Feeling ambitious? Try this excellent Golden ride

Written by Sierra Sullivan, Ambassador of Shred Sisters

Some days I wake up and know that today is the day for a big ride. Either it’s in my (loose) training plans, friends have wanted to get a solid ride in, or I just want a whole day to focus on fresh air, loam, and pedals beneath my feet. My criterion for such rides usually include several hours of riding, rarely crossing back on the same trail, and sampling a bit of every trail flavor. During the hopeful early weeks of summer, Audrey of Shred Sisters, my partner Kevin, and our trusty trail hound, Ami, needed a big ride day. We combined trails in Golden, BC, for a solid 6 hrs, rode 42 km, and climbed 1500 m of elevation, to wrap it all up with a well-earned beer and burger. I would highly recommend this route that we traveled, starting at the CBT Mainline Trailhead. Here was our route plan:

  1. CBT Mainline

The CBT Mainline is one of the classic routes in Golden and provides access to a wealth of trails. Start your legs pumping up the short bits of steep and smooth, alternating with easy gradual grades, and a few punchy switchbacks. For this route, follow CBT all the way up to the Cedar Lake trailhead.

  1. North Star

From the Cedar Lake Trailhead, ride up the Talus Creek / Dogtooth Forest Service Road for half a click, then hang left onto North Star. This is prime Golden singletrack, running along the bench that hosts the Cedar Lakes.

  1. Cedar Snag

For funnsies, cut right off of North Star after a few km, which will connect you to Cedar Snag. This trail is just as cruisy, but provides views of the Cedar Lakes on the right. Stay right at the fork, and connect with the Forest Service Road that takes you uphill.

  1. More FSR

Yup, it’s a gravel road. Yup, it’s uphill. It’s all worth it in the end.

  1. Canyon Creek

Huzzah, back to singletrack! Cross the powerline, and follow the classic Canyon Creek trail uphill. Indulge in the views, enjoy the leg-burn, and watch for hiker and bike traffic. At the upper end of the trail, make sure to stay right and traverse over to…

  1. Even more FSR!

Yes, it’s even steeper, but every switchback gets you closer to happiness. Sure you could cut into LSD halfway up, but the extra climbing is well worth it.

  1. LSD (Little Sir Donald)

This gem of a trail offers a fabulous sample of technical downhill riding. The trail is well-developed singletrack, with steep descents and clean wooden features. Fun roots and rocks, and many spots worth sessioning. This trail is rated as a black, and should be considered a true black within a cross-country network.

  1. Canyon Creek

LSD empties out onto the glorious views of Canyon Creek again. Flowy and fun, the views across the canyon are stellar. Watch out for the steep edge, the goats, and of course for uphill riders and hikers. All four take right of way.

  1. Bear Claw

Once you get to the trail junction, a climb greets you. But it turns into a lovely mess of singletrack, so grind away and enjoy your run back through Bear Claw.

  1. Arrowhead

One of my favourite cruisy trails in Golden, Arrowhead runs along a beautiful ridge, providing you with an easy pedally climb back towards CBT.

  1. Barking Dog

Hang left for the short connector that runs down to Cedar Lake – a great place to water the feet and doggy.

  1. Cedar Camp

Continue onto Cedar Camp and cruise past the Cedar Lakes.

  1. Alpine Meadows

We hopped onto Alpine Meadows, just for something slightly different than CBT.

  1. CBT

Wheeeeee!!!! Even more fun to descend than to climb, but mighty fine either direction. Enjoy the switchback and small berms.

View from top of LSD
  1. Goldrush

Cut east where CBT intersects the BC hydro mainline. You can drop into Goldrush from here, which is a smooth, bermy section of trail with fun natural jumps and drops.

  1. Take It Easy

Take it easy, and enjoy the glimpses of the Columbia and Golden as you drop down to the bluffs over the river. This trail provides a last pedally ride to cap off the day, with a couple fun thread-the-needle moves and don’t-fall-here moments.

Golden, BC offers a wealth of trails and this route samples just a few of them. I highly encourage you to get out and explore the glory of Golden singletrack. This route offers a place to start and a way to get a big ride in on those ambitious days.

Happy trails!

Written by Sierra Sullivan, Ambassador of Shred Sisters


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