Distance: 10.5 km (Cedar to Canyon)
Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 244 m
Elevation Loss: 428 m
Technical Rating: Int. – Advanced
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: June – October
Permit Required: No
This is a must-ride flowy and fast XC/downhill trail in Golden! Start with a 5.5 km climb on Talus Creek FSR followed by 5 km of downhill on a mixture of single track and old wagon road. You are riding down along the edge of Canyon Creek (a 200m deep canyon). The views are absolutely stunning and there are lots of natural, fun features to look for on the descent. Please watch for exposed trail on the canyon edge and the goats that like to frequent the trail. This trail ends at the end of Canyon Creek Road in Nicholson. You will need to park a vehicle at the trailhead there or find a suitable route back through the Moonrakers to your car at Cedar Lake.
Bug spray is usually not needed on Canyon Creek as there’s enough of a breeze on the canyon edge to take an enjoyable, bug-free break.
Canyon Creek is 10.5 km; however, when riding back to the Cedar Lake Trailhead, expect about 17km of riding in total. Options for this trail are listed below.
TRAILHEAD | N51 13.998 W116 55.698
The Cedar Lake Trailhead may be accessed via the <a href=”http://www.bikepirate.com/x-country-trails/cbt-mainline/”> CBT Mainline</a> or by driving 6.5 km up Kicking Horse Trail Road to the Moonraker Trailhead and parking area. Detailed trailhead info, plus options are found below the photos.
N51 15.954 W116 59.242 (Cedar Lake)
N51 13.998 W116 55.698 (Canyon Creek)
bikepirate rating: 5 Skulls
Detailed trailhead description
To Cedar Lake Trailhead: Access to the Moonrakers via bike is on the CBT Mainline Trail, which starts immediately left after crossing the Columbia River Bridge on the Kicking Horse Trail Road (ski hill road). Or drive 6.5 km up Kicking Horse Trail Road, turning left on to the Cedar Lake Road and travelling 2 km. Once you arrive at the Y take the left branch and you will immediately see the Moonraker trailhead parking area; washrooms are available. The road to the trailhead at Sander Lake (via Nicholson) is now closed to biking related vehicle traffic until further notice; however, washroom facilities are available for use. There is also a trailhead (no services) parking lot on the right at the end of Canyon Creek Road at the bottom of the Canyon Creek Trail.
Cedar Lake Trailhead to Canyon Creek Trail: Ride up the Talus Creek FSR (doubletrack fire road). At 2.1 km Y intersection stay straight. At 3.9 km Y intersection continue straight (look for sign). Once you reach 4.7 km cross the new power line cut and continue right up the old doubletrack (not the gated power line access road). At 5.0 km a sign tells you to continue going, and at 5.5 km you will approach a clearing on the doubletrack – the singletrack begins after a sharp left in the clearing and there’s a year round wet section to navigate through. At 6.5 km stay left into a short up to the first incredible viewpoint. The descent that follows is nice and flowy – enjoy, but be careful on the exposed edges! Immediately following the new power line cut is a section including 3 VERY tight swithchbacks. It is recommended to stop, turn your bike 180o, and continue riding, unless you are very skilled. At 9 km you can take Bear Claw/Moonraker/Klahowya back into the Moonrakers and head towards Cedar Lake. If not, at 10 km take the wide singletrack on the right (signed with a black diamond and arrow) for a VERY steep descent (final 50m) to the finish. Finish- Canyon Creek Trailhead (parking lot on the right at the end of Canyon Creek Rd).
This trail provides you with a couple of options:
1. Park at Cedar Lake, ride Canyon Creek to the bottom to a second vehicle parked there.
2. Park at Cedar Lake, ride Canyon Creek 9 km to the intersection with Bear Claw/Moonraker/Klahowya and ride back through the Moonrakers.
3. Drop down to Canyon Creek Trailhead and head back up to the aforementioned junction just to say you did the whole trail.
4. The expert workout: Park at Canyon Creek Trailhead ride up Canyon Creek to the top (5 km one way) and then down again. It’s quite a push to get your bike up the first 50 m, but pretty much ride-able the rest of the way.