[google-map-v3 width=”600″ height=”500″ zoom=”12″ maptype=”roadmap” mapalign=”center” directionhint=”false” language=”default” poweredby=”false” maptypecontrol=”true” pancontrol=”true” zoomcontrol=”true” scalecontrol=”true” streetviewcontrol=”true” scrollwheelcontrol=”false” draggable=”true” tiltfourtyfive=”false” addmarkermashupbubble=”false” addmarkermashupbubble=”false” kml=”http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1961584/RTNmaps/SugarbowlVRloop.gpx” bubbleautopan=”true” showbike=”false” showtraffic=”false” showpanoramio=”false”]
Sugarbowl Viking Ridge Loop
Access: Parking lot about 50 minutes east of Prince George. Well marked on the south side of the highway just inside the Sugarbowl Grizzly Den Park boundary. About 10 minutes past Purden.
This is a mountain trail starting with about 1 km through rolling cedar forest. It transitions to a 4 km climb to the top of an alpine ridge. The trail then follows the ridge to the peak of Sugarbowl mountain (6,003′) and continues to the saddle before Viking ridge. The trail downhills to the highway and one can run the side of the highway back to the parking lot (approx 6km of highway travel). This loop excludes adding in the actual Viking Ridge.
There is a mix of old growth cedar, subalpine fir, full open alpine and lot of other plant life. I have seen blue grouse and caribou on the ridge and sign of mule deer and moose. Although I am sure this is grizzly country, I have not seen any nor their sign.
This is a great all year around trail but it is only completely snow free for August. Expect heavy snow for a lot of the year.
There is water at the trailhead and at about 3 km on the trail to Sugarbowl Ridge. There is also water on the down trail on the Viking Ridge side.
As you get better on technical trail, you’ll be able to run this faster and with confidence.
This trail is sparsely marked.
Length: 22.6 KM for the full loop with 5400′ gain.
From the parking lot to the ridge and back is around 8.5 km with almost 3000′ gain.
Difficulty: The full loop is a lot of fun but is difficult, technical and subject to weather.
This is also an excellent hike. Other options are just the ridge, leaving a car at the Viking Ridge parking lot (to cut out the highway running) or just climbing to the summit and back (18 km)
Link to GPS file here
Link to Google earth file here
Beware that my wristwatch Garmin can be up to about 30 meters off.