The Seven Summit Trail, true to its name, is a 30.4 km ridge ride that passes within a half hour ascent of seven major peaks in the Rossland area. Traversing above the well known Red Resort ski hill, the trail takes you past the treeline on a breathtaking alpine challenge. This newly constructed alpine trail was completed as of September 2004 and finishing touches will continue this summer and beyond.
Above the “Alpine City” of Rossland, the Seven Summit trail is the essential back country trail of the Monashee Mountains. Traveling south will allow for an initial elevation gain with an overall descent for the rest of the way. Starting at the north trail head parking lot at Nancy Greene Summit (21.2 km from Rossland), the ride will land you at the12 km sign up the Old Cascade highway. Turn left onto this old settler’s route to take it back to downtown Rossland for a round trip (13.8 km). The north and the south trailheads have easy vehicle access.
Alternatively, the trail can be assimilated with the Dewdney trail at the south end of Record Ridge where it meets up with the old Cascade Highway. Instead of hanging a left onto the old Cascade Highway continue straight past it for an added 5.4 km and an extra 700m of elevation drop. This will land you down highway 22, 3km north of the American boarder near Patterson.
A light and agile full-suspension or hard tail bike will best suit this 4-6 hour ride (some lugging required). There is a “leave no trace” policy and there are no official rest stops, so bring plenty of water and supplies (especially when exposed to the alpine sun and winds).
For more information go to www.Rosslandtrails.ca or pick up a Seven Summit Trail brochure on Columbia avenue at the Rossland Chamber of Commerce, Rossland Pro Hardware or Revolution Cycle.
7-Summit Key Info
Elevation : North end 1575m
South end 1412m
Old Glory Junction 1805m
Distance : 4-6 hrs Biking,10-12 hrs hiking, 30.4 km
Access : Easy
Map Sheet : NAD 82 F/4(Rossland-Trail)
Rating : Challenging day trip
North Trail Head - Nancy Greene Summit 21.2 km's from Downtown Rossland. Roadside parkinglot. Head north from Rossland past Red Mountain Resort on highway 3B. Elevation 1575m
South Trail Head - 1st summit on Cascade Rd @ 12km sign. 13.8 km from Downtown Rossland. Head south from Rossland on Cascade Rd off of Highway 22 just past the Rossland Museum.
Summary: This trail makes you work...hard, but if you get satisfaction from cleaning technical climbs, it's for you! I was unsure of where the down hill was, so i just assumed that there was more and more uphill. The trail has been improved as of Summer '09, and some of the smaller hills have been bypassed by the KCTS, making it a flow-ier trail. Thanks for all the work guys! The beauty in this trail is the technical climbing, the icing on the cake is the downhill, which is flowy and as fast as you want it to be. If you have adjustable travel forks, keep' em at the lowest travel on the climb. The second half of the trail is easier than the first. I love the shale sections where you ride a section that looks almost unrideable. I'd recommend either a few spare tubes or some heavy tires.
Recommended Route: Uphill, downhill (North to south) then down the hill into town for a beer or 6
Other recommended trails in the same area: Go to the park
Summary: Best epic singletack I've ridden. As beautiful as the Spruce Lake area in the South Chilcotins but way more fun to ride given the technical sections.
You want to attack every section up and down but remember it is over 30km long! Non-stop kodak moments - the views are amazing but trail demands attention so keep your head down. Plan to spend a full day as to enjoy being up in the alpine, take pictures, and be rested to attack the trail.
New singletrack climb is an awesome addition to make the trail over 95% sinbgletrack now. Nice pre-season work by the KCTS to buff it up -I've never gone so fast on the DHs before. Got to keep reminding oneself you're not on your FR bike and wearing armour cause it's a long long way home should you eat it.
Recommended Route: Big breakfast before - lots of beer after.
Joplin seat post is a bonus!
Other recommended trails in the same area: Rossland has lots of other trails to link up to create additional epic as well. Spend a day on the new trails on Red Mtn. (Curly's, Redhead and new climb), KC Ridge to Milky Way to Green Door, Drakes to Doukabor Draw, Oasis, or hit up the more Freeride trails like Whiskey, Flume, Stunted Growth, Cheery Poppins, Crown Point and more that aren't on the map.
Other nearby epic ridge rides include Idaho Peak near New Denver and Abercrombie Mtn and Sullivan Lake trails just sounth of the boarder. You can easliy spend a week or two based out of Rossland without riding the same trail twice.
Summary: The seven summits trail offers many beautiful vistas and lives up to its "epic" status. Unfortunatly, for as much climbing as the trail offers, the downhill/not climbing sections are disappointing. The climbing singletrack is noteworthy and has taken a lot of time and effort. However, once you get to the top of any of the summits, the downhill is usually super rocky and slow. You actually can go as fast as you want, but it's more of a pain in the butt than a thrill. It just seemed odd that the climbing singletrack could be so amazing, but the descending singletrack was forgetable. My buddy and I cussed this trail for one main reason: 1) it seems a shame to work so hard to ascend and then not receive anything on the way down. The folks that built this trail new how to build singletrack, they just seemed to be a lot more considerate on the climbs then the descent.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Whisky, Snake, Rossland in general was a cool area for riding.
Summary: Firstly, a huge "thank you" to the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society for constructing this world-class mountain bike trail. The time and co-operation required, mostly volunteer, to accomplish this is hard to imagine.
My wife and I rode this trail on a fine early September day and can say it was one of our best rides ever. We did the full trail, including the initial fireroad climb plus the Dewdney Trail finish for a total of 36.5 kms, 90% of that on sweet singletrack. It's one of those sleeper trails, lulling you into complacency with world-class views while the consistently rough terrain and climbs of varying pitch subtly sap your strength. Don't be fooled into thinking it's going to be an easy day just because the general trend is downhill or you'll be in for a rude awakening.
If you like alpine XC riding this trail is deserving of a spot on your "must ride before I die" list. For best results follow it up with some Nelson After Dark Ale, the perfect Kootenay's recovery drink.
Re: the 3-chili's aerobic difficulty rating. We were going at a fairly casual pace and it took us 5.5 hours. If a person wants to put the hammer down there are plenty of opportunities to make yourself see stars on the climbs, especially the initial relentless 650m ascent.
Recommended Route: Fuel up at Clancy's Coffee Shop then take a pre-arranged shuttle with Revolution Cycles, the source for local trail knowledge. Ride the trail as described, definitely taking the Dewdney option to finish rather than the Cascade Road.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Monte Christo, Techno Grind, The Full Monte, Milky Way, Green Door.... all as a loop from town. Also the Drake's and Doukhobor Draw combo.
If you're in the area and have time drive 45 minutes west to Christina Lake for more technical XC fun on Spooner Creek Trail.
Summary: I rode this trail in the beginning of August as part of a larger Kootenay bike trip. Rossland reputedly professes to be the mountain bike capital of Canada. Well, from what I've seen, I wouldn't argue. This trail was AMAZING. Non-stop alpine views, wildflowers in full bloom, a variety of gruelling uphills and fast, flowing, downhills... wow. My cross-country rig was definitely the ideal bike for this trail, but my boyfriend also loved it, and his bike was set up for the bike park, complete with 24" wheel and 7" of front and rear travel. Don't even consider not riding this trail if you're within a day's drive of Rossland.
Recommended Route: Definitely north to south, and arranging a shuttle will preserve the enjoyment of the day instead of dealing with a 30 km highway ride back uphill to get your vehicle. We were lucky enough to get a ride to the actual trail head rather than riding the additional 3+ km along a skidder road to start with. Finished off with the Dewdney trail, which is definitely the way to go. Lots of bail-out points if you run into problems.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Any. Just go to Rossland, get a trail map (they're well done), and stay as long as you can.