Things To Do
BC’s Coolest Ski Towns
The case for skiing north of the border, written by an American
If heli-biking, floatplane drops, and singletrack from backcountry lodges won’t make your mountain biking buddies jealous, then I’m not sure what will.
A shuttle lap via floatplane? Yes, you read that right. In BC’s South Chilcotin Mountains, a five hour drive north of Whistler, Tyax Adventures will fly you into the backcountry (gear and bike included) and drop you off on a remote lake. And that’s only the beginning of the fun. Navigate your way along singletrack trails for a full-day ride back to Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa or book a multi-day adventure—including overnights in backcountry camps, a guide, and meals.
This trip is for bikers who get their kicks from riding rocky terrain, narrow singletrack, steep climbs, and semi-technical descents. Spend two days on the trails in the mountain playground of Fernie, and a day each riding through the Rocky Mountain trench in Invermere, at Nipika Mountain Resort, and in Kananaskis Country. This trip includes your accommodation, guide, meals, transport, and cold micro-brews at days end.
Canada’s first year-round shuttle bike park has been flying under the radar, but is now quickly gaining the attention of pros and devoted gravity riders alike. A 40-minute BC Ferries trip from Horseshoe Bay lands you on the Sunshine Coast—with an already established trail network of 300+ cross-country trails—and at the Coast Gravity Park. Built and designed by the Coastal Crew, you’ll be sending laps in the park all day. Just don’t forget to break for lunch. Their on-site chef cooks up incredible burgers, tacos, and more from the ocean view Coast Gravity Grill.
Bucket list is the claim, but we’ll let you be the judge. Retallack Lodge in BC’s Selkirk and Purcell mountains and offers 5,900 square kilometres (2,278 square miles) of wilderness biking, 100 km (62 mi) of singletrack, and a 6,000 vertical foot (1,828 vertical metre) descent—one of the longest downhill tracks in the world. Three-day packages include professional guides, shuttles, accommodation, meals, and full days of riding. Sounds pretty bucket list worthy to me.
Want over 5,000 vertical feet (1,524 vertical metres) of trail without the uphill slog? Blackcomb Helicopters will drop you on a mountain summit in Whistler or Pemberton. Best of all? If you grab four riding buddies it will only cost you $135 per person. This isn’t for beginners, so make sure your skills are advanced or expert before you tackle this experience. There is always something to work towards, right?
It’s basically sacrilege if you find yourself in Vancouver and don’t ride the North Shore. Mount Seymour, Fromme, and Cypress have a network of trails accessible by shuttle or an uphill ride. Some of BC’s most technical descents can be found here but there are a few good beginner and intermediate trails to play on too. Endless Biking offers three and four hour shuttle tours to Fromme and Seymour to help newcomers explore this network of iconic North Shore trails.
If downhill is your game, then a road trip of BC’s eight lift-accessed bike parks is a must. Vancouver Island, with Mount Washington’s bike park, is a good place to start. Then head for the iconic Whistler Mountain Bike Parkbefore making your way to the interior’s three parks—Sun Peaks, SilverStar, and newly built park at Big White. Now that you are warmed up, finish the road trip in the east by riding at Fernie, Panorama, and Kicking Horse.
It might be said that a biker’s dream is to roll out of bed, open the door, hop on a bike, and let the first pedal stoke be on a trail. At Sol Mountain Lodge, two and a half hours south of Revelstoke, all of that is possible. Nearly 20 km (12 mi) of trails have been built directly from the lodge door. This full-service backcountry lodge is equipped with a wood-fired sauna and offers both guided and catered options. Want to stay for free? Volunteer your time trail building and you no longer have to dream.
The organizers of the BC Bike Race are bringing a new experience to BC for the biking community. BC Bike Ride North will take bikers on a journey by plane, train, and automobile through six communities—from Williams Lake to Port Edward—and along 14 different trail networks covering 1,800 km (1,118 mi) in Northern BC. This is a full-service experience, with freshly prepared meals, transportation, unlimited craft beer, and tent accommodation. The north is the new frontier of mountain biking in BC and this may just be the ultimate Northern BC bike experience.
This experience is strictly for the strong lunged. Hiking your bike to a trail summit requires lots of energy and a keen spirit for adventure. If you’re up for it, Wandering Wheels offers a Hike-a-Bike Challenge Tour—hiking to the summit, celebrating on top, and riding down. This 6-10 hour mission includes lunch. If that sounds like a little too much, then a cross-country shuttle drop to the famous Frisby Ridge or a heli-drop with Arrow Helicopters are great options. They’ll get you there, you get yourself down.
The IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) names the Seven Summits as one of their official ‘epics’, attracting bikers to the tiny town of Rossland every summer. This ride is done best with a Mountain Shuttle to the trailhead before starting the 30-36 km (18-22 mi) of singletrack up and down seven summits. Tackle this trail north to south and give yourself six to eight hours. We’re all a little tired of the ‘epic’ claim, but this one may just live up to it.
Remember to respect the terrain, environment, and other users while you are out there enjoying the trails, and always make sure you follow the three T’s: trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. AdventureSmart is a great resource to get informed before you head outdoors.
So, what will it be? Let us know your dream BC biking trip in the comments below.
Things To Do
From powder to steeps to trees, from on-piste to off-piste to backcountry, the big mountains of BC naturally build better skiers and boarders.
3 - 7 days / 694.88 km (432 mi)
The Coast Mountain Circle Route combines the best of outdoor attractions and adventure to create an unforgettable visit.
Things To Do
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