Singletrack for everyone
The Canadian Rockies provide an amazing setting for the variety of singletrack adventures available in and around Canmore. Here’s our pick of five ‘must ride’ trails, depending on the type of fun you’re looking for.
An awesomely technical test piece with amazing views, Razor’s Edge is like no other trail in the Canmore area. It starts off gently through the forest, with singletrack traversing along Barrier Mountain to gain the ridge. Once you reach the ridge, things start getting more intense, with sections of slab, tricky technical climbs, and fun descents. Finally you emerge from the forest onto a long and frequently exposed descent through rock and slab, with spectacular views of the surrounding peaks.
Razor’s Edge is possibly the most technically challenging all-mountain trail in the region and is only recommended for very advanced riders. Some route finding is required and it is easy to drift off trail along the way. If you’re not sure about your ability you might want to see how you do on trails like Prospector or Riders of Rohan first.
Razor’s Edge is undergoing an approval process but is not yet a sanctioned trail. Please be careful riding beside the highway as you return to the Quaite Valley trailhead.
Featured on the cover of Dirt Rag, the Highline trail offers everything you are looking for in a mountain bike ride – challenging climbing, technical cross country single track riding and fast flowing descents all in one trail. With four different trailheads you can ride this trail in many different ways, just be prepared to go up (in a big way) at the start and enjoy fast descents at the end.
The Highline trail is eight kilometres in length, with the Riders of Rohan connector providing some challenging switchbacks, the west connector providing the smoothest trail and biggest berms, and the Three Sisters entrance and Peaks of Grassi connector both providing rocky, rooty fun.
The highline can be accessed from several trailheads including from Three Sisters, Peaks of Grassi connector, West connector, or the Riders of Rohan connector. Visit one of our local shops or check out the maps and guides for more information.
If you enjoy Highline you’ll definitely also want to ride the Montane Trail and Horeshoe-G8 Trails on the other side of the valley.
Jumpingpound Ridge – Cox Hill
Spectacular alpine scenery, ridge top riding and an exhilarating descent await you on this ride in Kananaskis Country. To get the full JP-Cox experience, you can start at the far south end of the trail. If you want to capture some of the iconic alpine riding with an abbreviated version of the trail, there are two other connectors which allow you to join the main trail just below the summit of Jumping Pound Mountain, or between JP and Cox Hill. As you ride up from the south, say hello to the cows, then get ready to climb. You’ll eventually be rewarded with amazing views, and fantastic ridge-top singletrack. After passing the summit of Jumpingpound Mountain, the trail descends, before climbing up again to Cox Hill, where an amazingly fast and fun descent drops you back down to the road. Remember to watch out for hikers and bears!
Less than an hour of driving from Canmore will get you to any of the trailheads for this ride. However currently the only option is to park at the base of the Cox Hill descent, as the road further south has been closed to vehicles since the June 2013 floods. Visit one of our local shops or check out the maps and guides for more information.
Baldy Pass and Prairie View to Jewel Pass are other classic Rockies adventures that get you up high in our surrounding peaks.
Canmore Nordic Centre
The Canmore Nordic Centre provides world-class riding, and offers a wide variety of singletrack trails for all ability levels. Over the past five years the CNC has developed many new singletrack trails and there are endless ways to link the trails together. Expect fast flowing singletrack, some technical roots and rocks, challenging climbs and fun descents. It is best to check in at the Daylodge for a trail map and advice on which trails to ride if you are new to the area.
EKG, FYI, and Soft Yoghurt are a few of the most popular trails at the Nordic Centre.
Reclaimer is a super popular shuttle trail. Short but sweet, and a little steeper than some of the other trails around town. Reclaimer will have you thinking at the start where it can be loose and rocky, before mellowing out to become a fast and flowy cruise through the trees that eventually spits you out into the Grassi Lakes parking lot.
If you’ve done enough laps on Reclaimer you will also want to check out Riders of Rohan and Lower Stoney Squaw where “most” of the climbing can be taken care of by your shuttle vehicle.