Distance: 22 km
Time: 4 – 6 hrs
Elevation Gain: 1,070 m
Elevation Loss: 1,070 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Extreme
Season: July – August
Permit Required: No
The Keystone Standard Basin trail is the Jekyll to Frisby’s Hyde. Right out of the parking lot the trail hits you with a long slow technical climb through the forest to the treeline. There are plenty of short stinging climbs and rocky maneuvers to challenge all but the experts. Once you reach the alpine the trails relents somewhat to allow you to enjoy your surroundings. There are several ripping descents and great spots to stop and admire the blazing wildflowers and stunning panorama of alpine peaks and glaciers that surround you. Take advantage of these stops, unless you’re lucky, you won’t often see terrain so jaw-droppingly huge and rugged.
The technical crux is a steep set of switchbacks up (or down on the way back) the mountainside. The corners are narrow and committing and a fall would be disastrous this far from help. That said, they can be ridden in both directions, I’ve seen it done and it was an amazing feat of skill. Don’t be ashamed to walk this part.
The ride down to the cabin is a rolling ripping feast for your tires after the long slog to the top. Once at the cabin you can re-apply your insect repellent and enjoy a rest before heading back up what you just rode down.
This trail is an epic. Be prepared to be challenged and be prepared for emergencies. You’re a long way from help once you’re out on this trail.
TRAILHEAD | N51 23.712 W118 21.629
The trailhead is clearly marked on the north side of the parking area. From Revelstoke turn off Hwy 1 and drive north on Hwy 23N (reset your odometer). At 49 km you’ll come across a logging road on the right, keep going for another kilometre. At 50 km turn right (east) on the Keystone FSR, easy to miss, but it is signed Keystone Basin. Drive up the Keystone FSR logging road following the signs – any car can go up this road slowly, but an SUV or truck is recommended. Drive for 16.2 km to end of the road and parking lot. This road is subject to logging traffic, a VHF radio is recommended.
bikepirate rating: 5 Skulls