When we were planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies, we connected with a facebook group called Alberta Gravel Cycling.
A woman in that group named Kenzie Ann from Golden, BC told us about this route, saying it was not to be missed, and she was absolutely right!
Wow! This is a classically epic Canadian gravel ride on a remote forest service road with hardly any car traffic!!
Once you get past the first 5 or 6 miles, the steeper grades levels out and the gravel is quite smooth and packed. At that point you can pick up your pace, but you won't want to miss any opportunities to ogle at the spectacular views of the Blaeberry River, Mummery Mountain and other equally stunning peaks.
You can make a tiny detour to see the Thompson Falls, which is a waterfall on the lower Blaeberry River and occurs at about mile 3 on the route. (It is technically called the Blaeberry Falls, but it is known locally as Thompson Falls, after the explorer David Thompson.) The water was running high when were there in July so the Falls were impressively loud and strong.
All the toughest and steepest climbing happens in the first 5 or 6 miles. This same section also had the chunkiest and loosest gravel surfaces. Since it is an out and back route, you of course return the same way, but we found the grades of the peaks you climb up not quite as steep on the return.
Do this ride if you are near Golden in BC, Canada and are looking for an epic gravel ride on a remote forest service road with unforgettable mountain and river views, as well as possible bear sitings.
We parked and left our car at the OB Campground, which is about 12km from the turn of from the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1, or about 25 km from the town of Golden.
There is active logging in the area that uses the forest service road you will be biking. We were there on a Monday afternoon and only one big logging truck passed us, but it is something to be aware of.
You are in prime bear country on this route. Not only is it remote, but in the summer, berry bushes are abundant along the route. We came upon a black bear while biking and it just startled and ran. Make sure you have your bear spray easily accessible at all times just in case!!
There was a notorious flood 10+ years ago that washed away the road and made it one with the river, so not long after you reach the 28km sign, you'll see barriers where the road it closed to vehicles. You can continue on past this point on a bike, but this is where we turned around.
Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.