Best BMX and Mountain Biking Whistler
Life in Whistler during the summer without a bike is like turning up in the winter without your skis. Without them you’d just have to sit back and watch everyone else have all the fun. The resort’s passion for our two wheeled friends is unrivalled. Both locals and tourists can be seen rolling through the village on everything from beautifully painted beach cruisers to scratched up BMX’s, and skinny lightweight road bikes to massive, full suspension, downhill beasts. Whatever type of bike you have, or like to play on, Whistler has a place for you to ride it from morning until night. Here it is, Best BMX and Mountain Biking Whistler!
Downhill Biking - Whistler Mountain Bike Park
When the snow melts in Whistler, and all the skis and snowboards are safely in storage, Whistler Mountain becomes a biker’s playground. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is one of the best downhill biking experiences in the world and has everything from wide open undulating trails, like Easy Does It for beginners, to hair-raising descents filled with rocks, roots and cliffs such as Goat’s Gully, intimidating even when it’s a snow covered ski run.
If you’ve never pulled on a full-face helmet, body armor and all, and pointed a meaty full suspension downhill bike towards the bottom of a trail, it truly is a unique style of adrenaline rush. It is also far easier than it looks.
Whistler Blackcomb aims to prove this with Ladies Night, which takes place every Wednesday. Full equipment rental, lift ticket and a two-hour lesson only cost $68 and this season Testosterone Tuesdays has been introduced, when the boys can also test their metal in the bike park for the same price. Both deals mean even those of you used to keeping both feet, and certainly both wheels, on the ground will be bouncing down the bike park in no time.
For the experienced rider in 2012 Whistler Blackcomb is also opening a unique downhill trail called Top of the World, which winds down the mountain from Whistler’s very peak, 2000 meters above the village. Only the first 100 riders to buy the special $15 add-on for the trail will get the chance to ride each day keeping the alpine experience fresh and fun.
Whistler Cross Country Biking - Lost Lake Park Cross Country Trails
If you like a bit more balance in your life then maybe the cross-country (XC) riding the resort has to offer is for you.
Whistler and the surrounding areas have hundreds of free XC trails that make you work for the stunning alpine views and flowing descents, with some grueling but rewarding up hill climbs. The beauty of XC is that it is completely free to ride the trails, and whatever your age or ability there is a trail for you.
Lost Lake Park’s famous Zappa Trails are a mixture of green and blue trails that vary from easy wide-open gravel paths to more technical single track with exciting downhill and features, both natural and man-made. The rest of the valley is a huge network of trails straight out of a mountain biker’s wildest dreams with single track that has you riding logs over raging rivers, weaving through dense trees and skidding your way around hairpin bends. Some of the most popular local trails are the flat but feature filled A River Runs Through It, the incredible Train Wreck that weaves around genuine old train debris, and the epic full day adventure that is Comfortably Numb (know as Uncomfortable Bum to local’s).
Drop into the Visitors Centre for a map of Whistler’s best trails or just ask at your friendly local bike dealer. Fanatyk Co. Bike Shop’s knowledgeable staff will point you in the right direction for both suitable bikes and trails.
Freestyle - Whistler Skate Park and Pump Track
For the park junkies in town Whistler has plenty to keep you entertained. The awesome skate park just across the street from the main village is a great place to hone your BMX skills, practice new tricks or learn from the pros, as long as all the skaters don’t get in your way. Just a few meters from the skate park and alongside the roaring Fitzsimmons Creek are the pump track and dirt jumps. All three will keep you entertained all day if not for the freestyle riding then at least for the brilliant murals and graffiti that feature such legends of the screen as Bill Murray, Snoop Dogg and Ren and Stimpy!
Cruising - The Valley Trail
Whistler’s Valley Trail is 40km worth of paved pathway that works it’s way all over the village and surrounding area connecting every neighborhood, lake, park, and point of interest in town. It’s used everyday by hundreds of walkers, joggers and bikers, including locals commuting to work and tourists on the search for outdoor adventure. The trail is the perfect place to take a few big comfortable cruisers, complete with picnic baskets hanging on the front and spend the day exploring Whistler on the resort’s favorite mode of transport. It will probably only be a few minutes riding the Valley Trail before you reach that picture perfect spot you were looking for.
Road Biking - The Sea to Sky Highway
Before its redevelopment for the 2012 Winter Olympics, the route up to Whistler from Vancouver used to be horribly narrow, vulnerable to rockslides (and closures) and generally a traffic nightmare. These days however it is famous simply for being one of the most beautiful drives on the West Coast. With the newly widened Highway complete with bike lane, what better way to experience this stunning trip than on your trusty road bike?
Every summer this attitude inspires bikers to compete in the GranFondo, an epic race that sees more than 10,000 riders pedal all the way from downtown Vancouver to Whistler. Grab your road bike, pull on you spandex and clip on shoes and take on part of the challenge yourself, even if it is just the few hour trip down to Squamish where the Greyhound Bus will be waiting to drive you back to Whistler. The best time to do so is early morning when there are fewer cars and a beautiful sunrise. Not for the faint of heart but the rewards are amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains.