Distance: 2.9 km
Time: 25 – 45 min
Elevation Gain: 53 m
Elevation Loss: 447 m
Technical Rating: Expert
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: April – October
Permit Required: No
Two words that best describe this classic Pemberton trail located in the Mackenzie Area, steep and loose. Upper Mackenzie Cruise is mostly made up of steep sections of trail descending tight singletrack on very loose dirt, rocks and sand. During the summer time this trail can be particularly dry, adding to the challenge of this descent. A downhill bike and protective gear is recommended. This trail is not intended for the intermediate rider and will challenge most advanced to expert riders. Go forewarned and watch out for several downed trees along this trail in late spring and early summer. This trail is not regularly ridden and therefore not cleared as often as other trails in the area.
Upper Mackenzie Cruise begins with a 500 m gradual climb, before it levels out and rolls along the undulating terrain for another 500 m. You will skirt and cross the Let it Go trail a few times, before beginning the full on descent down towards Waco Connector. If unsure which trail to take when you come to the first few set of intersections, make sure to keep left to stay on Upper Mackenzie Cruise. At the 1.2 km mark you will ride a section of Let it Go (left) for 20 m, before dropping down the well-marked Upper Mackenzie Cruise trail. The initial drop in is down a side slope along a steep section of rock, before the trail starts to drop away on you down some very loose dirt. Several more sections of technical rock and one drop down a rock ledge onto the trail before a swooping corner will keep you on your toes. The final bit of trail is mostly tight and steep singletrack which will have you accelerating down the trail. Keep looking ahead and watch out for downed trees causing you to come to a hard stop or possible a bail if you’re carrying too much speed. Once you reach Waco Connector, you’ll have several options to complete your descent. Choose from the last section of Hawaii, Lower Mackenzie Cruise or the final section of Indy 500 to complete your descent down to the Mackenzie Basin Loop leading back to the gravel pit.
TRAILHEAD | N50 21.106 W122 47.837
The trailhead for Upper Mackenzie Cruise is found on the south side of the Mackenzie FSR, 5.4 km from the gravel pit. The trail may be accessed by shuttling, or by climbing up Happy Trail to Nimby and Let it Go. Let it Go spits out at the first paragliding launch site from where you will pedal a short distance to the trailhead for Upper Mackenzie Cruise.
bikepirate rating: 2 Skulls
Upper Mackenzie Cruise may be shuttled via the Mackenzie FSR, leaving a retrieval vehicle at the start of Happy Trail climb. Or you can pedal up to it using the Happy Trail>Nimby>Let it Go route.