Altitude and Big Rock Ride

Enjoy the wonderful ambience of the Sun Peaks backcountry and some excellent trail riding too.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
19 km
Ascent
374 m
Descent
971 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
Altitude and Big Rock Ride Map

N.B. Big Rock Ride is out not passable at the time of writing. The trail is no longer there at the southern end of the reservoir which feeds the Sun Peaks snow cannons. We've left the line showing the descent all the way down to the village along Big Rock Ride, but if it's still not passable, then join Bermalade or Level Up - 2 of the excellent Sun Peaks Bike Park routes - and follow them down to the village.

Description

This is a wonderful journey through some wild terrain which offers huge vistas and stunning wildflowers, as well as some really fun riding. The trail is well marked with blue signs (see photos) all the way, and this is a great way of getting into the backcountry easily.

From the top of the Sunburst Express chairlift, locate the start of the trail easily and then begin the 5 kilometre journey around the Sun Peaks West Bowl to the foot of Mount Tod. The riding on the traverse around to Tod is undulating but not overly challenging, and you'll be able to enjoy the scenery as you make your way northwards. One thing to be very aware of is the presence of bears - the ride takes you through prime black bear territory and there are plenty of them about so keep making lots of noise, always have your eyes peeled and be prepared with bear spray in case you encounter a furry friend!

Once at the foot of Mount Tod it's highly recommended to leave your bike for a while and make the short detour on foot to the summit of the peak, because the view is utterly spectacular, and well worth burning som extra calories for. Detouring to Tod Lake, which is only a couple of hundred metres off the main Altitude trail is also worthwhile, doubly so because there's a picnic bench next to the lake and it makes for a great lunch spot.

Having either visited or just passed by Mount Tod and its namesake lake, head back south to reach the 5 Mile Road 4x4 track and follow this to where Altitude branches off left and leads to the reservoir which feeds the Sun Peaks snow cannons. The bit from 5 mile Forest Service Road down to the reservoir is excellent - the scenery feels really wild and there are some fun, technical sections in there too.

Hopefully the trail from the reservoir is reinstated at some stage but if not, descend Bermalade or Level Up back to Sun Peaks village.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area