A classic ride for Calgarians begins with a mug of coffee and the car pointed west. Just 1.5 hours from downtown, you’ll find yourself turning off Highway 68 and onto Powderface Trail. Follow Powderface Trail 3km past the Dawson day-use area to find the Jumpingpound Mountain Trail. Time to start the climb – 363m over 2.8km should get the blood flowing. We promise you’ll be rewarded for your efforts on this loop.
After that epic climb you may be tempted to hang a left on Jumpingpound Ridge and not make the push to the summit, but trust us, it’s worth it. The views are endless, with Alberta’s prairies to the east and Kananaskis to the west. Plus, rides are always special if you can claim a summit.
Riding the ridge
Rolling in the subalpine along a beautiful piece of singletrack is something that’s quite special. Congratulations, you’re done the hard work, and now it’s time to reap your rewards.
Fork in the road
Depending on how you’re feeling, this is your last chance to cut your ride short. If you hang a left at the fork, you’ll descend the Jumpingpound Ridge (Lusk Climb) and shorten your ride considerably. This is a good option if you’re low on energy from the climb, have a mechanical, or are feeling that you may be short on time. The descent down Lusk is amazing, but Cox Hill is better.
The best descent
There are always a lot of bold claims made by those who have ridden trails before you, but Cox Hill has to be one of the best descents in Alberta. From the Lusk junction, you’ll have a quick descent into a short climb to the summit. From the summit, you’ll be treated to over 5km of perfectly winding singletrack. Starting in the open and descending through a forest of lodgepole pine, hang a left on Tom Snow trail to return to Powderface trail.
From there, you’ll have about 13km of gravel road to pedal that will fly by as you swap stories of close calls, amazing maneuvers and the fantastic moves you laid down over the last few hours.