Distance: 3.3 km
Time: 20 – 45 min
Elevation Gain: 14 m
Elevation Loss: 542 m
Technical Rating: Expert
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: May – October
Permit Required: No
Located in the Mackenzie Area, Stimulus is one of the longest descending trails. This is an expert run that uses the natural landscape found in Pemberton to the fullest. The route begins a few hundred metres from the first paragliding launch pad and is accessed via Let it Go. Look for the well-marked trailhead just after the Cloudbase 9 turnoff. The trail begins innocently enough, traversing the side slope before dropping into the first steep and rocky line. Expect a plethora of technical sections down loose rock and dirt, along with very steep sections of slabs onto tricky ride-outs. About a third of the way down the trail you will pop out onto an old access road. Keep descending down it for about 500 m before connecting back up with the Stimulus singletrack, found to rider’s left. The trail access is well marked and hard to miss. From there the trail will roll up and down along the rocky terrain, popping in and out of the trees. Several sections of rock slabs and steep loose lines will follow. The great thing about Stimulus is that it offers up several amazing viewpoints along its route, that is if you take a minute to stop to take it all in.
In my opinion Stimulus is a soft expert run, better suited to an all-mountain bike than a downhill rig due to the long ride back to civilization from where the trail spits out. Don’t get me wrong, it has loads of steep and technical sections along its route, but it is less intense and full-on when compared with some of the other expert runs found in the area; Cop Killer for example is a much more intense and sustained ride. Use Stimulus as a warm up to the expert runs found here or as a great loop to ride all the way in from town.
Stimulus ends on the Mackenzie Basin Loop trail and is an easy, yet long pedal out – make sure to pedal east towards town from the exit of the trail. On a hot day, be sure to bring plenty of water. Shuttling the trail is not recommended, although it can be done, but still requires a bit of pedaling back from it. This is a great all-mountain ride that is best combined with the climbing trails in the area for an action packed 4 – 5 hour loop.
TRAILHEAD | N50 20.994 W122 47.859
The most direct access is via the Mackenzie FSR. From the gravel pit located at the end of Pemberton Farm Road E., ride or drive 5.5 km up the Mackenzie FSR until you reach the first paragliding launch site. From the launch site take Let it Go for less than 200 m to the well-marked trailhead for Stimulus; just past the Cloudbase 9 trailhead. Alternatively, climb Happy Trail to Nimby to Let it Go to access the trailhead for Stimulus.
bikepirate rating: 5 Skulls
Choose to shuttle Stimulus by driving up the Mackenzie FSR to the first launch pad. Ride from there along Let it Go for a few hundred metres to the marked trailhead. For those riding up, you can also ride the FSR or, choose to climb up Nimby to Let it Go. This route is much more enjoyable, but also more tiring as Nimby and Let it Go switchback heavily, extending the climb by a few kilometres. Again, be sure to carry plenty of water on a hot day.