Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
There is a young man on a mountain bike, whose image is plastered onto the side of the shuttle bus in Revelstoke, ripping through alpine single-track with the iconic image of a staggering Mount Begbie in the background. Everyone sees the bus driving around town and wonders to themselves, who is this guy? Why is he so fast? Where is that sweet trail? Well, he has been found and he has been asked, and now you have the answer to the big question: what, according to the on-the-side-of-the-Revelstoke-shuttle boy and his bike, are the top 5 mountain bike trails in Revelstoke?
This is the ultimate “Too Much Fun” trail of Revelstoke. Or, it is the “this trail lets me ride like my best self and I was creeping into GoPro territory until I got a little too excited.” But mostly, it is just the most good, clean fun you can have. Flowy single track through alpine meadows, with staggering views of the Columbia River Valley, Mt. Begbie and the surrounding peaks, Frisby Ridge is an alpine playground. It’s at a higher elevation than other trails, and the town awaits the coveted opening of the trail (usually around July 15), with a collective excitement that lends itself to shouted conversations across streets, “Buddy! Heard you were up Frisby? How’s she looking?” “Sweet, bud! Bit of snow up high, but she’s good to go!” This is the work of the Revelstoke Town Criers.
Keystone is a knockout trail. It gets you right up in the mountains, with incredible views and wide open fields. The recommended route is to the cabin and back (sounds vague, but you’ll know the cabin when you hit it). Further on from there, for adventurous types, is a huge hike and bike, no trail, adventure ride out to Standard Peak. I’m just throwing it out there, but be forewarned, it’s a huge day. Like, a relationship ending huge day.
The Upper and Lower MacPherson trails, split by Highway 23S, compliment each other with a quick hop and a jump over the road. In Upper Mac, you’ll find massive trees and flowy trails, and jumping into Lower Mac, you’ll rip along the banks of the Columbia River (slightly less violent than other West Banks of the world, depending how fast you take corners). Keep your eyes peeled for a view across the valley of a melted Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Trails range from Green to Black, but are on the Revelstoke sliding scale, aka they are all still quite challenging, in my humble opinion. To summarize: single track, rooty in spots, smooth in others, blazing through the carnage of cut blocks, teetering over hollowed out tree bridged creeks, whipping along the Columbia River and heart pounding back up into the mountains. Good berms are abundant. A great place for a fitness date, if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re looking for a “THAT WAS AWESOME” kind of response at the bottom of a trail, Martha Creek is your go-to. 5,138 feet of vertical descent, flowing through tall trees, blooming alpine wildflowers; you, ripping around naturally formed berms and bouncing through steep, technical sections. For the last two years, just because Revelstoke is like that, there has been an enduro race on this trail, starting at the bottom of the logging road that accesses the trail head. Aptly named the Martha Creek Meltdown, the payoff of the gruelling ascent makes it all worth it.
This mountain is tucked into the southwest corner of Revelstoke, and its trails look down over the Columbia river valley and our picturesque little town. Its lower elevation allows it to open earlier in the season, the biggest hazards then being windfall and slick dirt – nope, that’s a lie. The biggest hazard being that it is SWEET and you will go FAST and then you risk the chance of being what we refer to as a “Tumbelina.” Boulder is best for downhill biking with a shuttle, but if you don’t have your own truck or friend with a truck (or a friend of a friend), there is always Wandering Wheels, a local business who offers shuttle service in a big comfy white truck (to show off mud/dirt-levels).
Revelstoke is still an underrated location, making it a must-experience destination. It’s one of those places that in twenty years, people will say things like, “twenty years ago, this place…” before trailing off into a reverie of what was so very, very unknown and so very, very awesome.
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