Fall riding comes early in this close-to-the-border mountain town
September and early October in the Spokane area often feel like a never-ending addendum to summer, with hot temps and moon-dust dirt the new norm on the trails. All the while, two hours north, the cooler mountain air and larch-and-fir-filled forests that see more frequent trail-restoring showers make it worth a shoulder season road trip to the mountain bike mecca of Rossland, British Columbia.
It may have been the 18-mile Seven Summits Trail that put Rossland on the mountain bike destination map, but that classic alpine ride is but a highlight on the town’s hard-earned riding resume. Nearly 150 miles of mountain bike trails, mostly community funded and built by the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society, form a vast trail network around the historic mining town. This expansive trail system connects mountain town amenities like Rossland Beer Company; cafés, restaurants, and cool shops; and adventure provision providers like Ferraro Foods market with trails that span from the U.S. border northwest to RED Mountain Resort and Nancy Green Pass. All those trails make it all too easy and fun to set out on a ride from your hotel room, rental, or campsite and end up connecting trail after trail that quickly turns into a mind- altering adventure ride.
If solidly-rated black trails are what you’re looking for, stop by Revolution Cycles for recommendations that may include the likes of Whiskey/Whiskey On The Rocks, Redhead, and Paydirt. Or, if the Seven Summits Trail is on your trail wish list, September (and sometimes into October) can be the perfect time to finally tackle this legendary peak-hopper. Make life way easier on yourself and schedule a Seven Summits shuttle with Kootenay Mountain Biking (Kootenaymountainbiking.com)—they run shuttles on other popular local trails too and offer group mountain bike clinics and private lessons for all abilities.
While Rossland has its fair share of gnar-shredding expert trails, there are plenty of flowy blue trails and a growing number of beginner-friendly green trails. The Mxiɬp Xewílh (Cedar Trail)—a new 11-mile, more moderate grade green trail that twists and turns through patches of old growth forest—is now open to ride. Plan to give this new ribbon of dirt a pedal on its own or as part of a longer ride. The full trail connects the town of Rossland to the start of the Seven Summits Trail (up your badassery by starting this epic from town). Or use the Cedar Trail to access the growing trail network at RED Mountain or the awesome Larch Ridge/Monticola/COG loop, which features some fun, sporty climbs and a joyous blast down the seemingly endless rollercoaster-like tread of the Monticola Trail that’s most certainly double-lap worthy.
Some of the best riding conditions of the year on uncrowded, awe-inspiring trails await up in Rossland as the larch and other fall foliage fireworks begin. Plan your adventures at Tourismrossland.com.
Golf Clubs Gone Wild
If you like swinging a club anywhere near as much as you like ripping down singletrack, or just need a day out of the saddle, Rossland has a hidden golf gem. The Redstone Resort, say many visitors, is the most beautiful golf course in Canada. The 18-hole, championship alpine course is surrounded by the wild mountains and views of the Rossland Range and open to the public. Play a quality round and gawk at the fall colors—just keep an eye out for wildlife! More info at Redstoneresort.com.