jayjaywalker wrote:Has anyone been on the NCT from Freesoil to Udell? Worth doing?
The section named "Bullwacker" Is fan-freaking-tastic (ride it CCW).
I 2nd this
There is a long freaky fast downhill with a surprising 90 degree'ish left hand turn at the bottom that'll sneak up on ya
Trail map link:http://mmba.org/library/maps/bigm/bigm_drg_8x11.pdf
There is also a fun downhill (starting at the steps to the base of Udell Lookout Tower) if you ride CW on "The Firetower" trail off the Sky Pilot which is also part of the outer loop.
More options and tips for Big M.....
From the north basecamp as I described in above post, there are a number of options to ride from there.
Option 1: NCT south out and back
Option 2: Shanty Boy-Road Monkey-Sky Pilot-Bullwacker-Corkpine-Lumberjack-Bindle Stiff-Gabriel's Horn-back @ base camp. When you are on the east side by the Lumberjack trail, you can add more mileage by tapping into the interior trails like Camp 24, Big Wheel, Oh Me II, Double Bit, Catamount. Just be aware that there are a lot of climbs on these interior hills.
Option 3: NCT south to Sky Pilot-The Firetower-Barber Chair-right on Oh Me II, right on Double Bit, right on Catamount, left on Bullwacker-Corkpine-Lumberjack-Bindle Stiff-Gabriel's Horn-back @ base camp
I've sometimes camped off a 2 track just before you get to the Big M main parking lot (the 2 track that parallels Lumberjack) on the east side of Big M. Just depends on the mosquito population since you are close to a swampy area. The north basecamp sometimes has a lot of ticks I have noticed so pick your poison
The north basecamp has water (handpump) nearby at the NCT M-55 trailhead (and a rustic pit toilet), the east basecamp does not have water close by but it does have a "nicer" pit toilet at the Big M main parking lot if you like a throne to take care of business. If you camp on the east side, you are much closer to the interior trails so if you don't have a lot of time or if you want to go out for a "short ride", the trails are "right there".