Johnny Behind the Rocks - Lander, Wyoming

Three important things stay away:

  1. I didn't believe it either...until my first Lander 4th...you haven't truly experience the 4th of July until you've done it in Lander.
  2. Sinks Canyon...where did the river go...a yea and 2000 feet of vertical for you MTB Climbers.
  3. Gannett Peak Sports Shop...These guys are super friendly and can keep your bike rolling - road or mtb.

This is around 20 minutes out of Lander.  The first thing you will note is that you have left the ranchland and entered the high plains desert.  You will also notice that red dirt and sandstone.  It is a rugged beauty and you have to spend some time just viewing it.  During the ride, you can still see snow in the nearby mountains but its warm and clean on this ride.

I hit the trail with a bit of test equipment:  Santic Half Finger Gloves, DNM AOY-36RC mtb rear shock, Arsuxeo mtb Shorts, Ordro Bone Collection MP5 Headband Action Camera, and Zeray ZP-108 mtb pedals (compare to Shimano XT M8000 pedals look-wise). The Santic gloves have become my every ride gloves.  They work great whether road or mtb.  I'll keep using that camera as well.  The DNM shock has done well over the last three months of mtb use.

All of the equipment worked very well with one exception.  I had high hopes for the ZP-108 mtb pedal as the Zeray ZP-110 is every bit as good or even better than the Shimano 105 road pedal.  I found the ZP-108 to function ok but it lacked consistency in performance.  One pedal was much harder to get into that the other...sometimes it was sticky getting out.  Definitely not things you want to happen when out on the trails.

It was a refreshing ride.  It didn't have the trail damage you see now in Moab from overuse.  The trails were thin and user traffic was really light.  You are at an elevation of around 5600 feet on this ride.  The fine red soil is pretty tight in most places so you get great traction.  

They have begun trail building with the modern techniques adding complexity to the ride and significantly reducing erosion.  Technically, these trails are moderate so any rider should do fine by adjusting their pace.  The climbs aren't super steep or long but you will get a great workout from them.  

While you ride, you will hear something you don't usually get in the city...silence that makes the birds sound loud.  You can see the snow-capped peaks that are just on the other side of the town.   The sandstone and rugged look of the terrain a definitely another opportunity for viewing as well. It was also an enjoyable find when I came upon a waterfall mid-ride.

Yes, there are more technical rides but it is hard to be the enjoyability level on this set of trails.  If you are all about the climb, just head over to Sinks Canyon and climb you shall!  If you just want to hike, well Johnny Behind the Rocks will take care of you.

At the end of your ride, head over the Lander Brewing Company for a great beer and burger...you will have earned it!

 

Daniel Mason
Daniel Mason

After spending a career working in corporate America, primarily in insurance and telecommunications, I decided to move into a more entrepreneurial role. There is something to be said for creating something new and having the freedom that comes with taking that chance!


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