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Golden Spike, SST, and Back Door Loop

Intermediate

Trail

5.6 mile 9.0 kilometer loop
85% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 940' 286 m
Descent: -966' -294 m
High: 1,359' 414 m
Low: 423' 129 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

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Trail shared by Eric Ashley

One of Galbraith's finest loops.

Eric Ashley

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

The signature north-side Galbraith ride and an instant favorite (with a few changes due to logging operations in late 2017). This route starts with the standard north-side climb before taking riders on the entirety of Golden Spike, much of SST, and follows Back Door on a wicked fun descent that emerges onto Birch Falls Way. During the descent, you get over two miles of doubles, drops, and buffed trail. Almost everything can be rolled, so this is a winner for riders of many skill levels.

Need to Know

Parking is limited at the immediate trailhead and along Birch Street. The parking lot at Whatcom Falls Park is easily accessed and adds minimal distance to a ride.

Description

To get to the top, start at the Birch Street Trailhead. Follow Miranda, and the Ridge Trail to the kiosk at Checkpoint Kilo. From there, take Family Fun Center and then cross the small bridge onto Appendix. After Appendix, turn left up Road 1200 for 100 feet and take a right onto Intestine. Cleavage is the first right off of Intestine and brings riders to Road 2510. Take a left onto Road 1200 and pedal gradually up to Checkpoint Golf. From there, take either Dragonfly or the Golden Spike Connector to reach the kiosk at the top.

If the above is too complicated or you want to take the quickest route, take Cedar Dust at Checkpoint Kilo and then climb or push-up The Wall until it connects with Road 1200.

The kiosk is a definitely one of the "hubs" on the Galbraith and if you take a moment before dropping in, you'll likely see riders from one or two parties roll up. Observant riders will notice that the sign at the start of the trail reads "SST," don't worry, you're in the right place.

From the start, Golden Spike unleashes a succession of jumps with small rooty sections and flowy turns. In addition to these trail delights, there is a gravel road crossing early on. Towards the end, riders are presented with a steep rock-roll down (or drop for the bold) to the left, or a less ambitious spur to the right. Both of these options feed out onto Road 1200 before crossing over onto SST.

SST is a trail that expertly follows the terrain lines. Great design, combined with a favorable descent-to-ascent ratio make SST a fast and fun trail. Throw in a many jumps, aggressive flow, a table top and a stream crossing and you start to get the idea of the type of entertainment you're in for — the majority of obstacles are rollable making this a favorite trail among riders of many skill levels.

Towards the finish, the builders discovered a small slab of sandstone that makes a welcome addition to the trail. The stone signals a sharp turn to the left to keep following SST proper, or alternatively, riders can go straight and take the SST Spur. The first option is more direct, and it's more enjoyable with a few more jumps and the creek crossing mentioned above. SST ends at the intersection with the Power Line Trail with Back Door just on the other side.

The first half of Back Door continues the fun from SST with more singletrack and doubles. A sharp rock armored roll-down signals the second half of Back Door which travels along a creek zone.

Because of the extra moisture, this part of the trail is often slick, even muddy. The end of Back Door makes a sharp abrupt rise around a few concrete blocks before exiting onto Birch Falls Way. Head left and then a right down the hill. This is a residential area, so be cautious of vehicles and pedestrians.

As an alternate added bonus, riders can head uphill to the left for a few hundred feet until reaching the stairs on the right that are tucked between the houses. From there, you can climb back up the Ridge Trail until you reach Upper Bob's which in turn ends on Karma (checkout Karma's description for instructions to navigate back to the trailhead through the criss-cross of streets you'll encounter).

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Sep 7, 2019
Greta Bloomfield
Jul 10, 2019
Alex Prak
Jun 13, 2019
Rick Silva
May 14, 2019
Jamie Knutson
2h 00m
Sep 13, 2018
Elizabeth Hale
Aug 24, 2018
Wynn Clarke
Aug 3, 2018
Lauren Lortie
This was my fav ride of the trip...so far!
Jun 23, 2018
Greg Collette

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 14 votes

#523

Overall
  4.9 from 14 votes
5 Star
93%
4 Star
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3 Star
7%
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Ride Rankings

#10

in Washington

#523

Overall
143 Views Last Month
10,028 Since Dec 19, 2014
Intermediate

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Photos

Emily rides the edge on the Ridge Trail, Galbraith Mountain, WA.
Nov 17, 2016 near Geneva, WA
You'll be in the heart of nature just a few hundred feet from the parking lot.
Jan 26, 2018 near Geneva, WA
Getting after it on a winter ride.
Jan 26, 2018 near Geneva, WA
Bring the lights, Galbraith is great for night riding too!
Jan 26, 2018 near Geneva, WA
Riding most of SST.
Jan 22, 2015 near Geneva, WA

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