| Jolly Esmeralda

Please read the Rules. This is an unsupported route. You need to be self-sufficient and are solely responsible for your actions.

This backcountry loop near the wilderness of the Cascades has terrific views and fun, yet challenging, trails. You’ll warm up by climbing 2700 ft. on a quiet gravel road to the Sasse Mountain trail.  This trail turns into the Jolly Mountain trail, which you’ll ride up to Jolly Mountain. While views along the way will have been nice up to this point, the sweeping 360º view from the top is truly magnificent. From there, you’ll go back down a bit and connect via the Jolly Creek trail (be very careful in the beginning!) and Middlefork Tenaway trail to the Esmeralda Peak loop. The Esmeralda loop by itself is reason enough for many mountain bikers to come to the area. The singletrack climb up to the Esmeralda ridge is a lot of fun: at times techy, at times steep, but rideable and a small creek is never far away should you be getting thirsty. After cresting the Esmeralda Ridge, you’ll have to concentrate on the steep and slippery downhill trail – while the awesome views will be a serious distraction. Afterwards, the Fortune Creek gravel road awaits you with its HAB sections. After that it’s almost all downhill and you’ll loose 2000 ft. on the Boulder de Roux single track, a 3.5 mile moto-trail that goes through a scree slope at the end. To finish the loop, it’s back to the Start/Finish along a couple fast gravel roads.

View of Mt. Stuart (far back), Esmeralda and Gallagher Head (beyond the first ridgeline) from the Jolly Mountain trail.

View of Mt. Stuart (far back), Esmeralda and Gallagher Head (beyond the first ridgeline) from the Jolly Mountain trail.


Saturday, 23 July, 2016, 9 am
Anticipated finishing times: 7-11 hours


Start/Finish is at a parking lot off NF-4315, near where it intersects with the Salmon La Sac Road. Parking requires a NW Forest Pass.

Jolly Esmeralda start / finish.

Jolly Esmeralda start / finish.


40 miles (22 miles single track), 9,000 ft. el., Ride with GPS link to gpx track file:
– Go on Export, then select TCS, GPX, or KML file format.
– No warranty, express or implied, use at your own discretion.
– Test that the file loaded correctly on your GPS device before attempting to ride.
– Do not rely solely on the track file. Bring maps and know how to use them.

  • Climb gravel road NF-4315 to the intersection with Sasse Mountain trail
  • Continue uphill (north) on Sasse Mountain trail, which turns into Jolly Mountain trail
  • Ride up to Jolly Mountain! Enjoy the view, take pictures, ride back down to the saddle with Jolly Creek trail.
  • Carefully get on Jolly Creek trail
  • Walk your bike the first 0.1 mile – it is !exposed! One wrong step and you are going down 100’s of ft.
  • Ride down Jolly Creek trail to the intersection with the Middle Fork Teanaway trail
  • Take the Middle Fork Teanaway trail north until you come to the Deroux Spur trail.
  • Take a right at Deroux Spur trail going east over the ridge, and down to the De Roux campground. You may encounter hikers and horses here. Be courteous. Let them pass.
  • Take the dirt road down to the North Fork Teanaway Rd., then take a left and head north (up) on North Fork Teanaway Rd.
  • Ride the Esmeralda Basin trail up to the Esmeralda Ridge. Enjoy the amazing views.
  • Carefully follow the faint trail down to the west. Switchbacks are on slippery and steep slope!
  • Take Fortune Creek trail (a 4×4 road) south and over the pass, past Gallagher Head Lake.
  • Continue on Fortune Creek trail to Boulder De Roux trail – a dirtbike trail
  • Boulder De Roux trail has long downhill sections and a couple? water crossings. Towards the end, the trail crosses a large scree field.
  • Boulder De Roux dumps you on a dirt road
  • From there, you head down, stay left on NF-221, and then take a left on Cle Elum Valley Rd. back to the start/finish.
Jolly Esmeralda overview.

Jolly Esmeralda overview.

Elevation profile.

Elevation profile: just under 9,000 ft. of climbing.

Water / resupply points

There are many water sources along this route. The first reliable is probably the Middle Fork Teanaway river. Somewhat before that, there may be some water running in the Jolly creek at a trail crossing. Going up Esmeralda, you’ll cross a few tiny creeks that feed the North Fork Teanaway river. Beyond that, the South Fork Fortune Creek and the Big Boulder Creek provide water en-route.

No food or other supplies are along the route.

Bring some food, beverages and folding chairs for a post-ride gathering in the parking lot (the start/finish).


By signing up for a ride you are acknowledging that you are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with this activity, and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Washington Endurance Series website maintainers against any and all liability arising from your participation in the activities.

If you have questions, use the comment field below.

No more than 74 people may ride according to the National Forest Service regulations.

As of 17 July 2016, 4 people are signed up. Please register only once. The only confirmation that you will get will be the message “Thanks, your response has been recorded.” You will not get a link to see who else is signed up. You will also not get an emailed confirmation. If you need to make changes, fill out the form again and edit your Action.

5 responses to “| Jolly Esmeralda

  1. Pingback: Jolly Mtn. and Esmeralda Peaks | 2wheeltrails

  2. Superb weather & views, yesterday. Love this route. With the burn ban (and chain saw ban) in effect, there were several trees down on the lower section of the Jolly Creek trail and 19 trees down on the first mile going up the Middle Fork trail. All were pretty easy to step over.

  3. Pingback: Jolly Esmeralda endurance ride | 2wheeltrails

  4. If one were to buy a map of this area, what is it called?


  5. Pingback: Jolly Esmeralda, No. 4 | 2wheeltrails

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