Trail, campground, and attraction recommendations for Squamish/Whistler area.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trail, campground, and attraction recommendations for Squamish/Whistler area.

    This July I'll be doing a month long roadtrip from SLC through Oregon, Washington and BC. The last 12 days will be spent between Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler.

    Im looking for trail recommendations for each place as well as a solid campground around Squamish. We'll be there for 5 nights tent camping, but we like amenities. Also, although I'll be doing a lot of biking in Squamish and making that the centerpiece of the BC portion of the trip, but I'd also like to do some other things and see what the area has to offer. So I'm also looking for some ideas as far as hiking/provincial parks go, food, other activities.

    Pretty damn excited to get up there!

  2. #2
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    Alice lake is the primary camp ground in Squamish,, however Porto cove is just south of Squamish about ten minutes or so and is beautiful as its located right on the ocean. Either way you need to book reservations asap as all summer long here it is very difficult to get a campground. The campgrounds don't reserve 100% of the lots so if you don't mind waiting in your car over night hoping to get an opening, you may have luck, how ever IMO,, stick to a reservation.

    Don't know your riding level, so if you want more tame trails stick to the Alice lake trail network. If more advanced then stick to the trails above Quest university as there are trails for every type of riding style. Above Quest you will run into riders every day that will help you with trail choice, who knows maybe one of them may be me. LOL.

    The Stwamus Chief is a popular hike you have a choice of three different peaks all with spectacular views providing its sunny. Also the new gondola has amazing views with your choice of hiking up or taking the gondola. Up top there is a licensed restaurant and more trail network to walk.

    There are also a few good pubs in town, (How Sound Brewery),(Watershed Grill),(Shady Tree Pub) so lots of choices to many to list now.

    Enjoy your trip and ride your A$$ off!!!!!!! Cheers!!

  3. #3
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    Sweet, Porto Cove looks very nice. We were going to default to Alice Lake but now part of me wants to split the 6 days between the two. I definitely plan on reserving. I'm staying up tomorrow night just to reserve the best spot as soon as they open up July.

    As far as skill level goes, Im pretty intermediate. I'll be on an aggressive geo 6" bike. Looking for some tech as well as some faster, flowy trails too.

  4. #4
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    Book Alice Lake for sure, my favourite squamish trails are right there. I would say there are harder trails around Alice Lake than the stuff above quest, but there's lots of everything at both. Alice Lake more tech and quest has the signature half+full Nelson flow trails. If you are 'pretty intermediate' best Alice Lake trails would be Rupert, credit line, crouching squirrel to kiki (taking kiki is fun and skips the hardest parts of crouching squirrel), roller coaster, wonderland. Entrails icy hole of death are awesome and a bit of a step up, boney elbows and hueso might be my favourite and quite a step up, black going on double black. Then there's some wild double black+ stuff scattered throughout the area too.

    Hiking/provincial parks, Garibaldi Park is the huge area around squamish and Whistler, hiking black tusk/Garibaldi Lake/panorama ridge area is amazing, the number 1 non biking thing in my opinion. Or for easier day hikes the chief is amazing too, black tusk can be done in a day but better if you bring a tent in and break it up.

  5. #5
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    Lol Kevin267,,, you beat me to my correction I was going to make about the trails above Alice lake, I was rushing my post and knew Alice lake had the easiest trails, but also the ones u mentioned. And of coarse above Quest with the Plunge, Hoods n the Woods, Freds, Word of Mouth, 19th Hole and so on. Way to many to list not to mention trails for big bikes too.

    yboc, if your bringing your smart phone download the app for the entire Squamish trail network. Very handy to have with u as GPS will show u where u r in reference to the surrounding trails. Cheers!!

  6. #6
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    Sweet, thanks guys, this is some great info. I think I'll be staying and both Porteau Cove and Alice Lake.

    As far as trails go, I can handle most tech and am looking to practice some drops/jumps throughout the trip as we don't have quite the same thing here in Utah. I'll definitely be getting up to speed in OR so I plan to try a lot of things in Squamish and Whistler.

    Trying to decide now where to stay in Whistler. Seems just barely far enough from Squamish to not want to drive there each day. Besides Squam and Whistler, are there and trails roughly in that same vacinity I should not miss out on?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Barring major highway accidents, Whistler is just 45 minutes away from Alice Lake and Squamish. Stay at Alice Lake and visit Whistler.

    Stop into Tantalus Bikes or Corsa Bikes and buy a SORCA trail map for Squamish. That has a comprehensive guide to the trails and trail ratings.

    In Whistler, the Lost Lake trails offer a bunch of trails close to the Village that are intermediate in tech, so you can warm up to the idea of what a Intermediate trail is like in BC. Their are trail maps available at the bike shops in Whistler as well. There are a bunch of intermediate and black diamond trails around the village outside the bike park.

    There can be a lot of mandatory narrow woodwork on intermediate trails, it's just close to the ground. There will also generally be bypasses of technical trail features on intermediate trails, but not on black diamond trails.
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  8. #8
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    If you want to improve jumps and drops the Whistler bike park is a must do. If you want to camp in Whistler it's pretty limited, either riverside which is close to everything probably gotta book early there, or cal-cheak campground which is cheap and basically no anemities and all first come first serve but pretty far from anything. Lots of options of fancy hotels condos hostels etc etc, prices in summer are okay if you book early.

    Other stuff in the vicinity to check out is the North shore Vancouver stuff, fromme would be the best mountain to start at. And Pemberton, 30 minutes north of Whistler really different trails. Then if you don't mind a ferry, Sunshine Coast is awesome and could be checked out in a day or two, tons of cool camping there, Vancouver Island is awesome too but a few days would be better there.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Booked a couple nights in Whistler and a week at Alice Lake. Figured Squamish would be a good base camp for a week. Definitely going to do a lot of riding in Squamish as it sounds like its one of the best areas. Hoping to get out to some other areas and get some Intel for the next trip too. Also wouldnt mind doing a kayak tour and plane tour as well. Any particular area or company to look to for kayaking?

    Also pretty excited for hiking in Garibaldi. One thing I'm not super familiar with is riding in bear country. Mostly moose, deer and cougars here in UT. Should I be carrying bear spray on all hikes and bikes in Squamish and Whistler? Is it a huge issue/occurance or is it pretty rare? Is there a good resource for finding the general rules of what to do if you encounter one of them on the trail?

    Thanks again. All the info is much appreciated.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by yboc View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Booked a couple nights in Whistler and a week at Alice Lake. Figured Squamish would be a good base camp for a week. Definitely going to do a lot of riding in Squamish as it sounds like its one of the best areas. Hoping to get out to some other areas and get some Intel for the next trip too. Also wouldnt mind doing a kayak tour and plane tour as well. Any particular area or company to look to for kayaking?

    Also pretty excited for hiking in Garibaldi. One thing I'm not super familiar with is riding in bear country. Mostly moose, deer and cougars here in UT. Should I be carrying bear spray on all hikes and bikes in Squamish and Whistler? Is it a huge issue/occurance or is it pretty rare? Is there a good resource for finding the general rules of what to do if you encounter one of them on the trail?

    Thanks again. All the info is much appreciated.
    Bear spray is pretty safe to carry.....but on well used trails really not needed except maybe first guy out in the morning or last guy back at night.

    On little used trails pretty smart to carry.

    If you see a bear make lots of noise, be sure to give it a place to escape to. in a tight valley you may have to get out of the mouth quickly.

    Mostly they will just leave for a quieter place to munch on some food.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yboc View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Booked a couple nights in Whistler and a week at Alice Lake. Figured Squamish would be a good base camp for a week. Definitely going to do a lot of riding in Squamish as it sounds like its one of the best areas. Hoping to get out to some other areas and get some Intel for the next trip too. Also wouldnt mind doing a kayak tour and plane tour as well. Any particular area or company to look to for kayaking?

    Also pretty excited for hiking in Garibaldi. One thing I'm not super familiar with is riding in bear country. Mostly moose, deer and cougars here in UT. Should I be carrying bear spray on all hikes and bikes in Squamish and Whistler? Is it a huge issue/occurance or is it pretty rare? Is there a good resource for finding the general rules of what to do if you encounter one of them on the trail?

    Thanks again. All the info is much appreciated.
    As jeffscott mentioned bear spray would be a good idea. I've had lots of close calls with bears and most of the time they just want to be somewhere else when this happens. I mostly ride solo these days which include night rides and make sure when approaching every blind corner to clear my throat or make some kind of loud noise. I'm not a big fan of bear bells and found out an air horn does nothing to motivate bears out of the way. I do carry bear bangers but their only handy if your only way out of a trail is blocked by a bear not wanting to move, and you have the time to set one off in its direction. IMHO though human noise talking etc works best and their usually gone before you ever see them.

    Other than that Jeffscott's comments are bang on,,, make noise and give them a way out!! Enjoy your trip!!

  12. #12
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    Just remember grizzlies are not quite as laid back as black bears
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  13. #13
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    There isn't any wildlife to worry about around here I never carry bear spray, bells or anything. Black bears are wimps just run away and grizzlies are extremely rare like one sighting every couple of years. Cougars there's not really anything you can do, they say make yourself look big and not turn your back to them. I would consider bear spray or something for overnight camping in Garibaldi Park you can get pretty remote out there.

    The most important thing is taking care of garbage, there will be lots of signs at all the campgrounds about it. Here is a good site with info http://www.bearsmart.com/bear-smart-whistler/

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