Burnaby Mountain/SFU – Nicole’s Loop
Distance : 7.5km Loop
Max Elevation : 450 m ( 1300′ )
Elevation Gain : 400m (1150′ )
Time : 45-90min
Burnaby Mountain is the hill Simon Fraser University sits upon. It is a popular area for both hiking and mountain biking as it is conveniently located, easily accessible and offers a variety of trails for many levels of fitness and ability.
The Nicole’s Loop is a ride that starts and finishes at either the Gaglardi or North Road entrance on the South/Southeast end of Burnaby Mountain. To start off the ride, make your way to the southeast corner of Burnaby Mountain (North Road) and enter the North Road Trail the heads North into the forest. This trail is a rooted mild climb that will cross a couple of wider openings. Keep following the trail though until you wind around and meet up with the Trans-Canada Trail. When you come to the T with the Trans-Canada hang a left then travel approximately 100m before reaching a large sign where you will start up to the right. This is the Trans-Canada that will wrap around to the top of SFU and pop out at the main bus loop. From here, cross the campus and head up the road to the left where you will see the trail start into the forest again across from the Science building. This is now the entrance to Upper Mel’s Trail.
After dropping into the forest there are a few trails that wind in and out but they generally lead to the same place. Just stick to what seems like the major trail and you will be fine. This winds along before popping out on the road again. Cross the road and the trail will continue on the other side. This will again continue to wander down until you cross a small creek then switch-back up a steep climb. At the top of this climb is the entrance to Nicole’s Trail.
Hanging a right down Nicole’s Trail, this is the most technical and steepest part of the ride. With a few small drops and jumps on the way down, this trail offers some challenges while being a smooth and fast descent. The largest challenge on the trail is about 2/3 of the way down and is a log ride that is about 20m long and 5ft or so off the ground. This stunt is called Nicole’s Pole.
Once at the bottom of the trail you will be back to the Gaglardi entrance on the South Side of Burnaby Mountain. Ready to do it again? Overall, this is not the most scenic or best riding available but it is a great area to ride after work or school or even a quick loop on a weekend. Short, safe, and convenient.
4/9 The Reward
5/9 The Challenge
5/9 The Enjoyability