THE TRAIL WE call Evolution was originally just an alternate line to The Scorpion which intertwined across the shoulder of the mountain like some sort of intricate tatoo.
Not surprisingly, it's just about impossible to tell Upper Evolution and Upper Scorpion apart these days without a DNA sample and extensive lab tests. The two are pretty inextricably intertwined in an elaborate stunt playground until they hit the cat track, and go their separate ways to Lower Scorpion (left) and Lower Evolution (right).
If you find yourself on Dan Waters's fabled Stinger, you're at least temporarily on the old, original Upper Scorpion (although much modified). However, many of the swooping, bermed tirns and built-up jumps in the favored freeride line above and below The Stinger are actually Evolution, properly speaking.
The whole Upper Scorpion, Upper Evolution, Upper Wonderland area can be a confusing place, but here's the deal. You're basically offered a series of left and right forks. If you take the first right you end up on Wonderland, and if you take the second right and you end up on the remnant of an old abandoned trail called 12 Monkeys.
You don't want those. You want to go either straight or to the left. If you take the first left after you drop off the ridge line, and you'll get a sweet set of bermed corners leading to the Stinger. Go straight and you'll roll over the shoulder of the ridge and come to the Stinger via some very gnarly drops. This is the old, original Scorpion line, the one Dan Waters's is shown riding in the pic at the top of GalbraithMt.com's Scorpion Trail Guide.
Take the Stinger and you go to upper Evolution with more bermed corners with ramps and other interesting stunt works, some of which were constructed by volunteer crews led by legendary Galbraith trail builder Bill Hawk, AKA bham_freerider (pictured BELOW RIGHT riding a frosty log at night in Cedar Dust!). Bill and his troops have built some very nice stuntage on Scorpion / Evolution, although some of the ramps, etc. have altered the "old school" North Shore flavor of the trail and replaced it with a "new school" man-made, built-to-last feel. That's "evolution" (at least in the minds of the freeride crowd, although others may see it as "devolution").
When you get to the old cat track that cuts across both trails, it gets even more confusing (sorry), which is to say completely counter-intuitive. Go left along the cat track a ways and you can drop into the old lower Scorpion, with its signature log ride and suspension bridge (yea, that's right, suspension bride!). Go right at the cat track and you can drop into lower Evolution, with it's rollicking jumps.
In 2009, many riders ride the combined Upper Scorpion / Upper Evolution (The Stinger plus the big bermed turns and jumps), then head to the right to take oxygen on Lower Evolution, which terminates on the Tower Rd.
After you get through the trench face at the top (which is like a milder version of the first face on Flying Squirrel), this lower section of Evolution is a wide open rip with lots hips and gaps and whatnot along the sides of the trail, spiced by an occassional bit of bad trail and/or half-buried log.
Of course, if you come down Lower Evolution, you've got to ride a hundred yards of flat gravel road (Oh, no!) -- the Tower Rd. / 3000 Rd. -- to get to the top of Flying Squirrel (called Luge by the freeriders), which meets the bottom of Scorpion.
However, Evolution had now been extended across the 3000 Rd. to connect with the remnant stub of Dan's Trail, Flying Squirrel and The Shit, the last of which spits the rider out at the bottom of Darryl's Death Climb, where you can connect to Cedar Dust or Mas Pollo.
The following are some secenes from along the trail, from top to bottom. Click on the thumbnail images to view a larger version...