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Gillard's trail network is made up of countless short lines, and you generally need to link a few of them together to create a top-to-bottom run.
This route is an example of that, and joins a handful of trails to give a consistent descent. The trails at Gillard are accessed via the Gillard Fire Service Road (FSR), which branches off Mission Drive in the southern part of the Mission Valley.
The official trail parking lot is on the left, 3 kilometres after the Gillard FSR leaves Mission Drive, but it's legal to drive all the way up the FSR to reach the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
As such, the bike routes at Gillard can be done as shuttle runs and you can tag team riding and driving.
There are also various spots to park on the way up the FSR but they are officially only drop-off points and not parking spots.
That said, if you did park at them you certainly wouldn't be the first people to do it....If you "break the rules" then at least do so respectfully and we suspect you'll have no problems. We've shown this route going from - and back to - the main parking lot, and the first task of the ride is to follow the FSR up to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
The ride up is something of a slog, but it's pretty efficient, and the ascent will take most riders less than an hour.
The descent begins just below the Rail Trail with a line called "Nip and Tuck".
It's a fitting name because the trail is narrow and passes through some tight forests as it bumps down over roots and rocks.
If you like you're riding tech-y you'll love it, but if you like to let things flow then there are better lines out there. Up next is La Petite, a faster and less bumpy rip through slightly more open forests.
The nature of the terrain and the positioning of the trees mean that the route stays wet for slightly longer than some of its close neighbours, but it should still be dry for virtually the entire summer. After La Petite comes the lower part of Snake's Back, which is a fast and fun trail featuring berms, rolls and some nice sections of flow.
Like the trails which preceded it, Snake's Back is still quite narrow and it's full of features, from rocks to wooden features and berms.
The final few metres of the trail are super steep so be prepared! Once you're done with Snake's Back, cruise along Oddjob - an easy roll which just allows you to avoid riding on the FSR - and then finish down the toughest part of this ride; Wobbly Pops.
The trail is a rocky, technical challenge with some epic wooden features so enjoy every metre before rolling easily into the parking lot.