Monday, July 16, 2012

Doumont Rd. to Moriarty Lake and Nanaimo River Rd.

FINALLY, we did it!  We managed to punch through to Moriarty Lake and Nanaimo River Road from the north.  We tried this a few weeks ago when there was still snow up in the nose bleed region, (1015m).  This time, the ridge we were climbing to the east of Mount Moriarty was clear all the way, (sweltering hot actually), and we were able to ride right over the top at 1090m (3576ft).

Here's the route in brief:


1.  Started at Doumont Rd. entrance to logging roads
2.  Turned right at the intersection NW of Boomerang Lk. onto Branch 142
3.  Left onto 155 main
4.  Turned left off of 155 towards mountain ridge NE of Moriarty Mountain onto 155N
5.  Passed "snow" waypoint
6.  Turned right onto key trail linking the northern logging roads to the southern roads (thanks Google E).  There's a nasty downhill section full of young alders shortly after this location. 
7.  Right turn to Moriarty Lake
8.  Lunch at the lake shore
9.  Descent towards Nanaimo River Rd. on Branch G
10.  Nearly went to 4th Lake... oops.  (I've been staring at this route for too long).
11.  NO GUARD at the gate on Nanaimo River Rd.  Their schedule is extremely odd!
12.  Turned left to follow the lower Blackjack Ridge route back to Doumont
13.  Doumont Rd.

Plenty of dust out there today.  The logging trucks were working and we had a few of them blast past us doing 9 869 862 km/h, leaving us confused and dazed in a cloud of thick dust.  The bikes were kicking up plenty too, measurable by the layers of dirt up my sinuses.

The ride up the ridge, (a left off of 155 Main), was noticeably different from the last time we came this way:  The dryer weather and some wear from quads and bikes have loosened dirt and rocks making the road surface quite a bit looser than we both remembered it.  It was pretty easy going, only the wheel had a tendency to spin out more times than last.  It's a great climb up there...  I love how Moriarty Mountain opens up on your right as you get higher.  The weather was so good today; it would have been a good day to bring my decent camera.  Hindsight is 20/20...  I was stuck with only my GPS pics again.

We reached the end of the road as planned and explored the "brownish key trail" we have both been spying on Google Earth, (item 6 above).  Part of me thought this was going to be a complete waste of time and I thought we were in for a line of dead branches and stumps that only appeared to be a trail from satellite.  I was delightfully surprised!

A big log marks the entrance on the right, which starts about 120 yds before the end of the road.  This short joiner trail is about 100 yds long.

It was a good quad/bike trail and had obviously been carved into place by riders who were doing exactly what we were doing;  looking for a route to the lakes and Nanaimo River Road.  i.e. Getting access to the Nanaimo Lakes area even when the logging gates are closed.  (Of course, this is completely legitimate, otherwise there would be signs posted to prevent it).

We made it through with little trouble.  Occasional ditches have been strategically placed to make access more difficult than a straight trail, but these ditches are more of a mild nuisance than a trail stopper.  We continued downward through a series of these ditches, perhaps four or five.

After descending a fair way we reached a "T."  From here you can turn right to Moriarty or left to Nanaimo River Road and Fourth Lake.  Time was an issue today and we decided on saving the " check Fourth Lake gate" ride for another time.  (Note, Aug 31/12:  We've discovered there is no gate.  Hahaha). We began to climb once more and than started to descend towards Moriarty Lake.  There are terrific views of Moriarty Lake and a couple of other no-name lakes as you crest the round road leading to the lake.  We stopped at a large "tank trap" at the end of the road and decided to walk the remaining 170yd four iron shot to the lake.  Ahhhh, lunchtime at the lake.

Moriarty's Lake Shore

We rode the circle road once again and arrived back at the "T" intersection.  Continuing straight we rode a steady and quite lengthy descent down to Nanaimo River Road.  From here we continued along the less-than-exciting N. R. Rd. back towards more familiar logging roads and zipped straight through the unguarded open gate.  This annoys me!  They stopped us a week ago when we attempted to ride through here and turned us back with fully loaded bikes, forcing us to ride the #1 highway down to Cowichan Lake.  Today, they decide that it's okay to leave the open gate unattended.  Who's writing their rule book?

A quick left turn took us back onto more familiar roads.  We rode the lower Blackjack Ridge road back past Boomerang Lake and followed the tank traps back to Doumont.

What an outstanding ride today!  Finally, we conquered Moriarty Lake and we found a way through to Nanaimo River Road and beyond.  :)  It might be a bit of a struggle going the other way, although it looks quite do-able.  We'll see. 

Quad riders:  We need you guys to ride between location 6 and 7 to help stop those alders coming through the road!  :)


  1. Readers, there is now an easier way through to Moriarty Lake...See Post for Monday, September 15th, 2014..."Northwest Bay to Moriarty Lake"

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Please Leave a Comment: