OverviewSimilar to Baldy Pass, this is an excellent hard-core spin involving a big climb and an adrenaline boosting downhill. Doesn't hurt that there are big views of Kananaskis, as well as the prairies towards Calgary.
There is a small section of mandatory hike'n'bike but the trail is otherwise fantastic and access is great. Can be a busy trail on nice weekends. Done in conjunction with Baldy pass makes for a sweet 50+ km day in the saddle.
Trail DescriptionThe trail starts at the easy to locate Barrier Lake parking lot. A short skirt around the lake leads to a steadily graded switchbacked doubletrack. Continue north at the signed junction with Stoney Trail.
Closer to the top the grade sharpens and the legs will feel the burn up several steep pitches. At about 5km the trail becomes unrideable, and an intense scramble with a bike on the back through steep rock gardens is rewarded with the Prairie View, as well as a great view of Barrier lake and Mount Baldy.
Get ready for the drop off the summit...it's steep and loose until treeline is reached...then exchange loose for rooty and continue down a relentlessly rough track. The corners are often very narrow and off-camber.
The trail mellows at around 7.5km, and a 4-way junction is reach. Head south (left) and get ready for technical and fun rock gardens on jewell pass!
Unfortunately the fun has to end sometime, so at 10.5km take a left onto stoney trail and enjoy the lazy spin back to the car. Remember to keep right at the next 2 junctions.
Getting ThereHead 110km down HWY-1 to junction HWY-40. Head south for 10km to well signed Barrier Lake parking lot (on the right). Trail head begins along barrier lake on the gravel doubletrack, the junction to prairie view (left turn) is well signed.
When to BikeAt around 1800m this trail is open from mid June to mid October depending on snow levels. Watch for bears.
1.4 cross powerline
2 cross stoney trail
5.6 begin hike'n'bike
7.6 stay left at 4-way
10.5 stay left on stoney trail
12 stay right
13 stay right