With a reprieve from one of the smokiest summers ever in the Pacific Northwest, I finally make my introductory trip to the high alpine of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains to ride the Little-Big Boulder Loop. The route skirts one of the newest wilderness areas of the United States, beginning at the East Fork of the Salmon River near the Livingston Mill, climbing to 9,500’ along Red Ridge, and descending the “chundery” trail along the Boulder Chain Lakes Creek.

An upward slough towards Livingston Mine. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
An upward slough towards Livingston Mine.
 
The Livingston Mill was in full swing. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
The Livingston Mill was in full swing.
 
Simple, vibrant colors in the forest. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Simple, vibrant colors in the forest.
 
Fall colors. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Fall colors.
 
A nice bridge - I was happy to not have to ford this creek. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
A nice bridge - I was happy to not have to ford this creek.
 
Near the top, a small lake was nearly evaporated. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Near the top, a small lake was nearly evaporated.
 
One of the newest Wilderness signs in the county. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
One of the newest Wilderness signs in the county.
 
At 9,000+ feet, I was taking plenty of breathers. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
At 9,000+ feet, I was taking plenty of breathers.
 
 - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
 
 - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
 
 - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
 
Looking down on Frog Lake from Red Ridge - a long way to go! - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Looking down on Frog Lake from Red Ridge - a long way to go!
 
Finally at the pass. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Finally at the pass.
 
Taking a breather with peak's 11,202 and 11,818 in the distance. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Taking a breather with peak's 11,202 and 11,818 in the distance.
 
The trail leading down from Red Ridge featured plenty of chunder. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
The trail leading down from Red Ridge featured plenty of chunder.
 
Looking back up Red Ridge, with Frog Lake in the distance. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Looking back up Red Ridge, with Frog Lake in the distance.
 
Peaks 11,202 and 11,818 above typical White Cloud sagebrush. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Peaks 11,202 and 11,818 above typical White Cloud sagebrush.
 
A stop at Willow Lake allowed me to refill water. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
A stop at Willow Lake allowed me to refill water.
 
Entering a meadow near the Little Boulder Creek. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Entering a meadow near the Little Boulder Creek.
 
Beautiful, mature forest. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Beautiful, mature forest.
 
Fall colors peaking through on Red Ridge. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Fall colors peaking through on Red Ridge.
 
Twisty switchbacks and fall colors. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Twisty switchbacks and fall colors.
 
Autumn in the White Clouds. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Autumn in the White Clouds.
 
Beautiful afternoon light, with Merriam Peak nearly hidden behind the forest. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Beautiful afternoon light, with Merriam Peak nearly hidden behind the forest.
 
Cliché fall photo. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Cliché fall photo.
 
Nearing the end of the major descent, it was mostly flat riding from here. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Nearing the end of the major descent, it was mostly flat riding from here.
 
Looking back at the ridge I rode down. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Looking back at the ridge I rode down.
 
 - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
 
 - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
 
Leaving the forest, and the landscape drastically changes. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Leaving the forest, and the landscape drastically changes.
 
Fin! - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Fin!
 
Rock features along the East Fork of the Salmon. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Rock features along the East Fork of the Salmon.
 
Autumn in full swing along the East Fork of the Salmon. - Big-Little Boulder Loop MTB
Autumn in full swing along the East Fork of the Salmon.
 

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