Distance: 4.5 km
Time: 45 min – 1.5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 275 m
Elevation Loss: 284 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: June – October
Permit Required: Park Pass
Upper Stoney Squaw is considered a x-country trail. It’s not a downhill run, as there is no vehicle drop off at the summit or lift service here. One has to pedal up the tight, rooty, rocky, twisty and steep climb to reach the summit of Stoney. The view of the surrounding mountains and the valley below is spectacular. From the summit you’ll make your way back down a gnarly, tight, and steep singletrack that winds its way through the trees to the start of Lower Stoney. Some say the reward (sweet descent) is worth the climb up – why don’t you be the judge?
You can combine Upper Stoney with Lower Stoney for a full loop. Alternatively, you can drive up to the start of Upper Stoney, do a lap and head back to the Mt. Norquay car park; the choice is yours.
A word of caution: the climb on Upper Stoney is relentless, with its large protruding roots, steep inclines up loose rock and dirt. There are sections of trail that even the most experienced riders will have trouble clearing. I don’t know of anyone who has cleaned this climb without having come off their bike at some point during their ascent. To me it’s a very challenging trail worth exploring, but definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.
TRAILHEAD | N51 12.038 W115 35.712
The trailhead for Upper Stoney Squaw is located at Mount Norquay car park, on the right-hand side as you enter the parking lot. Take Hwy 1 to Banff and exit on to Mt. Norquay Rd. Drive or ride north up Mt. Norquay to the car park.
bikepirate rating: 3 Skulls