Yes, 3 miles, but the back story makes this ticket, in my mind, fucked up.
We had a rider continue on once he reached the top of the very difficult climb. The ranger on his way down this climb ran into me and relayed that a rider kept going. We discussed we now had a safety issue since we were going to turn around but the rider didn't know that. He had never been on this trail before and was not familiar with this area. He'd said someone should go get him. I said ok but I'm not going alone as that isn't safe either so 2 other riders came with me cause we couldn't let the 3rd rider continue back down as we didn't know what the group at the bottom had done. So the 3 of us went after the solo rider and as we came to the closed section hadn't caught up to him yet. We felt the safety concern obviously still existed, the illegal trail does not go into a wilderness area, the rangers were just riding it clearing downed trees for the mountain bikers so we said safety concern was a higher priority so we continued on. Mr. Ranger noticing we didn't come back the way we came decided to go wait for us to come out the other side and give us a ticket for disobeying his order of not riding the illegal trail. I said WTF? We discussed this. Of course this wasn't the ranger we discussed this with but be said be talked to his partner and his partner expected us to go get our solo rider and come back. Well, we hadn't reached him yet. What were we supposed to fucking do. Say the safety concern no longer existed because we happened to reach the illegal section? That's just fucked up.
Ps - I don't know if you can tell but I am still pissed and will be making some phone calls and emails today