Distance: 8.6 km
Time: 46 min – 1.5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 457 m
Elevation Loss: 747 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: May – October
Permit Required: No
From its western trailhead in New Denver the Old Sandon Road traverses the flank of Idaho Peak climbing slowly towards its eastern trailhead on the H-Road. It parallels Carpenter Creek on its south side. The trail is more technically challenging than the Galena, which runs along the north side of Carpenter Creek. They meet the H-Road within a few hundred metres of each other; however, the Galena trailhead is located a short ride up the 31A. The Old Sandon Road can be accessed directly from town, although it starts out as a gravel road before turning to singletrack.
When riding west on Old Sandon Road to New Denver, the trailhead is located on the H-Road just out of Three Forks. The trail starts with a pleasant and relatively short, low-angle climb through the forest. Expect to find a number of narrow bridges crossing small creeks and a few wet sections, but the trail is generally wide and shady. After about 500 metres the trail starts to roller coaster up and down for about 5 kilometers before starting its descent into New Denver. This trail is more technical than the Galena partly because it’s a bit more physically demanding because of its rolling profile but mostly because there are a few exposed sections of trail along Old Sandon that are cut into steep slopes and can be tricky to navigate for less experienced riders or those with vertigo. If you were to fall, it would be difficult to get back up the slope and gain the trail. The good news is that these sections have seen some improvement over the last few years and are wider than they’ve been in the past, making them easier and safer to ride. As you approach New Denver the trail will get faster and more direct before popping out onto a logging road that you will follow down to town.
Old Sandon includes super fun sections with small jumps and bermed corners. The trail may be ridden in either direction if you’re up for the task and are looking for something a little more challenging than the Galena, which is a beginner ride for all ages.
TRAILHEAD | N50 00.570 W117 16.857 (EAST)
East access: To access Old Sandon Road from the east, use H-Road as your connector. The trailhead is a clear fork in the H-Road trail if you’re riding west.
West access (from town): The trailhead is located on the east side of Hwy 6 just south of the bridge over Carpenter Creek. There is a clear parking area within sight of the creek. To help orient yourself, Mountainberry Foods, (also a gas station) lies on the west side of Hwy 6, on the north side of the bridge.
N50 00.570 W117 16.857 (East Access)
N49 59.304 W117 22.320 (West Access)
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls