The Blackrock Trail system is located three miles west of Fall City and just over 70 miles from Portland Oregon. The system is divided into four primary lines : Banzai Downhill, Sicker Gnar, Sunday Stroll/ Brake Check and Grannies Kitchen. The trails are maintained by the Blackrock Mountain Bike Association and each primary line has their own dedicated maintenance crew. The entire trail system is super dialed and the parking lot even features a changing room. [portfolio_slideshow id=4386 width="1200px"]
From the parking lot we pedal down a dirt road that is shared with a church camp. We stay left as the road points up. After 10 or so minutes of climbing we arrive at Basic Training. Basic Training acts as a staging ground featuring trail maps, bike parking and a port potty. It truly takes on the term basic training and is littered with jumps, logs, ladders and other obstacles that will be found in the more advanced trails.
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Here is a breakdown of the trails via BRMBA:
Banzai Downhill: Green Rating (Easiest)
Trail Overview: Banzai Downhill (BD) can best be described as the “bread and butter” experience at Blackrock. It is the most versatile trail on the mountain, allowing each rider to challenge him or herself according to their skill set, so everyone, from first-time to the most-experienced riders, will don a smile as they ride BD. This trail offers groomed dirt and wooden berms in addition to wooden features that meander through the forest. All features on BD have B-line ride-arounds, allowing riders to skip those features with which they are uncomfortable and add them into their BD experience with practice and time. First-time riders especially should scout all wooden and dirt features before attempting them. Individual riders can apply varying degrees of speed and select increasingly challenging lines, which may result in an experience that can be viewed from beginner up to intermediate and advanced.
Sickter Gnar: Blue Rating(intermediate)
Trail Overview: Sickter Gnar is characterized as the name implies, just when you thought it was the sickest trail you’ve ridden, you drop into some Gnar. It begins off the upper platform into a rock garden section and winds into a ribbon of sculpted berms, jumps including tabletops, doubles along with wooden ladders and technical features of various designs. Sickter Gnar is a blue rated trails and riders should scout each jump and feature before committing to riding it. Black rated sideshoots and alternate lines can be found within this trail. Sickter Gnar is a bit more raw than the Banzai Downhill trail and is best suited for intermediate/advanced riders to experts.
Grannies Kitchen: Black Rating
Trail Overview: If your granny had built a trail, she would have no problem pulling out all the tools she needed from the pantry and drawer’s in her kitchen. From the steep black rated roll in on GK1, the trail just keeps whipping up something new at every turn for your appetite. GK1 provides the riders who posses the skills required a variety of natural and wooden technical trail features. Infamous drops and stunts such as the meat clever, the cheesegrater, salad tosser,and disposal inspire riders to fly high in the magnificent understory of the Mt. Brown forest in it’s amphitheater style setting upon the hills landscape.
Other notable features on the grannies kitchen system include 2 wall rides, GK3’s section of grannie’s doubles, ET and the Halo’s on GK4. Grannies foot has some of the most technical riding blackrock has to offer. As with all blackrock trail systems, each trail section and its feature’s should be scouted before committing to the line.
Slayer: Blue Rating
Trail Overview: An intermediate line that began its life as a tribute to the freeride skill set that the northshore skinnies and platforms require. It is currently being revamped as a blue jump line that will help to develop/hone airborne jumping skills and trail flow.
Dino’s Runaround: Black Rating
Trail Overview: Dino’s Runaround begins at the base of the Bonzai Downhill 4. Originally developed for a New World Disorder film, Dino has revamped this trail into a high flying trail that incorporates wooden ladders, drops, jumps and natural dirt jumps and berms. Many of the features have b-lines but still maintain the black level rating of the trail.
This is an expert black level trail and should only be attempted by riders who have examined each of the natural and technical trail features.
Sunday Stroll/Brake Check: Black Rating
Trail Overview: Sunday stroll is just a stroll on the boardwalk, if the boardwalk was in the air and required jumping on and off ladders and jumps with mandatory gaps. This is not for the beginner and requires expert skills to perform properly. As with all trails on the mountain scout each feature and measure trail speed and risks involved.
Brake Check is a high flying jump marathon that is characterized by mandatory doubles with few ride arounds. This trail requires expert skills and proper scouting of the jumps and features.
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I definitely enjoy more of a back country experience when it comes to mountain biking but there is no denying that Black Rock is a blast. Head over to BRMBA to learn more.