From the southern Old Post trailhead, head uphill / north climbing steadily up loose rock and rock ledges on an old road (real old) past the Ramshead trail and the Herkenheimer trail to the Carroll Canyon trail on your right – here, you will be faced with a short but burly set of loose steps which may require help depending on trail moisture – it’s steep – it soon evens out, you need to watch out at one point to not fall into the canyon on your right, careful here.
A few tight squeezes later, you will come to a serious dropoff – perhaps 10′ in 10′ down stacked rocks – it’s easily done with a spotter making sure to keep your wheels straight.
Shortly after, you will turn right again at a well-used trail junction onto Ridge Trail, and start to climb for a good spell, with a good to extreme dropoff on your right the whole way – a couple spots you will DEFINITELY want a spot, even with spindly trees to grab in a few places, passing Sketch trail on your right and eventually topping off with an excellent view of the area.
Now, you will descend a pucker-worthy series of rock dropoffs with a medium danger of rolling off to your right, but traction is excellent.
Pass a non-marked trail that joins at a 90* angle, keeping straight, eventually hitting an old dirt road, where you will again, go right until you soon hit a good dirt road, now going left to the top of the hill, keeping your eye out for a sign marked “Secret Slickrock” – take this trail to the slickrock, taking in the view after a few goodly drops in the 1.5′ range, and, after reaching the rock you take a general right / north aspect looking for a trail cleared of black rocks across the red stone, skipping the right turn, swooping around with much fun, and then crossing the same dirt road you did to SS but going straight across it onto the Rams-head trail, which will return you to Old Post trail, where you will turn left to your vehicle.
Takes me 3.5 hours of hard pedaling.
Trail Name: Carroll Canyon Loop
Type: Narrow trail (< 30"), Start and end at the same point (Loop)
Rating: Adaptive Level 08
Length: 5.5 miles
Steepest Section: Difficult – over 30º
Most Off-Camber Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, lengthy loose sections
Obstacles: Deep ruts and erosion, Brush and/or other growth, Baby heads and/or rock gardens, Ravines, drop-ins, Drops, ledges, jumps
Help Needed? Yes, a little
Even more info: Forest Service
Directions to Trailhead
Follow directions provided by map link, trail is described as starting from the southern most trailhead at the southern terminus of the Old Post Trail as this starts you climbing, which there is lots of, and you finish downhill to the car.