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  1. #1
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    BC Bike trip July 2015

    Just looking for some info for planning purposes. The wife and I are planning on taking a loop something like this: north from Salt Lake City to Canmore, then Golden, then Revelstoke, then Pemby, Whistler, Squamish, possibly Vancouver, then back through Bend, then back to SLC.

    The idea is that we're hoping to make it a two week adventure and will overlap some other friends who will be staying in Whistler for part of the same time we're there.

    We're debating on either renting a travel trailer, or getting hotels along the routes. I'm more partial to the travel trailer, so we're not tied to some itinerary with hotel reservations along the way. That said, how easy is it to find parking or suitable camping for a travel trailer in the areas that I listed? Are there any primitive camping locations, or do you basically need reservations at campgrounds? If the later is the case, does anyone have any recommendations for places?

    Thanks in advance!

    Scott
    Last edited by Scottandhisdog; 03-13-2015 at 10:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    BC Parks campgrounds are heavily booked on weekends and after school's out in June, the reservations would likely be running out soon, especially for camp sites with services (as opposed to tent sites). There are private campgrounds along that way. There are sanitation dump stations along the way as well, so you can camp in some places with no services and dump the tank at those spots.

    There's some big climbs on that highway #1 route and the Lillooet to Pemberton route, so you'd want a tow vehicle that is happy on long climbs, and plenty of brakes for the descents on the other side of the passes.

    If you're bringing a travel trailer across the border, make sure it doesn't have any firearms in it, you could end up with the trailer torn apart by Canada Border Services and if they find a firearm, they usually go on to assume drug smuggler at that point, and trailer and tow vehicle can be taken to pieces and left in a pile of parts. Being Canada, they will be quite polite about the whole thing.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    BC Parks campgrounds are heavily booked on weekends and after school's out in June, the reservations would likely be running out soon, especially for camp sites with services (as opposed to tent sites). There are private campgrounds along that way. There are sanitation dump stations along the way as well, so you can camp in some places with no services and dump the tank at those spots.

    There's some big climbs on that highway #1 route and the Lillooet to Pemberton route, so you'd want a tow vehicle that is happy on long climbs, and plenty of brakes for the descents on the other side of the passes.

    If you're bringing a travel trailer across the border, make sure it doesn't have any firearms in it, you could end up with the trailer torn apart by Canada Border Services and if they find a firearm, they usually go on to assume drug smuggler at that point, and trailer and tow vehicle can be taken to pieces and left in a pile of parts. Being Canada, they will be quite polite about the whole thing.
    I've heard the horror stories of bringing a handgun into Canada, so I'll be leaving mine at home. I'll look into available camp sites with services to see what's what. Thanks for the heads up on the demand aspect. I'm certain my Tundra can handle the trailer we're considering.
    Thanks for the advice. It sounds like you've traveled that road before, so do you have any specific advice as to what areas offer better service, or who to avoid?

  4. #4
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    Not just handguns, long guns as well, best to leave anything that shoots bullets at home. No firearms allowed in National Parks and there are a couple along that route.

    It's a nice drive, lots of passing lanes and 4 lane stretches, but there always seems to be a slow truck passing an even slower truck on the uphill passing lanes on 3 lane stretches during the day. Or a string of motorhomes travelling 20mph under the speed limit. You don't need to stop at the Banff National Park gates for a park day pass if you're driving straight through to Golden, but if you planned to stop in Banff, you need a park pass. Canmore is outside the National Park. Some nice riding around Canmore.

    The places you mentioned have lots of commercial campsites, but because it is the Trans Canada Highway, you'll find that around 4PM the campsites and trailer parks start to fill up with the families on camping trips and old folks in the motorhomes that want to be sitting still for supper time. Even hotels and motels along the route start to fill up around 5-6PM with road work crews, train crews, BC Hydro crews, truckers, etc. who are stopping for the day. There isn't a lot between Canmore and Golden, or Golden and Revelstoke, but there are quite a few places to stop between Revy and Pemby. Major towns like Salmon Arm and Kamloops have a wider variety of food and services, but there's a bunch of small stops along the way that would have some camping spots. There's some nice XC riding around Salmon Arm.

    Golden and Revelstoke are only 2 hours apart, unless they are upgrading the highway to 4 lane in the middle and then you might find some 45-60 minute waits in the middle. I'd go for Revy instead of Golden as a riding destination. Revelstoke to Pemby should be quite painless, likely 7 hours with a lunch stop. You'd likely end up camping in Whistler and going back to Pemby to ride.

    I should also mention that early to mid-June there may be places along that route where you might encounter snow on trails at higher elevations, although that would be less likely this summer as the snow packs are at an all time low. But we could still get a giant spring snow dump that helps top it up.

    And after a while even this scenery will seem pretty normal. This was from last September.

    BC Bike trip June 2015-2014_0921new0076.jpg

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    BC Bike trip June 2015-123-2385_img.jpg
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 02-26-2015 at 07:02 AM.
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  5. #5
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    There is primitive camping in the Provincial Forests. Sometimes there is a small fee; sometimes not. In some cases the site are not too far off the highway, other times way back in the woods. In general, the BC forest roads are in excellent condition.

    We live in Spokane and have done quite a bit of road tripping up North.
    You might find one of these very helpful.
    Backroad Mapbooks]
    Get the one(s) for your trip. They have everything in them: all camping primitive, private, Parks, fee, no fee; bike trails and trailheads, hiking, climbing, points of interest, well worth the $$

  6. #6
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    Last edited by rockyuphill; 02-26-2015 at 10:43 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    There is primitive camping in the Provincial Forests. Sometimes there is a small fee; sometimes not. In some cases the site are not too far off the highway, other times way back in the woods. In general, the BC forest roads are in excellent condition.

    We live in Spokane and have done quite a bit of road tripping up North.
    You might find one of these very helpful.
    Backroad Mapbooks]
    Get the one(s) for your trip. They have everything in them: all camping primitive, private, Parks, fee, no fee; bike trails and trailheads, hiking, climbing, points of interest, well worth the $$
    Thanks for the tip. That guidebook looks helpful.

  8. #8
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    BC Bike trip June 2015

    I've never even heard of those Kinder Surprise eggs, but I'll make sure not to temp the border guards to perform a search and seizure with one.

  9. #9
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    I thought it would be a handy warning, most Americans have no idea about that little consumer product trap. Even more US tourists are surprised by Kinder Surprise than the need for a US passport to get into Canada, or even more importantly to get back into the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottandhisdog View Post
    I've never even heard of those Kinder Surprise eggs, but I'll make sure not to temp the border guards to perform a search and seizure with one.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottandhisdog View Post
    Just looking for some info for planning purposes. The wife and I are planning on taking a loop something like this: north from Salt Lake City to Canmore....

    Scott
    Just a heads up that the Iron Maiden and Organ Grinder MTB races will be held at the Canmore Nordic Centre on June 6th and June 7th, and June 21st is also booked for an enduro event. Something to keep in mind.

    Upcoming Events | Bike Canmore

  11. #11
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    BC Bike trip June 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Just a heads up that the Iron Maiden and Organ Grinder MTB races will be held at the Canmore Nordic Centre on June 6th and June 7th, and June 21st is also booked for an enduro event. Something to keep in mind.

    Upcoming Events | Bike Canmore
    Thanks for sharing that. I'm still not certain our exact itinerary yet, but we'll keep those event dates in mind.

  12. #12
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    BC Bike trip June 2015

    Kinder chocolate is really delicious. I like the bars better than the eggs though.

  13. #13
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    Having been to the places you mentioned I would strongly suggest to divide these up into two separate trips. 1.whistler,squamish,pemberton(2 weeks) 2.BC/Alberta Kootenay range (2 weeks) ....and then a third separate trip to 3.Hood river, Bend, Tahoe(2 weeks)

    If you've never been id go straight to Whistler, Squamish, and Pemberton areas, it will be the greatest experience you will have on a mountain bike. This will keep you more than busy for 2 weeks.

    Since you are planning to head out in early June it may not even be worth traveling to places like Revelstoke to ride because many of the premier trails are high up in the alpine. trails like frisby, marthas, keystone may not be doable.

    Also some of the best trails in Whistler may not be open in June either, top of the world, ride don't slide etc.

    IMO the best time to do a trip like this is last 2 weeks of August or early September, chances are you will get 2 straight weeks of bluebird.

    Heres a link from my trip to the Kootenay Range in BC/Alberta from last year(2 weeks in september)
    http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/tr-2-...ta-936314.html

    Basically I would not trade off days to ride in places like Canmore or Bend(not to take anything away from those places) when you could be spending more time in Whistler and Squamish....If you already been to Whistler then id say yeah check out more places.

    I did a mixed bag of sleeping in the car and hotels. Don't worry about finding campsites unless you want that experience. If your just looking for a place to crash pull into a hotel parking lot cut the lights and sleep in your car/camper.

  14. #14
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    At least Kinder bars are OK, there's no toys hidden inside them.

    Just to add a bit on Canmore enticement, here's some photos of some of the XC trails at the Nordic Centre.

    BC Bike trip June 2015-canmore10.jpg

    BC Bike trip June 2015-canmore2010-12.jpg

    BC Bike trip June 2015-canmore2010-17.jpg

    BC Bike trip June 2015-canmore2010-30.jpg

    BC Bike trip June 2015-canmore2010-39.jpg
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  15. #15
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    We're planning on Mid to the end of July, but hopefully the trails will be more rideable by then.

  16. #16
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    It's very likely going to be an early spring on the coast, a friend of mine in Whistler was just telling me that Whistler is clear for most rides outside the Bike Park, she said they already have access to the flank of the mountain and it's not even the end of February. Sucks if you have a season ski pass.
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  17. #17
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    ^^^ Yup, it's gonna be an early season throughout the lower province too. Hopefully we won't have a too hot and dry summer.

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    Hi Telebiker!! what would be your best estimation on the window for Revelstoke this year? We may just have to go back. Early is right....

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    Today's webcam shots from the trailhead of the Whistler Lost Lake XC ski trails and the Whistler Golf Club, and the Olympic XC ski/biathlon centre.

    BC Bike trip June 2015-whistler-lost-lake-feb-28-2015.jpg

    BC Bike trip June 2015-whistler-golf-club-feb-28-2015.jpg

    BC Bike trip June 2015-whistler-olympic-xc-centre-feb-28-2015.jpg
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  20. #20
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    I'm doing a trip similar to this one around the same time with my wife. We were intending to do air b&b's for accommodations. That said, I'm likely going to bring my truck tent (we're not bourgeois enough to own a camper trailer yet) and possibly rent a small UHaul trailer for our bikes. It's a honeymoon trip so we're not going to slum it, but boy do I ever have experience slumming! If you want to travel on the cheap, there are a couple things you can do.

    Look for Walmarts. Walmarts let you sleep in their parking lots over night and cops/employees won't harass you. I've done a (band) tour across Canada and the west coast of the US sleeping in tent in Walmart parking lots. You'll want to shower, people will scream obscenities at you occasionally, maybe you'll get the worst sleep of your life in a parking lot across the street from a refinery in Great Falls, Montana, or maybe you'll hear gunshots in downtown Sacramento. You'll deal with it because it's free and that rules. Also, you can use their bathroom in the morning to brush your teeth.

    In smaller Canadian towns that might not necessarily have a Walmart, other grocers sometimes allow the over-night sleeping thing too. You could probably also get away with sleeping on infrequently used rural roads. I'd be afraid of some Hills Have Eyes shit though.

  21. #21
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    That's a tough one! Previous winters have seen some significant late season storm cycles with snow pack accumulation in March and April. We are about a month early with snow melt in New Denver but I think there is still reasonable snow depth above 2000m. So If we continue with current conditions and miss the late season storms, higher elevation Revy trails should be open two to three weeks earlier than normal or mid to late June. Check back in early May for a more accurate estimate.

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    I'm hoping that any late season snow, should be gone by July.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeyd View Post
    In smaller Canadian towns that might not necessarily have a Walmart, other grocers sometimes allow the over-night sleeping thing too. You could probably also get away with sleeping on infrequently used rural roads. I'd be afraid of some Hills Have Eyes shit though.
    It's Canada... you'll probably get invited in for dinner and make some new friends.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  24. #24
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    BC Bike trip June 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP View Post
    It's Canada... you'll probably get invited in for dinner and make some new friends.
    I was born with dual citizenship because of my Dad's side of the family, so I'm familiar with Canadian hospitality. I love Canadians for many reason, but mainly because it's nearly impossible to have a bad time around them.

  25. #25
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    There's a sign of the weather conditions this year, the Whistler Lost Lake XC ski/snow shoe trails have switched their website to summer mode and it's not even mid-March

    Cross Country Connection | Bike rentals and tours in Whistler Canada
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  26. #26
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    What better way to spend spring break at Whistler? Bike one day, ski the next.

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    The skiing is pretty good on the top half of the mountains too, pretty sweet if you ask me, except that business is really slow since not a lot of people are coming lately

  28. #28
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    Does anyone know if there are shuttles in Canmore, similar to D-ville and Ashland? I'm heading there later today and hoping to find something!

  29. #29
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    There aren't a lot of shuttle-able trails in and around Canmore. Other than avoiding the road climb to the start of Goat Creek descent into Banff from the trailhead above the Nordic Centre, most trails are pedal shuttles.

    Canmore MTB Biking Trails | Trailforks
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