Drive on highway 22x onto Highway 40. While still on the pavement and you have come over the pass, at the base of the hill is a left turn onto a gravel road. Follow the road to a parking lot. Park there, bike across the small bridge directly south and proceed to the elbow river. You have to ford the river and about 20 yards parallel to the river is a grass like road. Follow this until it turns into a fire access road. Follow this (6km) until it turns into a single track. There are maps along the way on posts. Follow the single track until you reach a unique canyon. You can either keep going or turn around. If you turn around turn left along the single track, this path will take you back to the parking lot.
Summary: Ok. No reviews for 7 years. Things have changed.
The Quirk Crk loop as described in Backcountry Biking seems to be no more. It is now an out and back to the canyon and it seems the whole trail is called Wildhorse.
The logged areas described in other reviews are still v obvious and nasty, but trees are growing back.
A large part of the trail is shared w quads and motos from McClean Creek truck trail, so be prepared for some noisy company.
I'd rate the 30ish km out and back 'wildhorse trail' as it is now called as a moderate effort for a novice rider. Nothing remotely challenging about it. Well, except a load of mud-holes if it has rained recently.
The ride from Cobble Flats (parking) to the canyon will take about 50mins for a mildly fit rider. Coming back is a lot faster. This makes it somewhat pointless except for absolute noobs - to whom it could be a great training ride - assuming they can cross rivers.
For serious bikers it's a long drive for nothing really - at least in terms of riding. The canyon is well worth seeing though, so if you have not done it before, you should. Just make sure there has been a run of dry weather and do not bank on doing the loop - cos it doesn't exist. Well, it does, but it's no fun at all. Instead stop at another trail on the way home.
Do this in mid to late summer once the river levels are down. Do not do it if T-storms are forecast. Do not do it after wet weather. You want a spell of dry.
FYI: The (now closed to bikes) trail to the Wildhorse Campground and beyond is totally chewed up by cattle, covered in sh1t and with many deadfalls all over it.
3 chillis overall. A 2* ride to a 5* canyon.
Having dissed the ride, those that are just looking for a backcountry cruise would rate it much higher. Those looking for a challenge will not find it here. Just a great canyon. The canyon is well worth seeing. The cows and their many waste products and the carnage they are inflicting ont he trail are a downer. As is the logging.
Recommended Route: Cobble Flats. Cross bridge to Elbow river. Ford river. Head E. The rest is pretty simple. Later the trail forks 90deg right immediately after a bridge before a left hand climbing bend around 10km in. Then it's straight to the canyon.
Review Date July 2, 2003
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Reviewed by: brent
, from Calgary
Summary: This was a nice intermediate ride until the area was logged (you can see some of the clear cut from the highway), so a lot of the tree weaving is gone, as well as a good chunk of the trail. The downhill at the end is a great whiz for XC types- probably not much to interest the downhillers
Recommended Route: As directed- be warned that last third of the trail was recently logged (sorta like somebody dropped a daisy picker), so you can get lost...I did...
Review Date February 13, 2001
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Bloody Hell
, from Montreal, PQ, Canada
Summary: This trail is a great trail but make sure you like to climb or it will be a special kind of hell for you. This ride is probably about 25 Km in length and MAYBE 2 Km of that is actually downhill. Granted, it's one of the best downhills I've ever ridden, and makes all the climbing worthwhile. Still, make sure you are in shape or it won't be much fun. I had separated my shoulder in early July and missed most of the summer, and this was one of my first rides of the year. I went with my roommate who is a bike courier and he just about killed me. On the upside, the trail is beautiful, except for a few sections where it has been completely devastated by clear cut logging. These sections are also rough to ride and quite poorly defined, so pay attention to where you're going. Three point canyon is spectacular, and the trial to it has a series of fun rollers that you can catch air off of. The singletrack is great and will give you a chance to put those bike handling skils to the test. We did it in early september and the colours were gorgeous...take a camera and ride hard!
Recommended Route: Start at the day use area and ford the river. Yes, it can be tough finding a place to cross, and yes, you will most likely get wet. Maybe very wet, depending on your ability level. If you make it all the way across you're either very lucky or better than we are. Follow the logging road up through those disgusting clearcuts until you cross a bridge, then turn right and follow the road. Follow the trail to the canyon, stop, eat an energy bar or two, rest, enjoy the view. Contemplate getting on your bike and blasting freeride style down the side of the canyon, then decide not to because you realize how long it would take to climb back up. Follow the trail back to the fork at the end of the meadow, go left and climb, climb, climb. When you hit what apparently used to be an oil road, be careful because much of the road has been obliterated for reasons unknown and the trail has been re-routed across the swampy plain to your left. Once you find it, it's pretty easy to stay on it. Follow it until the sick downhill, survive the sick downhill, then cross the river and have fun finding your car which is more than likely about 2 km downstream of you.
Other recommended trails in the same area: pretty much everything and anything in K-country. This is the promised land, brothers!
Review Date August 22, 2000
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Please Select
Reviewed by: seti
, from calgary
Summary: I love this trail. It's long, it's fast and diverse. It has a bit of everything, gravel road, single track, widetrack (with some fun jumps) some good climbs, and a nice long downhill. The Dh is combination of cox hill like technical sections and smooth wide track carveing. It's a good reward for climbing nearly 25km. Though a lot of the climbing is subtle. 5 "stars" because I love variety.
Recommended Route: highway 66, turn left into cobble flat day use area. Ford the river. Take the gravel road on the left...follow untill t junct, take a left, go right on the trail after the bridge. Take it all the way until you see a big cut in the earth, that would be threepoint canyon. Turn around, go back the way you came, you see an unsigned fork at the end of the meadow, go left. Follow this trail, get mad at logging, and come to a road. turn left on the road, and you'll soon see the trail continue on the left side of the road right after a junction. Follow the trail to a t-junction, take a right...ford the river and find your vehical. Then drive to a store that sells "backcountry bikeing in the canadian rockies" so you don't need these directions
Other recommended trails in the same area: COH HILL, jumping pound ridge, moose packers, powderface creek/praire creek(the big loop)
Review Date June 23, 2000
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Reviewed by: Dave
, from Calgary
Summary: The fire road up is a climb, but the grades are forgiving and should present no problem. i.e. nothing to complain about. The ride up the single track is worth it once you get to Three Point Canyon, probably the most spectacular scenery around Calgary. The trip becomes complete looping through Wild Horse trail. Unfortunately some of it has recently been gouged by an oil service road, if you have Back Country Biking, be prepared to search for the reunion with the bike trail from the oil road. (there are several wrong turns). Wild Horse trail contains some nice technical sections, lots of wash outs and exposed routes. Some good uphill cranks to get the heart pumping. The last few kilometres are all downhill, have fun with the full suspension, my hard tail won't keep up. Any intermediate biker should have no problem with this route.
Recommended Route: Do the loop including Wild Horse trail.