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.
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.
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
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
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
's description for instructions to navigate back to the trailhead through the criss-cross of streets you'll encounter).