Crested Butte or Whistler- Can't Decide!!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Crested Butte or Whistler- Can't Decide!!!

    Currently planning a week-long July 4th 2016 bike trip with my buddy. We typically like West Coast stuff being from the EC. So far been to Sedona and Oregon and enjoyed both a lot.

    Our philosophy on bike trips is that we want something somewhat easy (I feel I get enough workout normally at home and now I'm on vacation), beautiful in scenery, and some sort of post-ride structure (beer, food, nightlife, etc).

    I know Whistler is the Mecca of riding, but I was investigating trails and they seem to be heavily DH oriented or "expert" in difficulty. Not my idea of a vacation. The nightlife seems to be nice. Would fly into Seattle (Southwest), so the drive would be 5+ hours (not a deal breaker). Canada is generally expensive. Am I thinking about the trails in Whistler in a bad light?

    Crested Butte pictures I see are gorgeous. High altitude doesn't really affect me (just came back from hiking CO). Direct flight to Denver (5+ hour drive). There just seems to be much more variety in CO (Fruita, etc) and we can change it up. I know next to nothing about the extracuriculars in Crested Butte. Do they exist? How are the trails in relation to Whistler? I'm seeing a lot more intermediate to intermediate/advanced, which is what we like to stick with.

    Thanks for the advice guys!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erbe31 View Post
    Currently planning a week-long July 4th 2016 bike trip with my buddy. We typically like West Coast stuff being from the EC. So far been to Sedona and Oregon and enjoyed both a lot.

    Our philosophy on bike trips is that we want something somewhat easy (I feel I get enough workout normally at home and now I'm on vacation), beautiful in scenery, and some sort of post-ride structure (beer, food, nightlife, etc).

    I know Whistler is the Mecca of riding, but I was investigating trails and they seem to be heavily DH oriented or "expert" in difficulty. Not my idea of a vacation. The nightlife seems to be nice. Would fly into Seattle (Southwest), so the drive would be 5+ hours (not a deal breaker). Canada is generally expensive.
    Actually, the Canadian dollar is tanking right now against the USD. Great time for Americans to be up there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erbe31 View Post
    Am I thinking about the trails in Whistler in a bad light?
    I'm sure CB is nice; but c'mon...we're talking BC! There are so many good trails outside the park in Whistler, it'll blow your mind. Plus, there's Squamish and Pemberton in extremely close promixity, not to mention North Van and Bellingham, WA on your way up.

    But even with the XC (well...BCXC) options, don't give up on the park either. It's something every mountain biker should experience in their lifetime -- so well-built that if you use your head, by the end of the day you'll be riding stuff you never thought you could.

    Only downsides are that July 4th can be busier than usual at the border crossing, and the BC beer scene definitely isn't as good as Crested Butte (with the exception of Howe Sound in Squamish and a few others).

  3. #3
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    The week of the 4th is CRAZY busy here in Crested Butte. By far our busiest week of the year. And if you don't know, we are literally at the end of the road. So all the crowds are jammed into a small area (think Animal House marching band scene). But, your from the east coast so maybe crowds don't bother you.

    I love my home, but I hate the week of the 4th. Personally I would go to Whistler. A larger area so the crowds can be dispersed and the riding is a lot of fun. If you want to come to CB, I would recommend late June or late August into September. The riding is better, the crowds are better, the fun is... well more fun, and come September the weather is better.

  4. #4
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    There's a lot of everything in and around Whistler. The hard stuff gets all the attention from pro's making edits and crazy races at crankworx and what not.

    I would say that it's easy to end up on the wrong kind of trails, lots of the 'famous' rides aren't actually the best ones, for example lots of the out of town people want to do comfortably numb because it's a long famous ride but there's lots of trails that are way better, unless you like awkward janky rocks and roots and going slow and being tired. And when I was doing top of the world to kyber pass earlier this summer nearly every group I came across was lost and in over their heads.

    But at the same time there's trails you can take a complete beginner on and lots in between; especially if you try some riding in Pemberton and squamish too. Its the best place to learn and progress you just have to be smart about it and maybe consider guiding/coaching whether you're going in the bike park or not.

    Early July is a pretty good time to come, there's some big events in July that impact the highway (iron man, Pemberton music festival) so check those dates but I think they're later in the month anyway. You would only have to avoid driving for 1 day from those events (and you don't have to drive within Whistler, though it's tough to get from one end of town to the other on a DH bike).

    Never been to crested butte so for all I know it could be way better!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erbe31 View Post
    I know Whistler is the Mecca of riding, but I was investigating trails and they seem to be heavily DH oriented or "expert" in difficulty. Not my idea of a vacation.
    Have you ever done any lift-access DH bikepark riding? Even the green and blue runs at bikeparks are very fun.

    If you've never done it, I'd say one day of renting actual DH bikes and trying it! You won't regret it.

    austinmtbbmxalliance's Library | Photobucket

    Steamboat. I didn't get to ride everything, but from what I did see they definitely had flow trails with roller-coasterish berms, but minimal or no jumps, so anyone can cruze down and have a blast.



    At Whistler, even if you don't want to hit jumps or rugged DH, there are still trails with interesting obstacle features, like all these handmade tree/log type stuff....

  6. #6
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    Going Whistler. Booking tonight. Thanks for the advice guys!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erbe31 View Post
    Going Whistler. Booking tonight. Thanks for the advice guys!
    Whistler stands alone, you won't regret going.

  8. #8
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    I'm jelous

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    Since I been to Whistler several times, I concur, you have to experience Whistler. I'm an intermediate rider and there's still tons of bike park and non-bike park trails that are super fun.

    All the said, I'm trying to schedule a trip to Crested Butte because I've heard great tales and haven't been there before. Hopefully it will live up to the hype!

  10. #10
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    ended up booking park city. curve ball but definitely liking that for now

  11. #11
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    Erbe, its a vacation, you'll have fun anywhere you go

  12. #12
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    Park City is definitely the anti-Whistler in my opinion but it also seems to be what you're after from you're original post. There's a variety of great riding and none of it is overly difficult. You can ride the lifts a day or two to break things up and there is enough XC type stuff to last you a month. Access to the resort areas thru SLC is amazingly easy and there's plenty of "other" stuff to do in your free time *BUT* it's going to be crazy busy over the 4th. The guys over on the Utah forum are super friendly so stop in and ask them any questions you have.

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