MERA: North Knob -> Dead Bull -> Snag Trail Moto Loop

Singletrack gems on the moto legal side of MERA.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
16 km
Ascent
499 m
Descent
499 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
MERA: North Knob -> Dead Bull -> Snag Trail Moto Loop Map

The Mount Emily Recreation Area is split into two halves: the motorized half and the non-motorized half. However, there’s no reason that non-motorized bikes can’t venture onto the moto-legal half of the trail system. In fact, the dirt bike trails on the western side of the mountain offer some incredible routes for mountain biking!

Description

The loop mapped here is one of two short, recommended loops for mountain biking on the moto side of the mountain. Both of the loops begin high up in the national forest on Fox Hill Road. Ride both of them in a big figure-8 for a decent-length mountain bike ride, or, for a truly big day in the mountains, ride up from the non-motorized side of the mountain, down the moto side, then back up and over to where you began.

The route mapped here runs to the top of the North Knob and descends Dead Bull to the Fenceline Trail, and finishes on the Snag Trail. Fenceline is a gem of a trail, with stunning views of the valley below and a couple of entertaining rock drops and techy features. These may be the most technical rock features in the entire Mount Emily Recreation Area, but they still aren’t enough to earn this ride a “Severe” difficulty rating.

The Snag Trail is a true singletrack gem! The trees open up into alpine meadows, affording beautiful views of endless rolling mountains covered in pine trees. There’s no sign of civilization—it feels like you’re in the middle of absolutely nowhere. And that’s not far from the truth.

In general, it’s incredible how great of shape these dirt bike trails are in. The trail tread isn’t eroded at all, making for delightful pedaling both up and down the mountain. Yes, there are a few steep climbs that might be no problem on the motos that prove more challenging on the mountain bike, but that's all part of the game.

Savor these sweet, hidden, loamy singletrack trails—you might not see another living soul!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area