I have ridden some incredible trails in Canada, and find myself returning to Golden, British Columbia. Golden offers fast and flowy jumps and drops or rock slabs and steeps, all within 10 minutes from town. This is my list of trails for a fully packed day.
It begins with my Kona Process 153 and a 14-kilometer climb up the logging road to the top of Mount 7. This is not an extreme climb; however, it is long and can take a round out of your legs. A bonus: catching the sun coming over the Rockies, splashing onto the Purcells. This climb is followed by one of the rowdiest trails in the history of downhill, Dead Dog. Not for the faint of heart, this run played a major part in the legendary Red Bull Psychosis race, the longest, fastest and steepest mountain bike race in the world at the time. A steep shale face followed by steep dropping berms and trees…you get the picture. This trail is fast and steep!
Up next, Kicking Horse Mountain resort with my Kona Operator. Kicking Horse is world renowned for its gnarly terrain and unforgiving nature, making it my favorite mountain. What better way to start a bike park day then a few hot laps on Swamp Donkey, Kicking Horses version of Whistlers A-line. Swamp Donkey is a machine made flow-style jump line that can send you into the stratosphere. It is easy to spend an entire day riding the Donkey, but that would mean you would miss the rest!
As the day winds down I end my bike park day with a technical double whammy, late afternoon brake checks on Stick Rock, and LYM. Stick Rock is fairly self-explanatory: rocks, slabs, roots, skinnies, wood features, and STEEP. I wasn't joking when I said brake check; without them you are going to end up in the rhubarb. Be warned, Stick Rock is as gnarly as a double black can get with no easy way down, or out. This leads straight into LYM, which is a classic skinny wood track that is high up in the trees. At no point do you touch the ground as you duck, dip, dive, and dodge the loamy lumbering trees.
The Kicking Horse gondola closes around 4:30 p.m., which brings us to our last lift for the day and a bike change. Onward and upward with my Kona Process 165 to ride one of the most scenic ridge tops in Canada, the T4 Trail. Starting from Terminator 2 at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, the route makes its way across the incredible peaks and ridges down to T4. This is a hike-a-bike trail, that will put an experienced rider to the test. Littered with raw exposure, it is not for those afraid of heights. This trail is unsanctioned, so be aware and ride at your own risk. Additionally, this leads into LSD, a black singletrack that brings you from the stunning ridge views back to the steep and fast world of two-wheeled smiles.
All of these trails have things in common: jumps, skinnies, log rides, steep sections, drops, wood features and rock slabs stretching from high alpine to loamy forested areas. Riding in Golden never gets old, especially with great views. After a full day of riding, there are patios in town to hang your helmet and view the mountains you just shredded. Who said après was reserved for skiing?