Distance: 2.7 km
Time: 15 min – 45 min
Elevation Gain: 48 m
Elevation Loss: 240 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: July – September
Permit Required: No
Sundowner trail is located on the Idaho Peak road about 9 km from the ghost town of Sandon. The trail begins with a good climb up on to a ridge before descending along the ridge. As soon as the descent starts, the trail forks; the left fork may appear and feel steeper at first, but it is the easier option to take because while the the right fork starts off pretty mellow, the last section is a rather steep and challenging roll down over some roots to where the forks converge. The two options are only a few hundred metres long so it doesn’t matter which one you take. A bit further down the trail you will emerge onto an old roadbed. Turn left and follow this road into a meadow offering lovely views of the surrounding mountains.
The meadow section has a series of jumps built alongside the main trail. The jump line snakes from right to left, and while the first ones are pretty small, the last few jumps are a bit large so check them out before you hit them. Please be warned that this section isn’t regularly maintained and may not be in the best of shape. After the last jump the trail continues through the meadow as the brush closes in on either side. Before long you’ll hit another fork in the trail; the main trail goes left towards the Alamo Wagon Road and the right hand fork heads down to the Queen Bess Spur. The right-hand option is not shown on this map and leads towards the top of Choices, a more technically challenging trail. With the exception of the jump line, which you can choose to ignore, Sundowner is a very low –angle and mellow trail. It’s fun to rip along the last section of trail down towards the Alamo because it flows through denser brush that can still be ridden super-fast.
TRAILHEAD | N49 58.844 W117 16.198
To access the trailhead, drive south on Sandon Road to Idaho Peak dirt road. From there ride or drive east up Idaho Peak road for about 9km to the trailhead. It is located on your right, the north side of the road when you’re climbing the Idaho Peak road. Look for it on the outside of a gentle left hand corner.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
The Sundowner trail links up with either the Alamo Wagon Road or Choices. Take either option to continue riding back to New Denver or to eventually form a loop taking you back to where you’ve parked.