Distance: 1.6 km
Time: 10 – 25 min
Elevation Gain: 1 m
Elevation Loss: 290 m

Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: April – November
Permit Required: No

GPS (GPX): click here
Google Earth: click here
PVTA: click here

Rusty Trombone is a relatively new trail located in the Mackenzie Area. Rated advanced, this fun and flowy singletrack is accessed via a closed 4WD road found about 4.2 km up the Mackenzie FSR. It also may be descended to via Gravatron or Gravatrout – make sure to take a left at the end of these trails and ride about 20 m to the trailhead for Rusty Trombone. The trailhead is not signed. However, the trail entrance is well worn and there are cairns marking the starting point. The trail begins with a low angle traverse that gradually gets steeper, as you begin your descent. There are several sections of rock slabs to tackle along the trail’s route and many will push even the more advanced rider. Several of these are very committing and a good challenge to ride. A few of the sections in particular are worth noting. The first is a challenging and very creative step-up, which launches the rider up a short steep rock slab. This took a big imagination and some great foresight on the trail builder’s part. Incorporate such a fun move to get up and over an obstacle that would normally require a short burst of energy and finesse to climb, deserves a mention and my compliments go to the builder for their creativity. Further down the trail there is a steep techy slab, broken in two pieces and ending with a small drop onto a loose and steep run out. One wrong move and you’ll be going over the bars on this one. If you’re not sure, take the ride-around option to the right. The last section to note is more than half-way down the trail and includes a steep and narrow rock line to a lose 90 degree corner. The corner is followed by a fast and sketchy run out, lined with several large roots requiring the rider to air/drop the roots in order to avoid an endo. Make sure to walk the line before committing on your first lap down. The trail eventually meets up with Overnight Sensation for the last 100 m, before spitting out onto the 4WD road below.

Rusty Trombone flows relatively well once you master the few committing tech moves thrown in to keep you honest. After riding Rusty Trombone for your first time, you’ll want to ride it again in order to properly link all the sections for one big roller coaster ride. To ride this trail clean will require a skilled and experienced rider.

TRAILHEAD | N50 20.507 W122 46.341

Access to Rusty Trombone is near the end of Gravatron/Gravatrout. Once you finish your Gravatron/Gravatrour descent and exit onto the access road, turn left and pedal for less than 100 m to the trailhead for Rusty’s.

Alternatively, ride up the Mackenzie FSR from the gravel pit for 4.2 km until you get to the well-defined pull-off (fork). Take the pull-off, right fork, and pedal along the 4WD access road for another 1.2 km to the trailhead for Rusty Trombone. The trailhead is located on your right and marked with cairns. You will pedal pass the trailhead for Overnight Sensation and the ending to Gravatron/Gravatrout, before coming to the trailhead for Rusty Trombone.

bikepirate rating: 3 Skulls