“The West Loop is a progressively steeper trail that passes large trees and a beautiful ravine.”
— Eric Ashley
What a rush! Going down you better be quick on the toes and you'll need to keep the arms churning on the way up. Your reward is the old growth forest at the bottom. The ground is pretty clear and stable except for the root section near the top. By then, the steadily increasing grades will be clearly felt by your legs, so the slow-down probably won't be unwelcome.
The bottom of West Loop starts at an opening in the trees at the intersection with Up Quick
and the Darvill Trail
. The trail heads west and soon enters an open forest with large trees spaced about, including several maples. As it continues to traverse, it wraps around the base of a massive Douglas fir (perhaps the largest in the park).
Where the trail begins heading northward, large ferns envelop the narrow singletrack as it meanders uphill. Ahead, a small turn nestled in a clearing makes a nice spot to pause before following the trail as it parallels a ravine on an increasingly steeper grade. Higher up, the West Loop skirts the edge, providing a good resting point and views down into the fern-covered drainage.
The final stage of the ascent opens with a punchy and rooty section followed by a steep grade that will make you glad to see the intersection ahead where the West Loop, Julieann Trail
, Bonnie and Clyde's
, and Fred's Trail