British Columbia: home of the famed and fabled North Shore, freeride epicenter of the mountain biking universe. But BC is far more than just freeride heaven. The ‘B’ in BC may as well stand for “BIG.” BC is more than just big, it’s huge, and laced throughout with range upon range of rugged, dramatic, and impossibly-beautiful mountains from its coast to its massive interior.
BC has at least a dozen major mountain biking destinations, each of which is worth a top 5 list. What follows is a highly condensed version that highlights five wonderful trails and shares the incredible variety of riding to be had in Canada’s gorgeous Western province.
Dirt Diggler (Fernie)
Dirt Diggler is a monster downhill run that will take you over almost every conceivable trail surface with a potpourri of features along the way: from exposure to big banks to a series of continuous jumps near the bottom. This is a classic test piece for those wanting to combine epic vertical with techy challenge.
“4,000 feet of steep and technical riding right to the valley bottom, ending. . .near the bottom of Three Kings. This trail is for the adventurous rider: full face helmet and body armour recommended!” – Bike Fernie
Keystone Standard Basin (Revelstoke)
The Keystone Standard Basin may be the most gorgeous, picturesque ride in this list, and that’s saying something given the competition. But it’s not just a feast for the eyes, it’s a feast for the knobbies as well, as the singletrack itself is also excellent. The extra adventurous will ride/hike to the top of Standard Peak, turning this epic into a mega-epic. This is the most unknown ride that should be on every beauty seeker’s bucket list.
“I love this trail. Beautiful alpine riding. The first couple miles are the most technical, gets easier after that.
Nothing like blasting down singletrack while looking DOWN on Hawks.” – MrClee
Seven Summits Trail (Rossland)
Rossland, BC may be the coolest little town I’ve ever visited, and that’s even before taking into account the world class skiing and mountain biking that sits at its doorstep. For us Yanks, this is one of the more accessible options on the list as it sits just a few miles from the Washington border, almost due north of Spokane. Rossland’s premier ride is the appropriately-named Seven Summits Trail, a roughly 20-mile point-to-point shuttle that greets the rider with a face full of incredible interior BC scenery at every pedal stroke.
“Truly an epic trail–a few gnarly sections of loose rock but overall the climbs and descents are terrific, and incredible scenery. A long day out, but well-worth the effort.” – getouttheretoo
Smith Creek (Kelowna)
According to Singletracks riders, this trail, which is not nearly so famous as the big names around other BC destinations, sits at the top of their rankings. While less renowned than some of its neighbors, the rating isn’t a fluke. Smith Creek offers an incredibly-varied and entertaining experience with a monster climb and miles of supremely flowy downhill, all in a gorgeous Canadian forest. If you’re not having a wicked-good time at Smith Creek, you’re definitely not doing it right.
“Love this trail. Beautiful scenery. Great ride for most levels of rider. Each year I crave riding Smith Creek. My favorite part is riding through the drivers seat of the car.” – Paully D
Whistler Bike Park (Whistler)
Whistler is the first area that comes to mind when anybody thinks about riding north of the US border, and with good reason. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is has long stood alone at the top of the lift-served mountain biking world with its combination of freaky-fast flow lines, jump lines, and serious downhill bombing runs. Big vertical, big jumps, and big features all add up to the best place for people with big skills and big confidence to shred big features.
Whistler Bike Park isn’t just big, it’s huge, with five distinct zones, each of which could stand alone as a major park of its own accord. But the bike park also has lines that offer big fun, accessible to mere mortals.
Whether you’re looking to throw huge air, get intimate with serious gnar, or just rack up thousands of meters of vertical, Whistler Bike Park will hold your attention.
“This place is amazing. There is a trail for everyone here. Everyone needs to experience Whistler at least once in their life.” – Fit4Life24