Super fun rock features on Mt. Hillyer make the fire road climb worth it.
Starting at the southernmost point in the loop, head north-west on 3N14
. You'll take this road past parking lots, past a fire station, then it turns to dirt and you'll keep going. The climb is very gradual so you can blast through this section. Keep going until you'll all the way around to the North side of Hillyer, Alder saddle, where you meet another paved road. Take a right here, head up a little ways and take the first trail you see on the right.
This trail climbs through a burned-out section, watch out for the Poodle-Dog bush, then steepens to climb a stupidly-steep wall. After this, it gets good. You roll through a meadow and quickly reach the highest point. The downhill into Horse flats campground is high quality fun: fast and flowy sections mix with technical rock features to keep you our of your saddle and smiling. Watch out for hikers and the rock climbers as some bouldering problems are right next to the trail.
Too soon, you'll reach the campground and the junction with Silver Moccasin trail. Take Silver Moccasin south which is another quality section, with flow around bermed corners, tight switchbacks, and lots of waterbar steps.
You'll come out onto 3N21, which you can immediately turn right and do the loop again, or continue on Silver Moccasin another mile or so to 3N14
, where you started.
Some sections have significant damage from station fire, watch out for fallen burned out trees and poodle-dog bush.