Monday, December 14, 2020

tevis trail adventures



trail access, closed to cars right now, win!
I know some riders have been competing in the virtual Tevis challenge, so here are some recent pictures of part of the real thing! I've ridden most of the Tevis trail, some lots (river crossing to finish) and some only once (during sweep riding). I had somehow never ridden the short three-mile section from Francisco's to the Poverty Bar river crossing!

oak watches over the trail

Probably because there is a two-mile downhill gravel road to get there, Driver's Flat. During the actual ride you don't go that way (unless you get pulled, then you get a nice trailer ride back), but on a recent Sunday I decided to check it out. Be prepared for too many photos!

Major will tell you, two miles down is a long way to be dragged to your death. Sigh, he is really quite awful at being led downhill, but I did not need to ride when I could easily walk (though he disagreed). I did take a detour and headed down the river road towards Ford's Bar. I'd done this a couple times before, but had forgotten it is a mostly level, pretty uninteresting (except for the views) gravel/rock road. A couple miles down I turned around, Major thought that was a grand idea!

canyon in shadow

scary rapids with portage trail
heading to Francisco's
Back on the Tevis trail in the correct direction, we headed up the hill into Francisco's. A lovely little meadow that on ride day most folks will only see in the dark! On the opposite side of the meadow is the trail out, which is switchbacks of rocks, fun! But short, then back onto the wider road, where you shortly take a tiny turn-off for Western States Trail.

up to Francisco's

the quiet Francisco's meadow

all trails lead to fun!

tiny sign shows Western States Trail
This single-track trail is so lovely! I'm sad most folks only ride it in the dark, because the views are awesome. Major got highly annoyed as I kept taking photos and making him stop. But pretty views, historical foundation rock walls, and even a cool old car were too hard to pass up.

river trail is so pretty

also had the trail all to myself all day

past evidence of ride/run

on the right trail…

mining device/house/something foundation

target practice on this awesome vintage turquoise car
The river crossing looks simple, but it is dangerous except when the river is lowered for Tevis (cold water, swift currents). Right in front of us looks peaceful, but was easily six feet deep water, straight off the bank! On the ride day they have a very safe crossing.

just around the bend

river waiting

river crossing, looking across to the opposite side trail (with can-we-go-now ears)

I'm done, go home now?
I promised Major no photos on the way back, so he could move out. But did remind him we had a big hill coming and to take it easy…

looking back downriver
When we got back to the road Major thought he was all that and more. So I let him trot up a bit…he's not in bad shape after we've done some hill riding recently, but that two miles was tough! When we slowed to a walk I was able to snag a nice branch from a bay tree, yum! I got off the last half mile and we just walked in.

never ending road

bonus bay leaf!
What a fun adventure! It was so lovely, a bit chilly but nice in the sun, Major and I both enjoyed our adventure. Best part: my trailer smelled like bay leaf instead of old saddle pad horse sweat, win! 

hay, mash, water, a good return


  1. What a great ride and nice to explore this area. I loved the photos!

  2. What a great ride and I loved the photos!

  3. I did not get to see this part of the trail on my Tevis journey last year so it was nice to see pictures here. Maybe some day... your post makes it look doable.

    1. Yes, so sad you didn’t get to ride this part. This part is doable, but it’s at night with tired people and horses, still must be tough. Really, in sections, it’s all doable (though the first canyon, with swinging bridge, is a doozy!). The whole thing in one 100-mike day, I’ll leave that to others!

  4. i could not see the portage trail. it looked like a bunch of rocks? 🤣

    1. Well, it is just rocks, though there are a couple steps you can see! It is about 1/3 of the way up the photo, on the bottom edge of the river as seen in the photo (river right). I’ve rafted this section (portaging here of course) tough going!

    2. Yes, it is just rocks, with some steps! It is in the lower one third of the photo, just below the river (river right, as looking downstream).