Distance: 4 km
Time: 30 min – 1 hr
Elevation Gain: 63 m
Elevation Loss: 523 m

Technical Rating: Expert
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: June – October
Permit Required: No

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Google Earth: click here
WORCA: click here

Raw, chunky, burly, gnarly, steep, loose and full on, are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind when describing this vicious trail. Truly the Gargamel to most rider’s Smurf. This is not a big bike trail, although at times you’ll be wishing you had extra travel when attacking the myriad of insane moves that end with dire consequences if not executed precisely. For a trail that mainly descends, there are still plenty of climbs to be had. The trail begins with a technical climb up several roots and rocks before dropping elevation quickly towards another climb that takes you up a long log ride raised a few feet of the ground. What follows next are some dicey, high consequence drops, rolls and steep unrelenting chutes. As you near the halfway point the thick forest thins and you’ll pop out onto several rock crops, which wind their way across and down some stiff slab moves. These loose rocky and very sick lines will have you pondering your own mortality. If you have time to breath, take in the incredible surroundings and the views, found along several spots of the trail. The trail ends on Section 102, from where you can ride Section 102 north (left) to loop back to the Sixteen Mile Creek FSR (Cougar Mtn. Rd.) or finish your ride by exiting on Section 102 (right) down towards Emerald.

Gargamel is a full on old school line that will require a set of expert skills, gusto and nerve, along with a good trail bike and armour. Come prepared and ride it with friends as this remote trail will take most expert riders a while to get down. Access to the trail is found at the end of Kaoli’s access road. Climb the Sixteen Mile Creek FSR (Cougar Mtn. Rd.), you may shuttle this road if you wish, and take your first left just before the Zip Line Adventure Tours parking area. Continue up the road, keeping left at the spurs, until you get to the final fork – right at the fork is marked with no public access beyond this point – from here ride left up the rarely used doubletrack. If you’re shuttling, this is your drop spot as you will have to continue on bike from here. Climb the left spur, keeping left at the next spur and finally right at the final spur until the trail turns to singletrack – this is Gargamel and pretty straightforward from here all the way to the bottom.

TRAILHEAD | N50 10.701 W122 57.510

Climb up Sixteen Mile Creek FSR and take the first left. Another left at Kaoli’s and it should be straight forward from here – keep left for majority of the way up – the final spur is right. Gargamel starts at the end of the doubletrack and is not signed.

bikepirate rating: 3 Skulls