“I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
– Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
– Distance: ~ 1 mile
– Min/max elev.: 2662’/3173′
– Elev. gain/loss: 63’/-574′
Alice in Wonderland is a multi-use trail that starts at its high end at the White Rabbit TH on Ashland Loop Rd and descends gently (for Ashland trails) to Bandersnatch and later to BTI. The last section–from Bandersnatch to BTI–is bicycles-only. Technically, the trail continues further down to merge with Bandersnatch East near the Ashland Loop Rd, but few people use this section as it is not as compelling as most alternatives. Most users seem to descend Alice, whether hiking, running or riding.
Per historian Jeffery Lalande, the Alice trail is part of the old Lamb Mine wagon road (ca. 1910s) that went up to Lamb Saddle. Embraced by early mountain bikers in the 1980s, the road was overgrown and featured a tunnel through manzanita. Riders were compelled to duck and get very low on their bikes to avoid the overhead branches. It was not uncommon to see a nylon helmet cover hanging from one of these branches, as they were commonly snatched off. The manzanita tunnel conjured an image of descending “down the Rabbit Hole” and from there it was not a great jump to arrive at the name of Alice in Wonderland.
Alice, as this trail is commonly known, became the catalyst for several subsequent trail names advanced by Forest Service recreational specialist, Phil Akerman. These include White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter, March Hare and Cheshire Cat.
As other adjacent trails were built, names were found that fit the Lewis Carroll theme. An IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) project built Caterpillar. A rogue trail builders created Jabberwocky. AWTA-contributed trails in the theme include Bandersnatch, Gryphon, Gyre and Gimble (Lewis Loops), Jubjub, Lizard, Red Queen, and Snark (renamed from BTO). AWTA also added a replacement Jabberwocky in the Ashland Trails Plan and helped fund the construction of this.
Written by Torsten Heycke 05/13/2020