Distance: 8.1 km
Time: 1 – 2 hrs
Elevation Gain: 644 m
Elevation Loss: 796 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: May – October
Permit Required: No
K&S is best ridden south to north following the route of the old Kaslo and Sandon Railway. The trail maintains a constant elevation for most of its length. There are a few technical sections where the railbed has slid, or a creek has washed out a bridge. These aren’t overly challenging and when we last rode the trail organizers of the Kaslo Sufferfest were working hard to re-build the washed out sections and to repair the damaged bridges. The work done to maintain this trail by the organizers is very much appreciated.
What makes the K&S so great is that it passes several relics of the mining boom. There is an old mine site right on the trail where the entrance is still intact. It’s is a great spot to sneak a peek into the shack at its entrance, but be warned the mine itself is potentially very dangerous and you should not enter it under any circumstance. The trail continues on and there are great views of the Viola Mac mine as well as the remains of the Payne Concentrator where the ore from the Payne mine was concentrated; here you’ll find some great views of the flank of Idaho Peak. From here the trail climbs gradually until right before the Payne bluffs where it splits. The left fork goes down to Three Forks and Highway 31A and the right is an out and back to the bluffs. This intersection is clearly marked. You can bike part way to the bluffs, but a rockfall will force you to walk the last section. The side trip to the bluffs is worth taking, it’s a short out and back and you’ll be amazed at how they built that railroad. The remaining ride down to Three Forks is a series of steep switchbacks and a couple of rutted fall line sections. A couple of these have had switchbacks built around them, which are great to ride. – I believe this has been done because the Sufferfest will force riders to ride up the trail and across to Sandon. This is not the recommended route as the climb up from Three Forks would be difficult. – Three Forks is now a ghost town, with few remnants of the town that once stood there; one house and an interpretive sign detailing the K&S Railway is all that remain.
TRAILHEAD | N49 58.546 W117 13.513
Take Hwy 31A from New Denver east to Sandon Road. Exit south onto Sandon Road and drive 6 km to the trailhead located on the north side of the road. The trailhead is clearly marked and visible from Sandon Road.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
K&S may be linked up with Galena, or Old Sandon Road, to get from Sandon to New Denver. The CP trail, apparently located right across the 31A, is hard to find. Bob, who lives in the only house at Three Forks said that riders ask him where it is all the time. He doesn’t know and can’t find it either. We will be back next year to try and fin the hidden CP trail for followers of bikepirate.