Distance: 18.5 km
Time: 3 – 5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 823 m
Elevation Loss: 1,061 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: July – September
Permit Required: No
Jumpingpound Ridge Trail to Cox Hill Trail is an epic x-country ride with incredible 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains. Located in the Sibbald Area of Kananaskis Country, this ride has it all; loads of switchbacks, amazing singletrack, awesome alpine ridge riding and some incredible descents. This route may be ridden as a loop or as a half loop, when setting up a retrieval vehicle. To set-up your retrieval, drop a vehicle at Dawson Recreational Area. Pile into a second vehicle and drive south on Powderface Trail about 17 kilometres to the Jumpingpound Ridge south trailhead. Begin your ride up Jumpingpound Ridge Trail returning to Dawnson Recreational Area via Cox Hill Trail. Once back at Dawson, send your drivers back down to Jumpingpound Ridge south trailhead to retrieve your vehicle(s).
Jumpingpound Ridge is an incredible alpine ridge ride that starts with a long and steady climb, consisting of switchbacks and some gnarly technical sections. Once you reach the top of the climb, you will pop out of the woods and ride the ridge over to the start of the Cox Hill Trail heading right (north) at the well-marked junction. The start of Cox Hill begins with a short and fast descent before you begin climbing. A few steep and narrow switchbacks take you back up to the alpine. Follow the ridge to the summit of Cox Hill. Enjoy the scenery once you reach the summit; grab a lunch, hydrate, and get ready to start the fast and technical descent back down to the Dawson parking lot.
TRAILHEAD | N50 54.915 W114 55.078
Begin this ride by parking at Dawson Recreation Area and riding 17 km south along Powderface Trail to Jumpingpound Ridge south trailhead. From there take Jumpingpound Ridge north over to Cox Hill, returning to Dawson Recreational Area via Cox Hill Trail.
N50 54.915 W114 55.078 (Trailhead)
N51 01.387 W114 52.917 (Dawson)
bikepirate rating: 5 Skulls
There are several options to ride these trails. One can ride Jumpingpound Ridge Trail or Cox Hill Trail separately. Or, when combined, as indicated on this trail page, the two trails make for an epic ride. I’ve listed a few options for those looking to shorten their ride or try something new.
Option 1: Jumpingpound Ridge Trail to Cox Hill Trail is best ridden south to north, starting at the Jumpingpound Ridge trailhead. One can leave a retrieval vehicle at the Dawson Recreational Area or park at Dawson and pedal 17 km on the Powderface Trail dirt road to the trailhead. We prefer leaving a vehicle, but this is entirely your call. Ride Jumpingpound Ridge over to Cox Hill and descend down to the Dawson Recreation Area parking.
Option 2: Start at the south Jumpingpound Ridge trailhead, traverse the ridge, and instead of continuing on to Cox Hill, opt out by taking a left turn at the trail junction (well marked) down Jumpingpound Ridge Trail. If you plan on taking this option, I would recommend parking your vehicle at the Jumpingpound Ridge north trailhead – 7.5 km south of Dawson Rec Area.
Option 3: Start your ride at the Jumpingpound Summit Trail. The trailhead is around 14.5 km south of Dawson Recreational Area and is identified by a small pull out on the west side of Powderface Trail. The trailhead is on the eastside – you’ll see a faint trail heading into the woods. From there ride the trail to the Ridge and continue across to Cox Hill.