OverviewA world class ride, especially during flower season. Big alpine meadow climbs and technical descents along with some stunning ridgeline singletrack. Plan for 5+ hours to enjoy the flowered meadows and great views of the Alberta front range, from 2 good summits.
Either done as a loop by adding 16km of gravel road, or as a car shuttle between the north/south trailheads.
Trail DescriptionNice as a point-point (the road is dusty and often busy!), the ride begins at the south Dawson trailhead. After about 1km, stay left at the junction. The trail turns sharply up with often technical climbing and some good quality switchbacks.
Patience and the granny gear will reward you with some nice alpine meadow climbing towards Jumpingpound summit (2200m). Be careful not to descend at the tempting junction at 5.8km, stay right! At the top is a nice look at the Kananaskis front range as well as Moose Mtn. and even the praries. If the flowers are in bloom the meadows are wonderful The next destination of Cox Hill can be seen to the north.
Next drop off the summit and turn right down jumpingpound ridge for some sublime ridgeline singletrack. After a couple km, check your brakes for a steep, technical but short downhill into the saddle between Cox and Jumpingpound. Stay right at the 9.5km junction.
Now get legs and lungs ready! The Cox hill ascent is a steep, sometimes rough grind through exposed (but beautiful) alpine meadow. On a hot day, this climb can demoralize...but the payoff is worth it!
Enjoy the views and a snack, then drop off the summit north towards the Dawson north trailhead. The descent off the ridge is mildly exposed and moderately technical. Watch for the multiple tight, scree covered switchbacks....Drop into a steep roller coaster until winding your way through forest trail at the bottom towards your car, wishing it would never end.
Getting ThereWest of Calgary on HWY 1, about 70km to HWY 40 junction. HWY 40 south until junction with HWY 68, turn East and drive 14km to junction with Powderface Trail (gravel rd.) Drive south for 3km to Dawson creek north parking lot. either park car and ride, or take shuttle vehicle another 17km down the road to Canyon creek parking lot (small turnoff at switchback).
Begin singletrack towards canyon creek, but take left junction at 1km.
When to BikeLate June to early October, depending on snow levels and bear activity.
***This is a serious backcountry trail, a long ways away from help! please be prepared for anything!***
Mileage0 south trailhead
1 turn left at junction
5.8 keep right at junction
6.3 JP summit (keep right on descent)
9.5 turn right to cox hill
13 cox hill summit
19.5 keep left at junction