Trail advice for trip to Canmore/Jasper/Kelowna- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trail advice for trip to Canmore/Jasper/Kelowna

    Hey there kids. I'm hitting a two week mountain biking road trip (sweet!) staring in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado with Canmore, Jasper, and Kelowna as my final destination spots. Always best to ride with (or with hints from) the locals. Anyone feeling generous? Anyone want to show me some of the sweet local rides in exchange for a Colorado tour guide in the future? Any fellow IMBA bike patrollers want to take me out on a...ahem... patrol?

    So here's the skinny: I love *long* rides. Epics are where it's at in my opinion. Of course I can't go epic every day for two weeks and survive, so some shorter trail suggestions would also be appreciated, but it's always hardest to find the good long trails (meaning 30 miles plus). Perhaps my favorite local trail connects together about 26 miles of trail (mostly singletrack, some road) with 4900 feet of climbing, takes about 4 hours saddle time, around 6 hours overall. More typical rides: 20 miles 3000 feet climbing.

    I love single track above all else. I'm an expert rider. Although I've done little "freeriding" in the 30' gap jump sense of the word (I would call this stunt riding), I do consider my riding style freeriding (plenty of air, picking non-obvious lines, etc). My chicka will be with me and she kicks some serious ass too -- very good technical rider and excellent at the downhills. She'd definitely get spooked on big drops, teetertoters, and the stuff of BC legend though (spooked=not having fun).

    So like I said, I'm looking into riding around Canmore and/or Jasper and then I'm heading over to Kelowna (yes, mostly because of a Bike Magazine article saying it had sweet singletrack and few people = Perfect!).

    I've gotten the recommendation of the Canmore Nordic Center (Canmore) and the Bench Trail System (Jasper), no info on Kelowna yet. Yes, I'll hit the local shops once I show up, but I'd even take advice on which shops I should check out (especially if I might be able to pick up a local guide in exchange for beer).

    Anyone willing to take me (and my most excellent chicka) along on a ride will receive my gratitude and, of course, beer! I'll be in Canmore/Jasper August 19/20/21ish and Kelowna August 22/23/24ish.

    J

  2. #2
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    wel if you want the real BC riding experience you got to come to Whistler. Tons of freeride trails and some really good epic ride routes. Its not all just in the bike park here!

  3. #3

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    I don't know much about Jasper or Canmore and not too much about Kelowna, but for a good downhill run with lots of stunts that can be ridden around go to Powers Creek trail (Shuttle run) in Westbank, just 10 minutes west of Kelowna. There are other trails in the area too but I am not in the know. If you want some awesome singletrack and dont mind driving an hour from Kelowna, come to Penticton and hit up 3 Blind Mice, it has tons of climbing, downhill and cross country. You can spend 2 weeks there (3BM) riding and not hit all of the trails. I would offer to show you in Penticton, but I will be away during that time.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skihillguy
    wel if you want the real BC riding experience you got to come to Whistler. Tons of freeride trails and some really good epic ride routes. Its not all just in the bike park here!
    I've heard as much about Whistler (particularly don't judge it by the park alone). Unfortunately it is even farther away, and I'd rather be riding than driving. Maybe once I've got a job that actually pays me money I can fly out there with my bike for some fun. Fraid it won't make the road trip itenerary though.

  5. #5
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    Jasper - fun riding with lots of single track- very beautiful place and a very cool little town- you're sure to have fun there. Fairly long drive to get there (3+ hours from Canmore)

    Canmore- I wouldn't go there just to ride at the Nordic Centre - especially now since most of the facility is closed for upgrades ( http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/enjoying_alb...ailreport.aspx ) even when open, it's just wide paths. There are however lots of great trails nearby in Kananaskis country such as Jumpingpound, cox hill, powderface, baldy pass .........

    However, if I were you, I would plan to hit up Fernie. Personally, I think it's the destination for the best single track riding around here. (I'm in Calgary) I was there this past weekend and was once again blown away. http://www.crankfernie.com/

  6. #6
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    Well if your looking for an epic near canmore its the Bow 80...

    http://www.braggcreek.ca/todo/cycle/bow80.htm

    You get to link Station Flats, Powderface, Jumping Pound, Cox Hill and then sping back to Station Flat. But this beast is 80km, or 50 miles.

    Other rides to check out around Canmore are Stoney Squaw up by the Norquay ski hill. Tough rooty climb with a sweet technical descent. Should push your freeriding skils... But ride it in a group since there is a resident bear in that area. A section of the Benchlands were closed due to bears this summer. So make sure that the section you plan to ride is still open.

    I agree Fernie has some incredible rides. But don't overlook Nelson BC, there is some incredible stuff out there.

    I can't offer much advise on Kelowna other that its HOT out there in August. Treat it like Moab and ride in the morning.

    When you get up here hit a bike shop and pick up the Backcountry biking in the Canadian Rockies book. Its the bible up here.

    http://www.rmbooks.com/books/easbac.htm

    I've gotta work on the 20th, but I'd be up for a ride on the 21st!!!

  7. #7
    I think this is a trail..
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    I would definitely choose one or the other regarding Canmore and Jasper. If you try to do both you will end up with a whole lot of driving and very little riding.

    Jasper has some great riding but it is kind of out of the way regarding getting to Kelowna. From the type of riding you have described I would recomend the Canmore/Kananaskis Country area, I think you could base yourself here and have a great few days.

    My ride recomendations would be Jumpingpound Ridge/Cox Hill, Baldy Pass/Prairie View/Jewel Pass and perhaps Lake Minnewanka/Stoney Squaw in Banff National Park. They are all described in the "Backcountry Biking in the Canadian Rockies" by Doug Eastcott, definitely worth picking up when you get here. If you want more details on these trails or any others in the area just ask...

    The Canmore Nordic Centre does have fun single track but is really only good for an evening ride. Local knowledge is required to link up all the good stuff. The Benchlands in Canmore is good riding but unfortunately the best part of that trail system has been closed. Still good for an easier or late day ride.

    If you are camping I would recomend Bow Valley Provincial campground, about 20kms east of Canmore. If you are maxing the credit cards then Canmore has lots of hotels. There is a hostel on the edge of town and has a good network of local trails all around it.

    On the way to Kelowna from here I would strongly recomend riding Standard Keystone Basin near Revelstoke BC. A little hard to get to but it features some amazing riding in an alpine environment.

    I actually start vacation on August 20th and am planning on sticking around for the first week. I'll definitely be riding, just not sure what. I think a group of us are hitting a lesser known area in the south Kananaskis for some camping and back country epics. If huge amounts of hike-a-bike doesn't bother you joining us might be an option...

    G
    Yard Sale! Corner of Courage and Incompetence

  8. #8
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    I'd love to hit a ride August 21st. Where are you? How could I contact you? Unfortunately I am not yet a cell phone convert .

    J

  9. #9
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    Wouldn't mind some hike-a-bike and I could probably use some company by then. Hiking usually means you're hitting some good trails the crowds won't get to in my experience. Any way to contact you? I'll be on the road starting this Sat 8/13.

    J

  10. #10
    I think this is a trail..
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    Fire me an e-mail, my hotmail addy is
    canmore2002athotmaildotcom.
    Yard Sale! Corner of Courage and Incompetence

  11. #11
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    Hey,

    I havn't heard anything from the pm.

    There are a few different things that we could ride.

    Jumping pound ridge / Cox hill. classic ridge with great views, and a 2500' downhill. You can overheat your brakes on this one!
    This is about a 3 - 4 hour ride.

    Stoney Squaw, its near banff. Its more of a free ride trail than JP/COX. rooty technical FUN! This is a 2 hour ride.

    For rolling technical singletrack, Miniwanka. This is a classic singlespeed ride.

    But to be honest for Freeride stuff, hit Fernie or even better Nelson. Pine needle trails, soft moss in the trees. And huge stuff to huck off.

    Send me an email. [email protected] We can exchange phone # and work out how to link up.

    Scott

  12. #12

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    I'd come to Kamloops. You'll be passing through anyways (if you're doing Jasper before Kelowna), then you can hit Sun Peaks (a hell of a lot of fun) and Rose Hill.

  13. #13
    I'm Riding It
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    Do the Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper. GREAT TRAIL!!!!!

  14. #14
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    J, can I make a suggestion?

    You're going to Kelowna right? You might want to check out Penticton too...since it's right down the lake from each other. My gal and I were there in June and stayed along the west side of the lake at a great campground (I can get you the name if you need it) just north of Summerland.

    Unfortunately, I only got one day of riding in when we were there as a hellacious rainstorm came through and lasted for 2+ days. We hit the "Three Blind Mice" area and it was super fun and just outside of town. There are a bunch of trails in the area (both XC and FR) and if you stop into the bike barn downtown, those guys will give you all kinds of advice on trails with minimal attitude. There are also wineries to swing into along the southern end of the lake if you're into that kinda thang.

    I'm sure Kelowna is a great town with great riding, but we opted to pass through because it was strip-mall central and we were looking for less bustle on our vacation. Personally, my next extended trip to the interior will be to Rossland, Fernie and Nelson.

    Cheers,
    EB

  15. #15
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    seasons

    How long do the mountain biking seasons run in Fernie, Canmore, Golden, Rossland, Kewlona? Reason I'm asking is I won't be in country till the end of September. I know the seasons on the coastal regions of BC, and I know what the winter is like in Banff area, but I am looking for somewhere I can ride till the ice starts forming.

    ZDFG

  16. #16
    I think this is a trail..
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    Quote Originally Posted by zdfg
    How long do the mountain biking seasons run in Fernie, Canmore, Golden, Rossland, Kewlona? Reason I'm asking is I won't be in country till the end of September. I know the seasons on the coastal regions of BC, and I know what the winter is like in Banff area, but I am looking for somewhere I can ride till the ice starts forming.

    ZDFG
    September is my favorite time of year to ride around Canmore. Dry weather and moderate temperatures make for some real nice days. You do run the risk of a snow at higher elevations, especially once you get into October but normally we can ride up to Halloween. If you are interested in ice climbing a lot of folks use mountain bikes to access the routes on Rundle early in the season. Often the ice forms before the snow comes.

    The other locations you mentioned would be even better in the fall, since winter usually starts a month later on the other side of the Divide.
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  17. #17
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    Thanks

    Skogan,

    Thanks for the insight. Looks like the place to be is for a few weeks at the end of September in Canmore and then head over to the Okanagan to keep it on 2 wheels.

    Check your PM's. I had a question direct to you.

    ZDFG

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