Being Canada's outdoor recreation capital, Squamish is home to hundreds of mountain bike trails that stretch out over many different areas. If you are biking in Squamish, odds are good that you have heard of Half Nelson, because this is one of those trails that is great fun for riders of all levels.
Situated at the base of Round Mountain just below Garibaldi Park is the Diamond Head Trail system. An amazing array of trails, woodwork, jumps, bumps, and burms. Most of the trails have been built by riders and volunteers, but Half Nelson was the first to get government funding. Planning was done, machines were brought in, and what came out was pure fun.
The trail up to the top was built for climbing: it is a tough ride in some run out steep sections, but it is not too technical. A few sharp switchbacks and a nice view make for an enjoyable climbing alternative to the road. As the top flattens out you'll connect to upper Half Nelson. This trail is fast and has rollers that can be doubles with high speed and high banked steep burms that can shot you into the next set of bumps and burms like a giant pumptrack when hit full out. The smiles don't stop as you continue down the perfectly shaped track, and at the mid-section is a set of table top jumps that are smooth as silk.
Right after the table tops is an intersection with the climbing trail. Head back up half of the way to the Full Nelson Trailhead and enjoy the same style of riding that is a little less steep and equally as fun. Less than 770 meters long, Full Nelson is a short but sweet ride that will loop you back out to Half Nelson. The bottom of Half Nelson runs a bit faster and steeper, but by this point you have become more comfortable with the trail and you can let the bike run.
The trail ends back at the parking area. From here you can climb to more trails, descend to more trails, or call it a day. But you will be calling it a great day after finishing this Half Nelson and Full Nelson loop.