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Best of British Columbia: Whistler and Squamish Mountain Biking

This is the sort of action you'll see at Crankworx. (Wikimedia Commons)

This is the first of three posts about the awesome times a mountain biker can have visiting British Columbia. Hang on and read on!


Sometimes, two bloggers are better than one. That’s definitely the case when I get a message from a Spanish mountain biker planning to visit British Columbia for some fun this summer. I’ve been to BC and have some decent info, but my friend and BC resident Teresa of MtnBikingGirl.com can turn a decent reply into a slam-dunk. 

So here’s our situation: David and his friends are bringing their own bikes and plan to be in BC July 30 – Aug. 16. He assures me they’re skilled enough to handle all of what BC can hurl at them. They plan to hit Vancouver Island, Squamish and Whistler. He’s also hoping Teresa and I can hook him up with some non-mountain biking activities.

Alright, let’s take a look at what we’ve got here:

Squamish Valley - scenic and silly with great trails. (McKay Savage)

Squamish

Justin’s Quick Hits

Squamish is packed with outdoor activities. Mountain biking is high on its specialities, especially cross-country racing. Word is there’s something like 600 trails in the area. The Test of Metal race sounds pretty awesome. I would definitely like to spend more time in Squamish in the future. I was just there long enough for pit stops between Vancouver and Whistler.

Just getting there is a treat for the eyeballs, with spectacular views in virtually any direction.

Teresa Tells It All

One of the “must ride” trails is Half Nelson. Only one word describes this trail: FUN! It has a bit of everything that should suit everyone and is one of the BC Bike Race staples every year. Squamish has an extensive trail network and it’s hard to just pick a few trails to ride. Tourism Squamish has done a great job of posting videos and descriptions of some of their trails. They are the “go-to” place to find out more information to find out more information about the best trails to ride.

Airing it out on the Whistler jumps.

Squamish is also our rockclimbing mecca so when you drive past the Stawamus Chief (massive granite rock monolith, you can’t miss it) look up! You’ll almost always see people climbing the face. You can also hike to the top of the Stawamus Chief. If you have the time and energy after your ride, you’ll be treated to some pretty incredible views. And if you’re really lucky, you might meet a base jumper or two, as well.

Whistler

Justin’s Quick Hits

What can you do in Whistler: fishing, hiking, skiing (well, not in summer) … and mountain biking of every flavor. You’ll see cross-country hammerheads, dirt jumpers, downhillers, trials mutants and combinations thereof. It’s stocked with shops to dispense gear and advice. It’s a real mountain bike culture, the likes of which I haven’t seen before.

Something to keep in mind: Everything in Whistler seems absurdly expensive (my wife and I ate at a Mongolian-style BBQ place that set us back about $40 US – that’s about $16 in Arizona). I’d suggest renting someplace with a kitchen so you can save some bucks on food.

David’s schedule coincides with the  Crankworx festival, so he and his buddies can snag test rides on some sweet bikes and mingle with all sorts of bike nuts.

Teresa Tells It All

There is lots of great riding around Whistler and not all of it is in the bike park! Around Lost Lake there is a great series of trails if you’re looking for a shorter ride. Then there are the classics like Cut Yer Bars and Kill Me Thrill Me which are for the more advanced rider. Looking for something a bit more epic? Then you will want to check out the trail Comfortably Numb.

Whistler’s Bike Park is well known and for good reason. If dirt jumping is more your style, you’ll have an excellent time on Crank It Up and Heart of Darkness. Far too many trails to list here, but you’ll need a downhill or all-mountain bike and a full-face helmet for most of these trails.

In the next post, Teresa and I will spill the beans on the awesome Vancouver Island. We’ll follow that up with the dirt on the city itself. Subscribe so you don’t miss out!

3 thoughts on “Best of British Columbia: Whistler and Squamish Mountain Biking

  1. David

    Hey Justin!

    First of all, sorry for a so late answer, i’ve been a bit messed up these days.

    Wow! that’s more than we could expect…I’ve no time to read it much but it looks fun…i’ll bring ‘the track managers’ up to here to take the info.

    Thanks a lot!

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