Some truly amazing freeriding awaits mountain bikers travelling just 30 minutes west of Williams Lake to Desous Mountain.
Descents of 1,000 metres from the top of Desous Mountain traverse and wind their way down to the Fraser River, providing what has become a popular must-see destination for mountain biking tourists.
Through much collaboration between the Williams Lake Cycling Club, the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium and other local stakeholders, the expansion and legalization of the largest project on the riding community’s radar — the Desous Mountain Trail Network — became a reality.
Its official opening was marked in November of 2018 following countless hours of trail building, polishing and planning.
“After 25 years of work we have a real riding destination at Desous Mountain,” said WLCC director and community mountain biking advocate, Mark Savard.
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Seventeen trails were completed marking a 25-year dream held by the WLCC featuring something for all levels of riders to enjoy, plus a campsite and ability to host world-class cycling events to attract visitors from throughout the province and the world in the future.
And while the majority of the trails are tailored to intermediate to experienced riders, Savard said much work has been done in recent months on a kids’ trail flowing around the outside of the campsite which will provide hours of family fun for all.
One of the main attractions, however, is an 11 kilometre, 1,014-metre climbing trail from the Fraser River to the summit of Desous Mountain called ‘Shiney Badger Hidden Canyon.’
“It is amazing,” Savard said of the two directional trail. “Hikers love this trail, too, as it has a picnic table in the hidden canyon to enjoy.
“And we’ve been putting a lot of work into the kids’ trail and just getting in a lot more signage beyond the regular maintenance that goes on out there. We’re seeing a lot of hikers going up Shiney Badger to the campsite.”
The ministry of forests also recently completed the trailhead at Shiney Badger creating better parking for riders and visitors.
“We’re making it more all-rounded and getting in more things for visitors — maintenance, interpretive signage and hopefully we can find a way to improve the road even more in the future.”
There are two ways to access Desous Mountain. For those wanting to climb or hike Shiney Badger, head out on Highway 20 and turn left onto English Road before the Sheep Creek Bridge. About a minute’s drive down the road there is a pullout with signage, parking and, soon, an outhouse.
The other access to Desous Mountain is, of course, via Dog Creek Road. Just before Springhouse, watch for the Desous Mountain Road signage.
Turn right and follow for about six kilometres on a well-travelled road to the campsite. This access travels through open range area, please drive slowly and watch for livestock.
From there, bikers and hikers can choose to climb the trails from the base of the mountain or continue driving to the top of Desous where there also parking and multiple trailheads.
Savard said both sides of the mountain and all trails in between have been receiving rave reviews from bikers and also hikers who are thrilled to be able to explore and have legal access to another area in the Cariboo Chilcotin with great signage and endless possibilities.