Back in the day when Bike Glendhu was nothing but a pipe dream, there was a vision to create a bike park where mountain bikers of all skill levels could come and share our mountainous playground and iconic views synonymous with Lake Wanaka. Dreaming about it was one thing but putting into action was a whole different ballgame.
Immediately, the Bike Glendhu team roped in Elevate Trail Building, a Queenstown-based globally recognised trail building team who knew a thing or two about making an epic bike park. We wanted gentle greens, flowy blues, techy blacks and everything in between.
If you’re new to Bike Glendhu, rest assured our trails account for all levels of mountain biker and our system of trails is a great asset for bikers looking for progression. If you haven’t had a chance to see our trails in person, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect.
Beginner Bike Trails:
For those who consider themselves confident entry-level mountain bikers, our Kākāriki Loop is a great trail to start on. This is our easiest trail and a great place to start your day at Bike Glendhu. The track meanders along the Fern Bern before getting into a gentle 3.5km climb gaining 175m in elevation. The climb is low gradient but may take a while due to the winding nature of the track.
The end of the climb will land you at Jack’s Spot, a great place to refuel, have a drink and take in the Lake Wānaka views. The Kākāriki descent leads you down the face of the mountain via a fun flowy trail with easy berms. The trail starts with a fenced 4WD track before getting into a low gradient downhill with wide bermed corners allowing you to cruise down at your own pace.
Intermediate Bike Trails:
Matt & Gary:
Once you’ve mastered Kākāriki and ready for the next step up, give Matt & Gary a go. Access to this trail starts in the place as Kākāriki: a gentle uphill climb to Jack’s Spot.
Matt & Gary is 1500m long and descends 140m over the face of the mountain. It’s a XC style descent with small berms and rollers. This trail is a slightly steeper trail than Kākāriki. Just past the halfway mark on the descent, the trail splits into Matt (left) and Gary (right) so you can choose your trail. Once they re-join the trail progresses to narrower single track before ending at the Junction where Jairolla and Hare Time also finish and Uptimus Climb begins.
Fern Berms is a short, cruisy trail that links up a few of our other intermediate trails. Those who descend Hare-Time (our jump line) will have the choice of linking up to Fern Berms or staying on Hare Time before joining up with the Kākāriki loop. Fern Berms is 600m of track descending 40m and features flowy single track with small berms and rollers.
If you’re ready to take it to the next level, give local favourite Jairolla a go. Jairolla is a 500m trail that starts from Jack’s Spot and descends 93m in elevation. This is a fast, fun flow trail has heaps of nice berms that grown in size as you descend, building confidence as you go. Jairolla is full of fun features including some smaller jumps which are great for learning and improving (or rollable if you prefer to keep your wheels on the ground) and, because it also descends on the face of the mountain, epic views over Lake Wanaka.
Jairolla links up to our jump line Hare Time but for those who don’t want to be on the jump line can take Fern Berms down to the Kākāriki link. If you’re looking to lap a few runs, take the Uptimus Climb link from Hare Time and Jairolla which will give you a short cut to the uphill Kākāriki trail. Uptimums Climb is a wide uphill track with a low gradient.
If you’re into jumps and heaps of features, Hare Time is your trail! It has 1.7km of jumps, table-tops, berms, rollers and shark fins. While this is a more advanced track, intermediates should be able to happily roll the features and advanced riders will have a great time catching air.
The jumps have steep takeoffs and decent size landings. This trail is a no-pedal jump line and rolls faster than you think. If you’re new to this track, it’s a good idea to Pre-ride, Re-Ride, and then Freeride the trail giving yourself plenty of time to get familiar with the features.
The track descends 118m meters and links up with Jairolla/Fern Berms and eventually Kākāriki. This is a great track to loop for those who just want to work on their jumps and if you’re looking to get back to Jack’s Spot, take the Uptimus Climb link from Hare Time and Jairolla which will give you a short cut to the uphill Kākāriki trail.
TooGood Trais – Dual Slalom:
Our new Dual Slalom track, Toogood Trails, is perfect for those who love a bit of competition. Two side by side identical 436m tracks features jumps berms and everything in between. The features can be rolled by intermediates and bombed down by the pros. Grab your mate and start the clock!
Toogood Trails starts from Jack’s Spot and ends 1/3 of the way down Hare Time and Jairolla, meeting up with those two trails and eventually linking to Uptimus Climb and Kākāriki.
Switch It Up:
Ready to go higher? If you’ve had your fill of Jack’s Spot, Switch It Up will take you to The Crossing on the backside of the mountain. Switch it up is the gateway to the back side of the mountain featuring more technical trails for those who are looking to take their riding to the next level. The track itself is a low gradient climb with plenty of switchbacks.
Switch It Up is a gentle 1.6km long climb that gains 87m in elevation. The trail ends at The Crossing where you can choose your next move:
- Head down Monsoon Hoon towards Stags Point where you can head to the summit (Falcon’s Nest), or drop into Dark Matter (black trail) or the soon-to-open (December 2020) Rocky Borrow Show (blue tech).
- Lower Baywatch back down to Jack’s Spot
- Head up the steep 4WD track to Boulders Cross where you can head down Dark Matter (Black trail) or up to Falcon’s Nest.
Once you’ve climbed up Switch It Up, you’ll have plenty of options on where to go. If you’re heading to the summit, you’ll find yourself on Monsoon Hoon, an 819m track that descends 46 meters to the bottom of our final climb, Adze Up.
Monsoon Hoon also leads to Methane Train, an advanced Black single track for more experienced riders, and The Rocky Borrow Show – a soon-to-open (December 2020) Blue Tech trail.
The Rocky Borrow Show
Under construction at the time of writing, the Rocky Borrow Show is due to open late December 2020. A tech blue, it drops into the same valley as Methane Train, providing a fun trail for progression if you’ve been riding our blue flow trails a lot. Stats are a bit of a guess at this, but dropping 100m over 1.6km, and built by the team at Elevate Trail Building so it’s bound to be a lot of fun.
Adze Up is the last and final climb to the summit (Falcon’s Nest). The climb starts at Stag’s Point and has a fast flowy downhill section first with jumps and berms before settling into a long low gradient climb with many switchbacks. Backcountry experience is recommended as there is no cell coverage on this part of the mountain. Be sure to take plenty of water and snacks! The last water stop is at Jack’s Point so fill up before going further. The climb will wind around the backside of the mountain giving you views of the Matukituki Valley and Treble Cone.
This climb will take plenty of energy and a bit of time but we promise the views from the top will 100% be worth it.
Lower, Mid & Upper Baywatch:
The final tracks worth mentioning under the intermediate category are Lower, Mid and Upper Baywatch. All three of these can be thought of as three separate tracks but they all link up nicely for one deliciously fun downhill.
For those who made it to Falcon’s Nest at the summit, well done! Time for your well-deserved descent down Upper Baywatch, a flowy Blue. Enjoy a brief view of the lake before ducking behind on the backside of the mountain where you’ll find jumps and steep downhill bermed corners that fall away. The trail is 1.5km long and descends 137m dropping you Boulders Cross where you can choose to go down Dark Matter or Mid Baywatch.
Mid Baywatch is a tech and flow blue with fast singletrack with jumps, berms and rollers. Mid Baywatch traverses the backside of the mountain before dropping into Lower Baywatch providing money shot views of Lake Wanaka and Jack’s Spot.
Lower Baywatch is a fast flowy blue trail with swoopy corners, jumps and rollers. It is easier than upper Baywatch so if you not sure you’re ready for the Upper Baywatch trail, give Lower Baywatch a try first and assess your comfort levels.
Advanced Bike Trails:
Dark Matter is a great trail for advanced riders who want a bit of single track through native bush. Dark Matter is 485m track that descends 95m that starts at Boulders Crossing and links up to Monsoon soon. If you’re heading down Dark Matter you can expect dark, slick dirt with lots of rock and optional line choices.
Methane Train is a fun black single track with rock rolls, optional drops and flowy sections. You can expect tight native single track that ends in a mellow grass climb out back up to Jack’s Spot.