Valhalla/Ruby Range Gravel Sessions

The 17km 1250m descent into the Slocan Valley

The Ruby Range lies at the north end of the Valhallas, it’s home to an extensive forest service road and ATV trail network. In my opinion, it’s some of the best riding in the Central Kootenays.

High speed climbing

I’ll put a caveat on that statement in that you must like riding uphill to truly enjoy the riding in the Ruby Range. Over the past couple of days I’ve amassed 168kms and 6220m of climbing while exploring the Ruby’s. I’d also like to acknowledge the Nakusp/Arrow Lakes ATV club and its volunteers for all the trail maintenance they do. It really is a gem what you have going on, thanks for all your work.

The trail map at Bonanza Creek

The Shannon Creek FSR is one of the best climbs in the central Kootenays. It gains roughly 1250m over 17km to the Shannon/Caribou Pass. The surface is relatively smooth and the grade is amenable to flowy climbing. It’s been my access point the past couple of days and the descent is exceptional too.

Columbia River views on the west side of the range.
A bit of gravel esoterica in the North Valhallas

It’s also the final climb of the Valhalla Circumnavigation Route.

The final grade up to the Shannon/Caribou Pass

While you find plenty of high speed gravel, there’s also a fair bit of loose and rough terrain, some bike pushes, LOTS of Wildlife and an extremely remote feel. Be prepared with everything you need to fix yourself or your bike and ride with a buddy. For those who like to mix a bit of VTT into their gravel routes, I’d highly suggest the moto-bypass back to the Shannon FSR. It’s a sinuous, loamy double track that will keep most people entertained.

Moto By-pass

Satellite imagery is quite useful for plotting routes in this area, as a lot of the roads aren’t on most mapping apps. The ATV trail map is also a great reference😃

The Sisters trail
Looking down on Summit Lake