Firebox to Dead Cow to Mike’s Night Out…
This section of trail is is so much fun. Definitely some of my favorite mountain biking in Eagle. The only problem with this ride is that it is way out there. This ride is basically the first half of the “Humper”. Most people will ride up Pipeline or Hard Scrabble Rd and I am sure that there are those that will do this coming in from even tougher routes, but for those that don’t want to spend the day out on the trails and aren’t into all the climbing, you can also drive right up to the Firebox trail head and either get dropped off or leave a car. Of course leaving a car means you have to get back up there to get it.
I prefer to ride up Pipeline aka. 3rd gulch and take a little break right before heading into Firebox. Because of the elevation, these trails aren’t usually dry until early to mid summer and even then there are often muddy sections to watch out for and at least one stream crossing that has water flowing through it year round.
Speaking of water, you need to make sure you carry lots of water on this ride. I am sure that some can do it on a single water bottle, but I would recommend at least two. If you do this in the heat of summer, I would even recommend more. The last time I did it was on a hot fall day and I drank a full bottle just getting up to Firebox. Luckily for me and the guy I climbed up with, our friends were getting shuttled up to Firebox and were bringing up extra water bottles. I wound up drinking three full bottles of water on this ride (not to mention the Gu and Gel Blocks…) If you don’t mind riding with a camel back, this is a good ride to do so on. I have done this ride a few times and both times, at least one of the riders in our group has had mechanical issues. So, having extra tubes and tools is also a good idea as well. It would be a long hike out and not a fun one at all. The good thing about this is that there is a lot of shade once you start the Firebox trail.
Now that I mention a hike, there is a hike-a-bike section on this as well. It isn’t very long, but it is really steep and therefore, a tough one. It is the section right after coming out of Dead Cow and right before the descent of Mike’s Night Out.
Once you start the descent at the top of Mike’s Night Out, it is almost all downhill.