Distance: 1.9 km
Time: 25 min – 1hr
Elevation Gain: 208 m
Elevation Loss: 26 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: May – October
Permit Required: No
Skelula7 from the cell tower to the start of Jack the Ripper (JTR) is one spectacular pedal. Also referred to as the Owl Connector trail (old maps), this trail is a fun technical climb located in the Mackenzie Area. Its primary use is to access the gnarly Jack the Ripper trail, although it can be taken all the way to Owl Creek Trail if you’re looking for an epic backcountry ride. The trail itself may be a short pedal up to JTR, but depending on how you get to it, it makes for a very long day in the saddle; especially since you still have Jack the Ripper to ride.
Skelula7 is an advanced singletrack located just north of the cell tower (top of Mackenzie FSR), and one that ascends for 1.9 km to the JTR trailhead. Expect a full on technical climb up Skelula7, one that weaves in and out of the trees to begin with before continuing to ascend a ridge littered with techy slab moves. There are plenty of tight switchbacking corners that will keep your heart rate up and some great views to stop at and take in. Doing so is a great excuse to help bring the heart rate back down.
Access to Skelula7 is directly behind (north) the cell tower at the northeast end of the Mackenzie FSR. You can shuttle to the cell tower or pedal up Middle Earth from the first launch pad if you want to extend your ride and avoid having to shuttle the extremely rough and decommissioned FSR. Skelula7 is typically ridden as one part of a combination of trails by those looking to complete a long and challenging backcountry ride in the Mackenzie Area. A shorter route that will take most riders about 3 – 5 hours to complete is Middle Earth > Skelula7 > Jack the Ripper. This is a point-to-point ride and requires leaving a shuttle near the bottom of Reid Road where this ride ends.
TRAILHEAD | N50 21.334 W122 46.673
Direct access to Skelula7 is via the Mackenzie FSR. Please note that the Mackenzie FSR is a decommissioned access road, meaning it sees no maintenance and can be extremely rough. Small vehicles will not get up it. Drive up the Mackenzie FSR from the gravel pit towards the first launch site, about 5.3 km up the road. At the 5.3 km mark, before the first launch site, take a right at the fork to continue on up the roughest section of road (yes it gets worse) or park to pedal up Middle Earth. Continue on up Mackenzie FSR until the well-defined pull-off and fork, 3.8 km up from the first launch site. Park or continue to drive straight (right) to the cell tower less than 1 km ahead. Once you arrive at the cell tower, look for Skelula7 trailhead to the left (north) of the cell tower heading up. Gravatron and Gravatrour are to your right (south) of the cell tower.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls