Recommended from north to south. If done from the south, the climb from Slate Mountain trailhead is loose and rocky and largely very steep.
From the north, be sure to stay to the left at junction with Gibson Mountain doubletrack, then stay left again after trees to hit more moderate singletrack instead of loose, steep dirt-bike trail. Near the ridge, stay right to head to the top, then contour around on singletrack to the left above some rocky cliffs.
If you're linking with West Fork
or Corral Creek
, you can catch a singletrack connector on the south side of the bridge (heads west across road) that connects to Valve House
. After running the Valve House
connector, turn right at the doubletrack junction to head towards the road and West Fork
Also, a small turnoff toward southwest (West Fork
-Slate Connector, turn right if coming from Gibson Jack
TH) on the east side of Slate Mountain will link you to West Fork
climb. I like running this segment to link up to the end of the West Fork
climb, to Elk Meadows, and down Gibson Jack