Baldy Pass

Access: Highway 40  |  Parking: Porcupine Group Camp at south end of Barrier Lake
20 kilometer Loop  |  Difficult  |  Approximately 3.5 hours
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Originally posted on (circa 2005)


My favorite part of this trail is … what else ? The Downhill.
If you like descents that are technically demanding, scary, and steep, then you’ll love piloting your way down the south side of this mountain where a wrong move or mistimed maneuver could pitch you into the abyss of sloping sub-alpine forest. However, if all you’re looking for is the opportunity to set a new land-speed record for logging roads, then step right up to the descent on the east side. Whatever your preference, that is certainly the draw here to what is otherwise a rather unremarkable trip. The journey up is a pedal ‘n push (mostly push) with not as much to offer visually as many of the other trails.

baldy-pass-2From the Porcupine parking lot (just past Barrier Lake on the same side) cross the hwy and go south until you see the start of a trail that disappears into the forest for some pleasant singletrack. Keeping left at the junction you’ll soon come upon a rock infested dry creek bed where pedaling becomes futile and it’s time to push. Embarking on a steep and narrow trail you’re soon swallowed up by spruce forest for 3 km’s until crossing an avalanche slope just before arriving at the Pass. Guided by cairns you press up to the ridge for a better view before gliding on 2 km’s of singletrack that joins the logging road on the east side.

baldy-pass-3At this point you have the option of riding down the way you came, the advantage of this being some hair-raisingly good single track that avoids 6 km’s of highway necessary to complete it as a loop. Once on the old logging road the excitement begins as you plummet 8.5 km’s to the bottom where there’s a junction with Lusk Creek. Turn left and in approximately 1 km you emerge at the Environmental Sciences Center, once the site of a World War II german POW camp (there still exists an original guard tower and the “Colonel’s Cabin” …… Schuuuuulttzz !). All you need now is the wind at your back as you cruise the last 6 km’s down Hwy 40 to complete the loop.

Bow Valley region of Kananaskis Country


By | 2017-01-09T23:44:02+00:00 May 19th, 2016|Categories: Backcountry|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Baldy Pass