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The Raddest Rides in BC - Summer 2012

11028 Views 29 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  philshep
Greetings Western Canadians,

My core riding group (we're all from Ontario) are looking to head out to BC this summer for a week of epic riding. We are still unsure of whether we will fly into Calgary and do the interior, or fly to Vancouver and ride the coast.

For some background info... we're a tight group of 5 guys that like epic riding. Most of all we love technical riding. We're all on 6" all travel AM bikes and happy to be on the trail for 6-8 hours every day. We're thinking 7 days. If we do the coast, we were thinking of topping the trip off with a float plane drop.

Logistically, we usually rent a large van to carry our bikes and gear, and try to find reasonable accommodations. We're normally pretty bagged at the end of the day so we aren't too fussy about lavish lodgings.

Any tips or opinions on rides, locations, lodging etc. would be greatly appreciated. Would also like to hook up with other riders to show us around as well if we're in the area. I want to set an itinerary of the best rides based on feedback from local riders rather than show up and be looking for trails.

cheers, and thanks! :thumbsup:


PS: We've done the North Shore / Whistler thing on big bikes already, so we're not looking for that type of stuff this time 'round.
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Too big a question. Define a time period too please as that will dictate how high you can get into alpine.

eg you can rent a RV to go one-way from CGY to YVR.

7 days tho is sweet fuk all for time.

K-Country - Jumpingpound - Cox Hill

Revelstoke - Frisby Ridge; and Keystone Standard

Salmon Arm - Rubberhead

Merritt - Visitor Ctr loops or full Iron Mountain

Chilliwack - Elk-Thurston or Vedder loops

Sunshine Coast when you pull into Vancouver.

I've written about all these places on various assignments from tourism associations - published either on Pinkbike or NSMB. If you're too early in the year then the alpine will be snow-covered. Too late and many of the lower trails will be dustbowls and all of Kamloops and the Interior will be dustbowls. That's why you need to define a date.

Too many trails to list if you decide to stick around Sea-To-Sky area.

Many of the rides listed above can be done with smaller bikes but it depends on skill level too of course.
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In the Interior:
1. Canmore. (1 day)
2. Revelstoke (2 to 3 days)
3. Rossland (2 to 3 days)
4. Fernie. (2 days)

Coast: I would go the island and sunshine coast

1. Victoria (super techy. but not a huge amount of trails)
2. Duncan
3. Nanimo
4. Cumberland
5. Campbell river
6 and 7 Sunshine Coast.


1. Squamish
2. Whistler XC
3. Whistler XC (wicked XC riding, really underated)
4. Pemberton
5 and 6. Chilcotins
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Sorry, time of year will be first week of September.

If we were to do Squamish -> Whistler -> Pemberton would people suggest a central lodging location or float around to each town?

I'm also interested in this. Me and the buds are doing a trip in September. Thinking along the same lines except we'll do a couple days at Whistler on AM bikes.
Kelowna may make more sense as a jumping off spot than Calgary.
Skipping rossland with an AM bike in hand would be a life regret. Otherwise just listen to LeeL and be done with it.
few days in fernie
few days in canmore, K country
few days in banff/LL
few days in golden/Reve

just some of the other ideas have a LOT of driving...
Sorry, time of year will be first week of September.

If we were to do Squamish -> Whistler -> Pemberton would people suggest a central lodging location or float around to each town?

With an RV you can be at different places easily

Squish - Alice Lakes

Whistler - Cal-cheak parking lots or Lots 4 or 5 in the Village (can't remember where)

Pemberton - Owl Creek FSRS or the campsites just S of town (Nairn Falls)

Each town has rec centres and lakes for swims. Or you probably will be camping by creeks.

Good maps for each town. I'll suggest some trails if you've decided on the trip
I would not try to cover too much ground. Pick an area and explore it. Minimize the driving and maximize the riding.

- Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast, Whistler/Pemby
- Calgary Kananaskis Alberta, Golden and Revelstoke
- Calgary Fernie, Nelson, Rossland and New Denver

all the above are one week loops. Go for a 10 day trip minimum, 7 days is too short.
After some discussion I think we're going to go with the coast. Not sure about the RV thing.... the whole camping thing added to pulling our bikes and equipment across the country seems a bit much. We'll probably look for cheap accommodations and just rent a large van for cargo and bodies.
You could waste a whole week in Fernie no problem. Revelstoke and Rossland are to other great stops.
All I will say try to minimize your driving and maximize your riding, if you only have a week.

And Lee pretty much covered it.

Thanks for the info guys, I'll make sure to save this page and start tracking down Lee's trail articles and beta on the goods :thumbsup:

By the way Lee, incredible articles and photo essay on Switzerland! Exactly what i needed to "push" my wife to visiting Europe in mid/end August for a month next year, now i have her excited to bike and hike these jaw dropping trails... just hope they are still legal by then :eek:

Thx Michael - Tourism Switzerland and Italy liked it enough they want us back for another round of different places for next summer
Here's my recommendation for the coast around September with 7 days. All these loops are anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. If you can read a map then you'll be ok

I'm skipping Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Sunshine coast as 7 days is nothing for time and you'll likely not be able to fit this all in anyway


Univercity - Ring Creek FSR - Bobsled (1 loop) - Angry Midget (loop 2) - over to Ring Creek Rip - up Powerhouse Plunge - over to Hoods in the Woods.

Shady Tree - climb Cheekye Fan trails - climb to Cat Lake - Cheshire Cat - Cheshire Kitten - either over to Wonderland and back to Shady Tree --- or ----- climb Debecks' Hill to Crouching Squirrel (easier) or Rigs and Zen (hard) then to Shady Tree. Throw in a climb to Trestle Trail via Lower Jacks then back down Highlands to Shady Tree


- Start at Lost Lake - Cut Yer Bars - back over the highway to Emerald Forest - cross over again to Emerald Estates - do Big Kahuna, Anal Intruder and then Section 102 in reverse - ride highway to Kill Me Thrill Me - then over to Young Lust - Comfortably Numb (pull out at BCBR cutout if you are out of light) - for full man points do all of CN

- Start at Village - valley trails to Stonebridge - climb Stonebridge and new climbing Westside route to flank Trail. All these loops can be redone off this same climb; start with Pura Vida (easiest); add in Industrial Disease; Cheap Thrills; AC-DC, Sh it Happens depending on how you feel.

- Start at Village - head to Creekside. Climb to midpoint of Ride Don't Slide. Hike up RDS to Hwy 86. Climb Hwy 86 to Khyber Pass. KPass to Babylon then either Boyds (harder) or Big Timber (easier). If you feel like it head over to West Side and hit another loop.


- Ivy Rd parking lot - climb Happy Trail - Big Nimby - past Microwave Tower - Jack the Ripper then JTR all the way down. I like to do this the man's way and climb all of it (4 hrs). Others will shuttle to Mic Tower. Do what you will

- Ivy Rd parking lot - Happy - Big Nimby - Overnight Sensation - climb to Mosquito Lk - climb to Cream Puff and down. Can repeat climb to Mosquito Lk and do Grumpy Grouse, Meatgrinder etc (inr order of ascending difficulty) Each loop is approx 1.5hrs with first loop 2.5hrs)

- Chain Lakes trail is supposed to be awesome but I never got to it

Near Pemberton

Barbour heli drop - contact Bikeco for this. It used to be on the down low but now looks like they're advertising it. Superior to the much-hyped but too short Rainbow helidrop. 8 hours or so.

Tenquille Lake - I like it as an out and back with hike-a-bike from bottom of Lillooet River Hurley junction. Some will shuttle the Hurley FSR and cut out 1000m of climbing. Barbour heli drop adds about 700m of alpine to Tenquille Lk ride. TLk itself is about 1600m of ascent/descent - starts at 200m and ends at 1800m or so at alpine lake

Chilcotin. - just read up on the articles I've written. Spruce Lake drop is for beginner/intermediates. Warner is longer than Spruce but still purely valley riding. Lorna Lake is more committing but better for those who can read a map

This really should be a sticky as the question gets asked again and again and again and again
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Make sure you pick up a copy of Wade Simmons' amazing guidebook.
Also check out Amazing IPhone trail maps with GPS overlay. Great for finding your way to new trails. Extra great for ensuring that you're at the correct trailhead or forest service road junction.

I've lived in the Sea to Sky corridor for 10 years and these tools helped me find some amazing new rides.

This is awesome. Thanks everyone! Lee, those rides look stellar. Is it possible to do RDS from the top that time of year?

This is awesome. Thanks everyone! Lee, those rides look stellar. Is it possible to do RDS from the top that time of year?

Yes RDS is in good shape in September and October. No worries of regular snow in the alpine till early November.

I'd happily play tour guide in North Van if you guys want a Shore AM/trail/xTc day/half day.

Sept 7-9 is Four Kings so won't be able to tour you around on those days. Also depending on the courses that Tony lays out it could affect some riding in Whistler. Actually you could just ride what he lays out as he usually picks spectacular routes.
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