The eight mile distance of this point-to-point ride belies just how arduous your journey will be. It is a stiff and techy climb followed by an even techier descent (which, oh by the way, includes probably the toughest climb of this ride). But for true backcountry mountain biking adventure, it's tough to beat Crosier Mountain. It puts the mountain back into mountain biking!
Figure out the logistics for yourself how you want to do this ride. You can set up a shuttle between the Garden Gate and Glen Haven trailheads, or you can park at Garden Gate and ride your bike up the road the 6 miles to Glen Haven (or only 4 miles to the Crosier Mountain Rainbow Trail #981
Gravel Pit trailhead).
Any way you choose to climb Crosier Mountain will be difficult, but probably the "easiest" way is through Glen Haven. Check out the description in the West Crosier
featured ride for a good overview of what lies ahead on the climb.
Once to the junction with the Crosier Mountain Summit Trail (#931-1)
you can choose either to head to the summit or begin your adventure down the east side of the mountain on the Crosier Mountain Garden Gate Trail (#931)
The Garden Gate Trail starts nice and flowy and pretty mellow along the top of the mountain. Before too long it dives steeply down the eastern slope where loose surfaces and chunky rocks await you. The descent down this trail is characterized by three distinct descents. Each descent is quite steep and includes large rocks to navigate around and over. The third is my particular favorite as it takes you down through thick pine forest and includes a couple fun rock rollovers. Each of these include some white knuckle moments where you really need to be on your toes in order to stay rubber-side down. The ability to quickly choose a good line will be beneficial to you here.
In between the first and second descents is a heinous climb, which for most will be a hike-a-bike. In between the second and third descents is a beautiful large meadow that features mellow grades and more flowy trail.
Overall, this is an ambitious trail to ride a bike down. Be prepared both mentally and physically, as it is a workout for both!