Moscow Mountain Area - Trail Updates
There are many new gates on Moscow Mountain that were not present when the 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)
Ridge Rd follows the spine of Moscow Mountain from the Foothill Rd—Pond 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.
It 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 by vandals. A replacement gate has been erected farther east, between Paradise Point and West Twin. There are also 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.
Southside Trail (now South Side Trail & Jack's Route)
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.
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.
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.
Begin 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 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 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. 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).
Sand Trail (now North Contour, Cave Trail, and Sand Boulevard)
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) 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 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.
East Ridge Rd (replaced with Wonderpup)
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. Logging begins appoximately 4.1 miles east of the Tamarack parking area. 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.