Distance: 9.1 km
Time: 1 – 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 332 m
Elevation Loss: 334 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: June – October
Permit Required: No
February 21, 2016 update: The Northeast end of the G8 Loop is now closed, near the quarry. The mining operations have expanded in the area, encrouching on the trail and making this section of the trail impassible. Danger tape is up, a small area has been logged and work is ongoing in the area – please stay out. You can still ride this trail as an out-and-back, but no longer as a loop. Rumor has it that the company conducting the work in the area will eventually rebuild this section of trail, but this has not been confirmed.
The Horseshoe Loop and G8 Loop are an intermediate cross country ride; they are rooty in sections, with a few steep climbs. Both trails are singletrack with a few small features thrown in for good measure. The two loops combined take less than two hours to ride, which make them the ideal choice for an after-work spin. Expect some great views of the surrounding mountains and the valley below once you pop out of the trees on the G8 Loop. I’ve combined these routes into one larger loop, as my preference is to ride them both during one outing. They may be ridden separately for those looking to get out for a short spin.
Accessing the G8 may be done via the 1A or via the Horseshoe Loop. My recommendation is combining the two loops, starting with the Horseshoe Loop, to get the most from your ride.
There are a number of small intertwining trails on both the Horseshoe and G8 Loops that may cause confusion to newcomers. Trail markers do exist, but are sparse. Stop by the local bike shops for beta on the best loops, follow the suggested loop highlighted on the map or get out and create your own loop by combining the maze of trails found in this area.
Please note that the G8 Loop is closed between December 1 and May 15. Please respect this closure and do not ride the trail during this time.
The Horseshoe and G8 Trails are multi-use and frequented by equestrians, runners and hikers. Please ride with care, give right-of-way to horses and respect other trail users also out to enjoy this beautiful area.
A few locals also refer to the Horseshoe Loop as the Blue Loop because of the blue trail markings along the route. The trails are usually ridden in one shot, but may be ridden separately – both trails have their own trailhead. There are a number of small intertwining trails on both the Horseshoe and G8 Loops that may cause confusion to newcomers. Trail markers do exist, but are sparse. Stop by the local bike shops for beta on the best loops or get out and create your own loop by combining the maze of trails found in this area. I recommend purchasing our iPhone or Android app which highlights the main loop in the area and displays your location while riding, using your phone’s GPS.
TRAILHEAD | N51 05.375 W115 19.339
Park at the Cougar Creek parking lot, rebuilt since the June 2013 floods. Cross the creek and begin your ride up the dirt pathway located on the east side of Cougar Creek. The path hugs the creek bed until it reaches the Horseshoe Loop trailhead. Enter the woods straight ahead and keep left at the first fork to access the suggested Horseshoe Loop; riding straight at the fork also provides access to the network and is typically ridden by those who know the area well.
N51 05.192 W115 19.636 (Parking)
N51 05.375 W115 19.339 (Horseshoe)
N51 04.850 W115 18.146 (G8)
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls