.

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East Ridge Rd (replaced with Wonderpup)
posted 06.13.07

Significant logging has taken place on the east side of Ridge Rd. Several sections of the “Ride 5” doubletrack that connects the old Tamarack Ski Area to Spring Valley Reservoir have been turned into full roads again. The new logging begins appoximately 4.1 miles east of the Tamarack parking area. New logging also took place around mile 6, so the route is passable, but difficult to follow even if you know where it is supposed to go. For an alternative trail in this area, check out Wonderpup.

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North-South Area - Trail Updates

 


Sampson Trail
posted 07.29.04

Near the North-South Divide is a singletrack called East Dennis Trail. It is typically ridden as a loop with Sampson Trail. East Dennis Trail has been closed for the past two years due to logging. Don't waste your time grinding up that steep road (#377). Instead, I'd suggest the following: turn right on Rd 377 (Palouse Divide Rd), cross the highway, continue on 377 to the top of Three Tree Butte Trail 26. Ride Tr 26 back to campground, a wonderful descent.

If there's any good news, it's that East Dennis Trail will be re-routed and rebuilt (but don't count on it until you see it here, or call the USFS in Potlatch to confirm). The new route will start at the same East Dennis trailhead, then angle to downhiller's left of the current route. I'm told that it will join Meadow Creek Rd at Blakes Fork.

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Piah Creek Loop
posted Summer.02

Remember to watch for horses and hikers on this route, especially on blind cornes. Avoid Tr 224 along East Fork Meadow Creek for a day or two after heavy rains.

Several sections of Tr 224 that cross private property between Palouse Divide Rd 377 and East Fork Meadow Creek hve been impacted by logging. Approximately 4.5 miles from the old North-South Ski Bowl the trail will appear to end at a newly-cut logging road. Good luck searching in the hunt-and-peck navigational mode. I suggest taking along a partner who has been there before, as it might be years before the Forest Service reestablishes signs to guide you through.

Here's the description Chris Haagen of Moscow emailed me, detailing the route through the new logging: I don't know if you have ridden Piah Cr. recently, but trail #224 has definately been impacted by logging. After leaving Palouse Divide Rd, there is a nice d/h for about 3/4 mi, which abruptly ends in a skid road. Follow the skid road around several turns until you come to a distinctivve Y in the trail; a high road and a low road. Take the low road. After about 1/4 mi, it rejoins the trail. However, do not celebrate yet! Only 300 yards of trail later you meet the skid track again! Follow the track up to a local summit where it turns sharply to the left and down. The trail is on the right. But wait! The trail again ends in a skid road! Follow the road down to its intersection with a more heavily traveled road. The trail re-enters the forest here and continues uninterrupted back to GWP CG. Despite having never ridden the trail before, a half-hour of route-finding and a bumpy ride later, we got into the really nice single track. I hope this is helpful. Chris Haagen

Ride idea: substitute the Bald Mt Loop for the Piah Cr Loop, especially if you've never ridden Piah Cr before. Or ride up Sampson Trail and down Three Tree Butte.

Three Tree Butte
posted 07.29.04

One of my favorite rides, if the weather has dried out the Sampson Connector, is to park at Giant White Pine and ride up Sampson Trail, then down Three Tree Butte. Distance is about 13 miles. Please watch for hikers on the fast, swoopy descents.

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Bald Mt Loop
posted 07.29.04

The dirt road (Palouse Divide Rd 377) that leads to Bald Mountain is very dusty from mid-summer on, but if you're up for a big ride, Bald Mountain is your ticket. Be forewarned that ATVs have widened the singletrack descent into doubletrack, but the Forest Service assures me that their new off-road policy will eventually restore singletrack on this route.

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Excavation Gulch and Strychnine Ridge
posted Summer.01

Typo Alert! On page 54, in the ride description for Excavation Gulch, the Beason Meadow Tr is number 228, not 224. This error is repeated in the text on page 56. The trail numbers on the map are correct. The error is repeated in the text for the Strychnine Ridge ride on pages 60 and 61. Again, the map is correct. Apologies for any inconveniences such as hypo- or hyperthermia this may have caused. Thanks to the astute reader from Couer dAlene who caught the goof.

Many four-wheelers use Strychnine Ridge Tr 319, so be prepared for an artificially wide and somewhat eroded trail for the the first few miles below Bald Mt Saddle. The bootleg section of the trail (along Strchnine Ridge after Tr 319 ends) varies from excellent condition to semi-overgrown to deeply rutted. Stick to Tr 319 unless you are a experienced and adventurous (and slightly foolish) rider.

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Sand Mountain Trail
posted 05.01.03

The Moose Creek Reservoir end of Sand Mt Tr 330 has been restored (see Ride 11, Option 4). Although it can be dusty after a long dry spell, it is nice enough piece of trail. In recent years, overuse by four-wheelers has turned this entire trail into a double track, but it's still a decent ride.

Watch carefully for the trail head sign; as of early September, 1999 it had fallen over and still not gotten up. I suggest riding the trail from near Moose Creek Reservoir to Sypah Creek (near Laird Park) and back, then swimming in the ponds noted in the guide book.

If you decide to attempt the Sand Mt Trail, write down or print out the following instructions.

One change on Sand Mt Trail since the guide was published involves the steep, overgrown climb through an old clearcut between miles 13.7 and 14.3. At the top of the grunt there was a switchback to the left that led to the Mica Mt junction. The Mica Mt junction has been bypassed by a new section of trail. Instead of switching back to the left, the new trail bears right and traverses/climbs the steep east face of the mountain. These new corners remain unmarked/unsigned as of late Fall, 1998.

Tr 330 has also been obliterated by logging as it crosses Plum Creek Timber land between approximately mile 16.2 and 17.1. The The US Forest Service assured me that signs would be put in place some time in the summer of 1997 to help navigate through the new cuts, but as of the June 2001, the signs were still not posted. Heave a heavy sigh for the slashed recreation budgets of the USFS.

Here's the critical scoop: At mile 16.2, the trail comes to an abrupt end at a logging road. This road descends gradually for about 0.4 mi to a Y-junction of dirt roads. Angle slightly left and descend more steeply for about 0.5 mi to the junction at a saddle of two roads on the left and one on the right. Looking slightly to the right of the line you've been following, notice a narrow double track, more-or-less straight ahead through the slash, that will lead to the continuation of the singletrack on national forest land. The trail then skirts the right side of a high point of the ridge. Eventually it drops past a junction with DeSalto Cr Tr 361. Good luck.

Here's a word to the wise regarding big loops like Sand Mt. Check the guide frequently when approaching a junction. For example, as mapped in the guide, the route begins with 10.2 miles of gravel, then 0.7 mile off-road. At this point you reach a CRITICAL right turn, off Tr 330A onto Tr 330. The problem is that the last bit of the 0.7 mile leading to this CRITICAL junction is lovely, swooping downhill, so people go blazing straight past their turn, thus ending up at Moose Cr Reservoir, or worse yet, Bovil. Nothing against Bovil, but it's about as lovely as its name, and one group reported to me that they ended up there after missing the CRITICAL turn....they finally got back to their car by hitchhiking from Deary.

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McCroskey Park Area - Trail Updates

 


Skyine Drive
posted 05.17.04

Currently there are no updates for this ride. If you have one, email it to: info@bikemoscow.org

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Grass Trail - Mission Mountain
posted 04.01.05

The new trailhead sign at the junction of Skyline Drive and Rd 4716-A reads "Korth Trail", which is an historical name that predates the Grass Trail moniker. For now I will continure to refer to the route by the more widely-known "Grass Trail" designation.

Once upon a time, this was one of our region's premier intermediate bike routes. There is new logging activity (summer 2004) that has turned the western 3 miles of Grass Trail into a wide logging road. Due to the logging activity, the singletrack itself is getting shorter and shorter. It is now a toss up as to whether it is worth the drive. But if you are in the neighborhood, give it a shot. MAMBA plans to help the Idaho State Parks Dept figure out a more sustainable trail system at McCroskey, but it is going to take a few years.

If you ride the Grass Trail/Mission Mountain loop, be aware that there is another change that occured since I wrote the Hog Heaven guide. There is a new section of trail that bypasses the summit of Mission Mt. The bypass was constructed to keep motorcycles out of the picnic area on top of Mission Mt, but the route change affects mountain bikers as well. Appoximately 10.9 miles into the loop, the guide notes that you climb steeeply 0.7 mile to the summit of Mission Mt. This is no longer true. Instead, the trail climbs about 0.2 mile, then bears left (north) on the new, rougher trail and continues to climb less steeply. The total length of the bypass is 0.5 mile. The old route was approximately 0.8 mile, so the entire loop will be about 15.0 miles instead of 15.3.

Minor Typo Alert: Option 2 should read, "Ride out-and-back to Mission Mt FROM Fireplace Picnic Area". Also, there is a beautiful new covered picnic structure at the Fireplace Picnic Area. Let's encourage the Idaho State Parks folks to provide low-key development like the shelter, but NOT to widen Skyline Drive, which would increase RV traffic and reduce the aesthetic qualities that Mr McCroskey envisioned for his park.

Suggestion: despite the fact that I mapped the loop so that you begin by riding the Grass Trail, I've come to realize it's more fun to ride the opposite direction. The opposite direction means you climb for a couple miles on gravel at the start of your ride, but much of the remaining loop feels like rolling or downhill terrain.

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Huckleberry Mountain Loop
posted 07.29.04

The trails I included in this loop are steep motorcycle routes. On the other hand, if you like to climb and have a sense of adventure....

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Bell Loop
posted Summer.01

Since 1995, when I wrote the Hog Heaven Guide, the bell tower has collapsed and the bell is in the duff. The area where the bell used to be has been heavily impacted by logging roads. For example, there are at least two new logging roads that contour across the hill just above and below the bell and the gravestone. The singletrack continues diagonally uphill, but it may be difficult to follow. I no longer ride this loop due to the heavy logging, but it's possible to pedal it all if you have a good sense of direction.

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Loren's Loop
posted Summer.00

Loren's Loop, at the NW corner of McCroskey State Park, was logged in the summer of 1998. If you have a nose for adventure and very steep descents, try it. Otherwise I suggest substituting Grass Trail/Mission Mt Loop.

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Asotin Creek Area - Trail Updates

 


Asotin Creek
posted 05.15.07

Asotin Creek trail, about 30 minutes southwest of Lewiston, is a low elevation singletrack with year-round riding possibilities, though the area is not covered in the Hog Heaven guide. Call Follett's Mt Sports in Lewiston for more information.

The Asotin Creek trail is clear up up to the 6.6 mile mark (except for about a quarter-mile section of single-track where bush branches protrude over the trail in random spots, but still ridable in this section). Trail conditions are peaking now and will continue to be optimum between now and the end of May, after which the brush growth takes off, the heat comes on, and the snakes come out. Creek flow is still up and it is one of the few places to ride where the sound of the wind rushing past your ear competes with the sound of water tumbling over boulders.

NOTE: Fee permit of $10 required for trailhead parking and is good for a year and can be purchased at Asotin Market in downtown Asotin. If no permit, continue on the road for ~0.1 mile and park on the right (just past the cattle crossing).

Directions on how to get there

  1. Take Hiway 12 West to Clarkston.
  2. Turn South on Hiway 129 to Asotin.
  3. Turn right on Baumeister Rd (Asotin Creek Rd) just before crossing the bridge into downtown Asotin.
  4. At mile 3.0 from SH 129 (Cloverland Rd intersection), stay right.
  5. At mile 14.6 from SH 129 (South Form intersection), stay right.
  6. At mile 16.5 from SH 129, left turn into parking lot for trail head.
  7. Go around either side of the Green Gate, cross Lick Creek (running in spring time only) then turn right to begin trail.


Trail details and landmarks

  1. Double track for first 3.9 miles to cattle crossing. Single track begins after cattle crossing.
  2. At 5.4 miles from trail head, old corral on left.
  3. At 6.6 miles from the trail head, arrive at "the meadows".
  4. Trail is not maintained beyond the meadows and not suitable for riding (overgrowth of brush and fallen tress across trail).
  5. Elevation change from Trail Head to Meadows is 800 feet.
  6. Thanks to Scott Jackson and crew of RideOnBikes in Lewiston who are building a ladder and log ride in the single track area.

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