Moose Mountain Trails

The area between Station Flats and Canyon Creek Road has become a popular mountain biking destination, with more bikers than hikers on many of the trails. There is everything from short, steep, obstacle-featured “Downhill Specific” (DHS) trails that descend to Canyon Creek, to long-distance trails such as Tom Snow, which is used as part of the Bow 80, an 80 km loop that starts along Sulphur Springs, then over Cox Hill and Jumpingpound Mountain. Some of the new trails built by the mountain biking community are multi-use, some are DHS, while the two sections of Pneuma joined by Hotlaps are heavily used as an alternative to cycling up the road.

Wet Pants Special K

Hikers to left, bikers to right - Wet Pants, Special K

Hikers need to use caution on high-speed DHS trails such as Special K and Race of Spades. Hike them only in spring and fall when traffic is lighter; hike them in small groups, in the uphill direction, with head up and eyes open. Avoid Pneuma on busy weekend days, with the exception of the top section which descends the open ridge above the first section of Moose Mountain trail, providing spectacular views and a pleasant alternative to the boring old road.

The map below shows the conglomeration of trails in the area. DHS trails are shown as dashed red lines. Not shown are the DHS trails that descend to Canyon Creek. Click on the map for a larger, printable version.

Moose Trails Map

The map in a previous post, New Bike Trails in the Elbow, shows trails to the east between Tom Snow to Elbow Trail.

5 comments… add one
  • another rider Jul 4, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I don’t think anyone ever said pneuma was a downhill mountain bike trail, in fact, it was specifically built as a great cross country climb so that people didn’t have to bike up the fire road anymore.

    As for bikers yielding to hikers. Maybe hikers are quicker to jump off the trail, but I (and everyone that I ride with) ALWAYS get out of the way of anyone coming up hill be it biker, hiker, or equestrian, or at the very least, slow WAY down (as hikers sometimes jump off the trail before bikers are even in sight).

    You mentioned bikers not being able to stop, occasionally this is the case, but generally speaking, I think hikers grossly underestimate a bikes ability to stop, and are also quick to assume bikers are completely out of control.

    I have come flying down the mountain at around 50km/h (completely in control), seen a family hiking, slowed down to about 10km/hour and rode past them with a good metre of clearance after giving them the heads up “passing on your left”, and was still yelled at by a man who accused me of being out of control (this was on a downhill mountain bike trail built for mountain bikers, by mountain bikers).

    Once I was asked in a very snarky voice after saying “passing on your left”, “what you don’t have a bell??”. No, I don’t and I thought SPEAKING to you would be an acceptable, perhaps even preferable alternative. Some people can’t be pleased…

    I always dismount when passing an equestrian rider, horses are just too easily spooked. When was the last time you saw an equestrian dismount for anyone? Or pick up the horse shit they leave all over our trails?

    Anyway, I would really like to believe that all the different user groups can get along, I am personally a hiker, mountain biker, and 4×4 enthusiast and I don’t see why we can’t, then I come across shining examples of why not on the trail…

  • Gillean Daffern Jul 10, 2010, 11:32 am

    To reply to some of Steve’s comments. In early spring before the winter gate opens on Hwy. 66, hikers are relegated to hiking trails on the eastern slopes, anyway. These trails in the forest are not much different to the biking trails, only the biking trails are often better designed!
    I have never seen the mantra “bikers yield to hikers” in action. Most hikers get off the trail pretty quickly, not just out of politeness, but because we don’t want to tangle with a faster-moving machine that may be unable to stop. It’s up to bikers to alert hikers they are coming by yelling or whatever.
    In the last few years it has become obvious that many trails built for hikers i.e Sulphur Springs, Elbow Valley, Diamond T, Tom Snow etc, have gone to the bikers. Hikers are now in the minority. So I have absolutely no compunction about walking bike trails rated xc or “multi-use.”
    Pneuma, a very gently-graded trail, is more of a xc trail than a DHS trail in my opinion. The top section follows an open ridge where hikers have always hiked.
    Re Special K, three quarters of that trail is xc. Only the upper section is technical.
    ROS has a great many more technical features and is the only DHS trail on the east side of Moose Mountain Road I would be leery of hiking up (never down). On the other hand, for non-bikers to witness the amazing balancing acts performed by some bikers (others use the bypass trails) is to GET the attraction of DHS riding and not moan when more DHS trails get built. This can only be good for relationships between the groups.
    Incidentally, this spring we came across a DHS EQUESTRIAN trail!

  • Steve Riggs Jul 9, 2010, 4:59 am

    As a biker, and hiker , I would think that most of the Moose area trails hold very little attraction to walkers anyway. With the possible exception of Pnuema and Ridgeback which might make tolerable shoulder season hikes. Hikers on most Moose trails should be prepared to suspend the usual “bikers yield to hikers” mantra, as on many trails, riders may well be moving quite fast, with no expectation of foot traffic. This goes for Pnuema as well- if uphill riders are forced to dismount to let walkers by on one of the more technical sections, getting restarted again may be difficult after losing momentum. Having said that, most of these trails are indeed multi-use, and I have found most if not all the hikers that I encounter while riding in K-Country to be very obliging to bikers.
    Hikers may also want to note that summer weekday evenings are usually extremely busy at Moose- there were well over 50 vehicles at the Station Flats trailhead last night.
    Keep up the good work on the blog, it is much appreciated.

  • DH Boy Jul 8, 2010, 5:46 pm

    OR… you can just stay off them completely because as you clearly stated in your post, they are Downhill Mountain Bike Specific trails meant for bikes ONLY. If you hike on these trails you will cause a hazard to yourself and more importantly others.

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