Distance: 2.4 km
Time: 25 – 45 min
Elevation Gain: 2 m
Elevation Loss: 528 m

Technical Rating: Expert
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: April – October
Permit Required: No

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Completed in 2013, Cloudbase Grind is a relatively new trail located in the Mackenzie Area. It was built as an up track by the local paragliders to access the first launch site and is universally considered a hiking trail. Cloudbase refers to the space paraglider pilots try get to when soaring. It’s the highest one can normally get (there are exceptions) where the lift usually stops, the layer on which the clouds lay. Renamed Cloudbase Grind from Cloudbase 9, by Nigel the man behind the trail to better describe the hike up, Cloudbase is also a great mountain bike descent. When built it was envisioned that mountain bikers would eventually also ride down it. This is why bermed corners and sections with armouring have been put in place, to allow for bikes to descend this trail. Please watch out for and be respectful of hikers heading up hill when descending down the trail.

Access to Cloudbase Grind is via the north end of Let it Go, when beginning your ride from the paragliding launch site. It may be shuttled if you’re taking a big bike down it or ridden to, climbing Nimby up to Let it Go. A downhill bike will serve you well on this trail, but an all-mountain bike with 6″ of travel will do for the more experienced rider. This is an expert run (double black) with several rock gardens that run along narrow ledges. Expect steep switchbacks and fall line descents (straight down) that shoot you into well bermed corners. Bring a spare tube, or two, as there are several sections of loose rock beds complete with jagged and pointy rocks ideal for flatting. The trail was built to take advantage of the landscape and made to snake down along interesting natural rock features. Bermed switchbacks are put in place at the right spots to help manage your speed on some of the very loose and steep sections. There are several amazing viewpoints found along the trail, and a number of exposed areas. If you’re not comfortable with exposure, consider walking the sections that give you the willies. This is a great ride for the accomplished rider and another awesome addition to the trails found in the Mackenzie Area.

TRAILHEAD | N50 21.070 W122 47.897

Access to Cloudbase Grind is via Let it Go. Take the Mackenzie FSR from the gravel pit or Reid Road to the first (main) paragliding launch site. From there begin your ride down Let it Go which begins on the south end of the parking lot. Ride for about 120 m and look for the Cloudbase Grind trailhead to your right. The trailhead sign is easy to spot, but the ink on the sign has faded making it harder to read the trail name.

bikepirate rating: 3 Skulls