FERNIE GRAVEL GRIND SPECIAL EDITION

By team rider and Landyachtz employee Lucas Greenough

If you’re wanting to go off the grid and truly experience the Rocky Mountains up close and personal, this is it. No service for hours with little passerby on some of BC’s finest gravel roads, wildlife, and views to boot. This 130km door to door loop features a mountain pass up and over Hartley Lake Pass, a cruisey descent along Sulfur Creek where close encounters with wildlife is expected, and a steady push along the stunning mineral blue Bull River.

90% Gravel, 10% Pavement, 100% mind blowing experience. 

Founded in 2019 by Carter Nieuwesteeg, the Fernie Gravel Grind (FGG) is a fundraising organization that supports trail building, maintenance, and advocacy while promoting inclusivity within the cycling community through our local initiatives. 

In 2020 the event was forced to go virtual, although that didn’t stop the spirit of the FGG from growing like wildfire. The virtual event featured 7 incredible backcountry gravel routes surrounding Fernie for participants of all abilities to choose from. Like the wild spirit of the FGG, it only made sense that one of the main features of Virtual Fernie Gravel Grind was the beautifully raw Bull River Loop. 

If you’re wanting to go off the grid and truly experience the Rocky Mountains up close and personal, this is it. No service for hours with little passerby on some of BC’s finest gravel roads, wildlife, and views to boot. This 130km door to door loop features a mountain pass up and over Hartley Lake Pass, a cruisy descent along Sulfur Creek where close encounters with wildlife is expected, and a steady push along the stunning mineral blue Bull River. Eventually, you’ll wind your way out of the Rocky Mountains and into the ranching planes of the South Country before hooking back up into Fernie from the opposite direction you left town from a few hours prior. 

The Bull River is considered a small town a best. Located on the east side of the Kootenay River, the town was created in the 1860s when coarse placer gold was discovered. Today, as we all know, gravel is the new gold (TM @ Tutti). The name Bull River comes from a prospector called Bull, who back in the day was known for panning placer along the river. Though the boom for gold disappeared after the turn of the century, forestry operations in the area kept the town alive while opening up hundreds of kilometers of pristine gravel roads. It’s nothing short of a gravel’ers paradise now adays. 

 

Likely to see: 

  • Rocky mountain sheep at the Sulphur Creek rock cuts. 
  • Black bears (and maybe a Grizzley) on Hartley Lake Pass. 
  • Moose bathing in Hartley Lake. 
  • Western Sloped Cutthroat Troat rising in the Bull River. 
  • Some very tall, edgy mountains. 
  • A lot of cows and ranchers along the planes. 
  • An upside down 1990 Ford F150. 

Ride Summary

Distance: 

130 Km

Elevation

1600 m

Est. Moving Time:

11 HRS

Difficulty:

8 Burritos 🌯

Terrain

Medium 🌶️

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