Stanley Gap Out-and-Back

Dahlonega

Ellijay

A steep, challenging backcountry epic.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
15 km
Ascent
737 m
Descent
737 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
657 m
High Point
1 km
Gradient
Stanley Gap Out-and-Back Map

Stanley Gap is one of the original mountain bike trails in North Georgia. Dating back to time immemorial, mountain bikers have been challenging themselves on this steep backcountry trail as long as people have been riding mountain bikes.

Description

From the Aska Trailhead, the trail climbs steeply up the mountainside toward its summit on Davenport Mountain. While you may need to hike some sections due to the steepness and the chunky rock gardens, the climb is direct and achievable, and is over quickly.

Once at the summit, the singletrack descends rapidly down to Stanley Gap.

Once at the gap, turn around and repeat. You’ll be rewarded with the longest descent of the ride from the top of Davenport Mountain back down to the main Aska Trailhead.

While some riders choose to loop this trail with the nearby roads, since both climbs are quite rideable, I prefer it as an out and back. This way, you get to enjoy the singletrack both up and down, challenging yourself on the rock gardens and enjoying the sweet flow of the smooth sections.

For an even longer ride, connect in the Flat Creek Loop or Green Mountain.

As for the trail itself, the singletrack construction is superb! Unlike some wider trails in North Georgia, the trail tread on Stanley Gap is narrow—very “single."

According to GregRidesTrails.com, “there are some sections of sweet, smooth trail, but for the most part, Stanley gap consists of dry, rocky gnarliness! There are rocks everywhere, but most of them (at least on Stanley Gap) are embedded in the trail and not loose—i.e. no babyheads. While this makes for a technically challenging climb when combined with the aerobically brutal steepness at the beginning, the way back down the mountain is a BLAST for the mountain biker with a trail/all mountain rig!”

"Looking for some brutal climbing, on some of the best constructed single track in North Georgia with a vision-blurring, rock-laden descent? Head to Blue Ridge, and ride Stanley Gap,” the author concludes.

Sources: http://www.gregridestrails.com/2010/04/stanley-gap-blue-ridge-georgia.html

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level 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

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Equipment required

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area