The XC Loop starts at the top of Mont du Lac, so to get to the start climb the gravel road from the lower lodge to the upper lodge.
From the upper lodge, near the top of the chairlift, go west down a steep, wide dirt path, curve left, then up a short steep climb. Shortly after the top of that climb, you'll see trail signage on your left and right: follow the "XC" signs on your right, to do the full upper loop. Note - if you follow the "XC" sign on your left, you'll take the connector, bypassing the upper portions of the XC loop.
The trail starts off very old school. There are a lot of roots, sketchy off-camber turns, steep creek crossings, and a few open meadows. In the upper loop, there is one particularly steep down-and-up creek crossing with a wooden bridge at the bottom. If you hope to make it up the other side, you've got to be pretty gutsy keeping your fingers off the brake levers as you scream down.
After a little more winding old school trail, and you eventually intersect with the cutoff that provides access to the different downhill runs. This section changes in character, as the track becomes wider, with more flow, and more use of gravity. To stay on the XC Loop, simply keep right as you pass the start of "Torpedo
", and "Grizzly
" (also signed as "Super D").
After the intersection with Grizzly
, the XC Loop enters its final descent where there are some pretty fast sections, and there is some fluctuation between narrow-and-rooty vs. wide-and-smooth.
As the trail then flattens out a bit, keeping on the trail can be difficult. You'll notice many intersections with some of the downhill trails, small service roads, walking paths for disc-golf, and campsites. The key here is to watch for the red and white signs that say "XC" or "Bike trail."
Eventually, you'll cross a wooden boardwalk onto a gravel service road. Go left and just keep climbing the gravel road until you've back at the top of the hill. Do it all over again.