Check it out Distance: 10 miles Difficulty: Moderate Riding time: 1-1/2 - 3 hours Season: April through November
Maps: USGS Pacific Lake, Sullivan Lake, plus recreation map available from U.S. Bureau of Land Management Info: BLM, Spokane District, 536-1200
Mountain biking trip notes
Access: From the junction of state highways 21 and 28 in Odessa, drive north toward Wilbur on Highway 21. Go 2-3/4 miles and turn west on gravel road. (Look for small “wildlife route” sign featuring binoculars). Drive 5-1/8 miles on gravel road to Lakeview Ranch. Caretaker house on right of road; parking area on left next to shop buildings.
Attractions: Loop trip through sweet-smelling sagebrush country, past secluded ponds, and in and out of shallow scabland coulees. Route follows dirt roads varying from easy to somewhat challenging; smooth to rocky and rough. Minor elevation gain, but enough rolling hills for good workout. Good chance of seeing wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, hawks, waterfowl.
Comments: Best time is spring, when scabland wildflowers bloom, landscape’s green and water fills potholes. Country is hot and dry in summer, when riders should be pedaling around sunrise for cool temps and best chance to see wildlife. Area used by hunters in fall. Bring plenty of water.
First few miles of trip wind through area of effective sagebrush eradication completed before BLM acquired ranch and adjoining property totaling 6,700 acres in 1991 and 1992. (About same time, BLM also acquired block of 5,000 acres just west of Odessa, including portions of Crab Creek.)
Route then leads into native, shoulder-high sage on roads that wind through curious basalt outcroppings and around seasonal ponds.
From parking area, pedal north on graveled Lincoln County road 1/2 mile and turn left through gate on first well-used road. Bear right at first fork.
At 3 miles, go through fence gate and turn left. Just short of 4-1/2 miles, turn right. (Although bikers can continue straight to explore road that’s closed to motorized use.)
At 6 miles, route comes to another junction: turn right.
At 6-2/3 miles, turn left through fence you came through earlier (at 3 miles into trip).
At 7-1/4 miles, bear right at fork.
At 7-2/3 miles, bear left at fork. From here, ride 2-1/8 miles back to starting point at ranch.
Note that road passes right along several potholes. In spring, or after heavy rainfall, route will be muddy at best and perhaps underwater. Riders may have to walk bikes through rocks to get around water without causing damage to land.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map of area
The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN - Routes: Classic Trips in the Inland Northwest