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FATMAP difficulty grade
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. 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.
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