Distance: 1.6 km
Time: 15 – 30 min
Elevation Gain: 57 m
Elevation Loss: 98 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: May – October
Permit Required: No
Big Kahuna is a technical wizard’s delight. It is located in the Emerald No Flow Zone and will challenge even the more experienced technical rider with its rocks, boulders, slabs and roots. Advanced to expert riders that enjoy riding “old school” style of trails, involving a plethora and a variety of tech moves, will love the challenge this trail offers. Those who are looking for something a little smoother should consider riding in another area; it is the “no flow zone” for a reason.
Big Kahuna is best ridden west to east towards the Emerald Estates residential area. Combine it with Delineator and Shit Happens to form a formidable 2 – 3 hour loop. Access to Big Kahuna is via Shit Happens. For the most part there is very little elevation gain along this trail. The climbing is done leading up to it from Shit Happens. The trail traverses an incredible rocky and rooty landscape, offering up the rider some amazing viewpoints. There is a lot of rock on this trail, just saying. From boulders to jagged and sharp rock, this trail will keep you on your toes. Bring a spare tube as flatting in this area should come as no surprise. About halfway down the trail there are two very cool and long rock slabs that are a highlight of this trail. The first section rolls into a short wheelie drop and the second is slightly of camber, making the descent tricky when wet. Both can be ridden around, if you’re uncomfortable committing to these faces.
TRAILHEAD | N50 09.412 W122 56.760
Access to Big Kahuna is via Shit Happens when accessing the trail from the northwest end – the suggested way to ride it. You can ride it in the opposite direction for added challenge, but northwest to southwest is the better option. The trailhead is well-marked and located after the switchbacking climb up Shit Happens, about 2.3 km from Alpine. Ride Delineator from the end of Valley Drive to Shit Happens and climb Shit Happens – passing five turn offs/trailheads – before coming up on Big Kahuna.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
There are two great ways to loop Big Kahuna. The first is by accessing it from the residential area of Alpine Meadows. From the east end (dead end) of Valley Drive by riding the Delineator Trail across to Shit Happens. Delineator Trail now connects to Shit Happens since the Rainbow residential development split up the Shit Happens trail. Once on Shit Happens, pedal 750 m north along the trail to the trailhead for Big Kahuna. Take Big Kahuna to the access road and turn left (up) the access road to connect back up with Shit Happens. The trailhead for Shit Happens is found at the first fork, heading northwest (left). Continue along Shit Happens, descending back down to Delineator. Take Delineator back out to Valley Drive.
The second option is to start and end at Emerald Estates from Emerald Drive. Begin by riding up Emerald Drive and turning on to the access road (yellow gate) about halfway down the street. Take the access road up (north) to the start of Shit Happens (look for the fork and turn left). Follow Shit Happens northwest, eventually descending south to Big Kahuna. Take a left (east) on to Big Kahuna and ride it back to the access road. Turn right on the access road which spits you back out on Emerald Drive.