Days out (guided?) in Whistler BC

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  • Days out (guided?) in Whistler BC
  • Shergie

    I’m getting hitched in a couple of months and am off to Vancouver/Whistler for honeymoon – I probably have two/three days in whistler to explore, I am planning one big day (~100km) on the bike – not to fussed on riding the bike park, definitely more epic single track and don’t mind the odd hill and a shorter ride (~25km) we can both go on (Bike park wales Blues as a reference for her).

    Not against the idea of guided rides (Did someone say float-planes?) but after recommendations, experiences and general spouting about how awesome it is!

    Also if anyone has any recommendations for Vancouver that’d be swell too.


    Premier Icon oldfart

    100km in Whistler? You sir are a legend! Comfortably Numb will leave you feeling like you’ve had a day on a bike! Check out Trail Forks for Valley Trails, remember Whistler XC is different than the UK! Trip of a lifetime? Head up to the Chilcotins for a float plane day, you won’t forget it. As for guiding Johnny at Bearback will fix you up, as has been said before Whistler ain’t cheap! More bang for yer buck if you opt for Squamish or Pemberton.


    I’ve been to Whistler twice now and had guiding once – I ended up using James at Ride BC ( who did one day for us in Squamish (he picked us up from Whistler). He was very good and I’d definitely recommend him. We did the trails around the Alice Lake area, although it was all on official marked trails (so you could self guide using Trailforks if you wanted) it did help alot to have somebody who could plan a route appropriate to the groups skill level which flowed well.

    Someone will be along shortly to recommend Bearback who I also got in contact with – they did initially respond to my messages, but when the replies stopped I looked elsewhere and ended up with James.

    I did do comfortably numb, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea – it never really went up or down much and involved lots of riding over bumpy tree roots and had no flow. I reckon there are better trails elsewhere – try the Lord of the Squirrels loop.


    Managing to find a fair bit on RidewithAGPS so may just stitch a load together and see how far I get, lets call it training for Relentless and see if we get away with it!
    Thanks for the heads up guys


    The stuff outside of Whistler bike park is VERY different to UK xc. You mention BPW blues as something you can both do but you won’t really find anything like this outside the park really not structure and build wise more like grading wise. Maybe the ‘trail centre’ esque type route of the lost lake trails may suit which you could easily do by just following the signposted route. As cycl1ngjb pointed out by not liking comfortably numb the trail riding round Whistler is very uppy and downy in fact when we went we asked a few times where the easy flowy stuff was and there isn’t any really. When we were told it was ‘downhill now’ we would regularly joke that no that isn’t downhill at all.

    I’m not 100% sure on the Lord of the Squirrels difficulty wise because it wasn’t finished when we went so we didn’t get a chance to ride it.

    I’m back again in about 11 weeks time and going for 3 weeks this time, I can’t wait. Won’t be hoping to find any ‘downhill’ trails though!!

    Premier Icon jrdubya


    I’ve been to BC a couple of times. For BPW blue graded trails you are looking at lost lake and bike park greens – i don’t think there is much that easy in Squamish or the North Shore. Your wife will probably improve rapidly though!

    The Chilcotins float plane trips are amazing, and not too technical. Just longish days out on nice trails. It is expensive but well worth it. It takes a few days to drive there, or you can fly all the way for vast amounts of money.

    For epic singletrack do lord of the squirrels – when I was there the alpine bit was closed due to snow but it was still amazing. Link this to the trails lower down for your big day out, use trail forks and you could stay out all day. 100km would be pretty heroic!

    I’m very jealous now, don’t think I’ll get the chance to go back for a few years.


    To throw down a 100km day you’re looking at probably in excess of 4000m elevation. It would be truly epic but in order to do it with out repeat looping though a bunch of valley bottom trail you’ll want to be aiming for the flagship trails spread between whistlers different zones and use the connectors between (some tarmac, some.suoerb singletrack).
    As above, whistler is a different beast to most places and you must already have impressive cardio, but you’ll also need Enduro racer upper body strength to match.
    Squamish lends itself better to long epic days and you can mix in a bunch more flowy recovery miles in between climbs. Squamish misses the epic Alpine experience of lord of the squirrels, however that might not be quite open by then.

    Over 12 years of guiding I can’t remember any guests we’ve had who have been able to push more than 50km. In 15 years of riding in Whistler and I’ve probably never broken 75km in a day beyond racing!

    I can picture a more feasible 100k’er down in Squamish, but however you shake it…in the PNW, BC, Sea-to-sky riding regions, it a monster!


    Lord of the Squirrels had just officially opened when I did it last year – it’s basically a massive climb (took me 2 hours – which was rideable the whole way up) followed by a single long descent. If you decide it’s too tough then there isn’t really an easy option to cut short aside from riding back down the climb.

    There may well be snow still up in the alpine (I encountered a couple of short stretches where I was off and pushing – I was there mid July) and there were plenty of small bitey insects around.


    100km 😀
    I’m not super fit but managed 70km around Squamish last year ‘bagging’ all the riding areas close to home, but I was pretty beat at the end. Far more realistic trying to break 100 around here than Whistler though.
    I don’t think you can go too wrong with guiding choices (if you can find someone wanting to ride 100km!!). Bearback, James at RideBC and I’ll throw in RideHub in Squamish into the mix too.

    Actually, not exactly hard core mountain biking, but you could ride the Sea To Sky trail from Whistler to Squamish. Some great scenery and feels like a bit of an adventure. You could tack on some proper trails either in Whis or Squamish to get to 100 then get a lift back! It’s about 100k both ways but Whistler is higher.


    I am going to qualify my statement by saying the 100 is purely a figure plucked from the sky – if i’m going to go to the bother of hiring a bike then i’m going to get my moneys worth (#Northerner)

    @Walleater – I like the idea of riding up to squarmish, i’ll have to look into that

    We had our Honeymoon in Vancouver and Whistler. We cycled across North Vancouver to the North Shore and found it a massive step up from the UK stuff, we messed around for an afternoon but ended up sticking to the easiest runs!

    We then ‘did’ Whistler back when Bearback had their chalet accomodation, it was a great week. Spent a couple of days in the Bike Park but we were really there for the natural trails.

    We took our own bikes, was a major faff at the airports as we had rubbish bike bags with no wheels, but bike hire was £££ so glad we did…

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