OverviewA relatively quick hard-core spin for the gravity minded XC rider that wants a big climb before one of the best downhills in the Kananaskis! Often done as an after-work ride by Calgary locals due to the easy access and awesome downhill.
An easy grade climb on logging roads turns into a steep and technical singletrack climb near the pass. Then check your brakes...it's time to drop-in! A steep scree slope is followed by kilometers of steep, narrow, nearly always off-camber and relentlessly rocky singletrack with plenty of opportunity for air and showing off technical skills. The ride ends with a pleasing screamer through a creek wash, and finally a gentle and extremely scenic spin on paved road back to the car.
Trail DescriptionThe trail starts out innocently on easy logging roads. It's easy to become depressed while meandering through clear cuts...but that's why the trail has access so let's find a balance! After about 8km, the trail turns into a singletrack and ascends sharply upwards, often on technical rocks and roots. Only a few will clean every line on this one!
At the pass, enjoy the views and a snack, check the tightness of all the bolts and pivots on the bike...and drop-in! A screaming steep, loose scree slope reaches the bottom of a saddle.
From the saddle, a quick left turn leads onto a narrow, off camber rocky rooty mess of a singletrack through the woods. This is riding the way it should be! Beware of mild exposure; a fall here is gonna hurt.
The track is relentless. Expert riders will enjoy gaining as much speed as possible, while advanced riders will challenge each other on the steep sections. Beginner riders should try a different trail...
After some big photogenic rock moves, the trail changes into a fast, relatively smooth bobsled run through a creek wash, with occasional "freeride" sections where the trail has washed away. Watch for the junction at the bottom of the wash; stay RIGHT! Finally time to exit onto the highway (turn RIGHT) for a short but scenic spin past Barrier lake back to the car.
Getting ThereFollow HWY-1 from Calgary for 100km to the junction with HWY-40. turn south for about 10km until the well-signed junction with University of Calgary Field Center. Park in the research center parking lot, and find the signed trailhead on the Northwest of the parking lot. At about 1.2km turn right, then again right at 5km and then 8km, this time onto a singletrack. The pass is at about 10.5km.
When to BikeThe pass is generally snow-free from mid-june to mid-october. watch for logging activity and their large trucks.
1.2 turn right at junction
some messed up logging roads, follow signs until singletrack on right (approx 8-9km)
10.5 baldy pass
14 keep right
14.5 hwy junction, turn right