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January 20, 2010 --
New Galbraith Maps!
The best, most complete and up-to-date Mt. Bike Maps of Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, WA
New Trail Guides too!'s Ultimate Galbraith Mt. Guide
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R.I.P. -- This Galbraith technicality no longer exists, but we present it here for riders with fond memories, and because you're still likely to encounter this sort of slimey rudeness on Galbraith today.

12 Monkeys:
Gettin' Down The Sweet Way

Julie comes up smiling in the fireweed at the end of a flying dismount on 12 Monkeys just after it comes out of the trees into the clearcut.

mb_071100.jpg (49948 bytes)
Trail name: 12 Monkeys
Difficulty rating: built by Carl Shook with help from the legendary Shawn Obra (he of' Shawn's Trail), 12 Monkeys pretty much matches the name. It has a couple technical moments, but the thing you'll probably remember most is the sweeping view of Bellingham Bay and the islands beyond. Further on, Naughty Nellie affords great vistas of Lake Whatcom and Mt. Stuart.
Elevation gain/loss: 500 feet
Best riding direction: best ridden down from the Towers at the top
Best seasons: a useful and entertaining trail, it gets heavy use all year long
Maps: Click here for trail map. Click here for larger area map.

TWELVE MONKEYS continues two venerable Galbraith Mt. traditions in one stroke: Galbraith's great tower trail tradition, and Galbraith's great trail name tradition, ala Kung Fu Theater, Evil Twin, Old Issues, Darrell's Death Climb and El Pollo Elastico.

Carl Shook built Twelve Monkeys in 2003 after logging amputated two of Galbraith's great tower trails, the Tower Trail and Wonderland. It helps connect the Towers to Arsenio via Naughty Nellie and Keystone.

If the upper part of 12 Monkeys feels very familiar to experienced Galbraith riders, there's a reason. The entrance to 12 Monkeys is just a few yards from the entrance to the late, lamented Wonderland, and 12 Monkeys follows a very similar course down the ridge, across the forested swale, and up over the next ridge line.

At this point, 12 Monkeys pops out into a new clearcut and becomes another kind of beast altogether. Many riders are almost overcome by the broad, sweeping views of the bay and the islands when they first wheel out into the fireweed. This ridge above Bellingham Bay is fairly exposed to the weather, and so riders frequently find themselves buffeted by wind too. Gotta look sharp, though. There are two big stunts here.

The first is a side hill catwalk that is very reminiscent of the big catwalk on Dan's Trail, in that if you carry sufficient speed into it you can roll right through without ever having to peddle at all. Then there is a section of old growth cedar log, laying lengthways on the steeply plunging slope. If you're fortunate enough to power up onto this log, you have your choice of two lines off -- the hucksters' and the rollers' -- along with a fairly technical "ride around."

That's it for the seriously technical stuff, though. 12 Monkeys is technically demanding (there are some sweet switchbacks and a couple steep pitches to spice things up) but not terrifying. In fact, you might even say 12 Monkeys has a sunny disposition.

And 12 Monkeys is very useful. Together, 12 Monkeys and Naughty Nellie, which follows after a brief section of gravel logging road, connect to venerable Keystone to allow riders to travel via singletrack from the Towers to Kung Fu Theater, Purple Heart, 2 1/2 and Granny's House and the rest of the north side.

The following are some of the scenes as you descend 12 Monkeys. Click on the thumbnail images to view a larger version...

mb1_051700.jpg (19284 bytes) Julie cuts through the fireweed on 12 Monkeys shortly after it enters the clearcut. Lummi Island, the San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands loom in the cloudy distance across Bellingham Bay. Lake Padden and the Chuckanuts are also visible on the left side of the picture.
mb2_051700.jpg (16479 bytes) Dropping down, Julie picks up speed...
mb3_051700.jpg (21156 bytes) For her approach to the catwalk...
mb3_051700.jpg (21156 bytes) So she doesn't even have to peddle...
mb5a_051700.jpg (39954 bytes) While coasting across and rolling down the other side.

Trail Legend --

8. Scorpion
9. Wonderland
10. Evolution
11. 12 Monkeys
12. Naughty Nellie

Click here for larger area map...

Great Galbraith Mt. Riders: Jim "Sully" Sullivan at the 1990 Mt. Bike World Championships in Durango, COGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Mark Peterson on Cedar Dust in the snowGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Mark Peterson on Cedar Dust in the snowGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Mark Peterson on Cedar Dust in the snowGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Dan Waters on Evolution by MongoGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Russ Barlow at Sandy Stone by MongoGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Chris Luna at Sandy Stone by cartman88Great Galbraith Mt. Riders: Pat "The Bear" White on the Big Rock on Cedar Dust on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WAGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Russ Barlow at Sandy Stone by MongoGreat Galbraith Mt. Riders: Pat "The Bear" White on the Big Rock on Cedar Dust on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WA

Map get trashed? Print another!

cover of's Ultimate Galbraith Mt. GuideYou don't have to get lost. You don't have to ride the same couple trails over and over again.

Get 's Galbraith Mt. Trail Map Set & Ultimate Galbraith Mt. Guide -- you'll get more out of the mountain.

This is THE guide to mountain biking on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WA, and it includes the best mountain biking maps of Galbraith ever made, updated August 2009.

You get all our Trail Guides, Technical Guides, Bike Reviews, Virtual Greeting Committee and Video Clips, PLUS the complete Galbraith Mt. Trail Map Set.

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