Trip to BC - Looking for "old school" trails- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trip to BC - Looking for "old school" trails

    Planning a trip out to BC in July of this year. Just started researching places to ride. Planning on landing in Kamloops and have a week to explore by vehicle. Camping wherever we find a spot.

    We are not a bike park group, we love the classic old school trails. Natural features, rugged descents, and getting our way to the top by pedaling. The exception being we might do a float plane day at Warner Lake but other than that I am having trouble finding places to ride without all the man made features (berms, and wooden ramps).

    Any suggestions on trails would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I'd say most trails around bc don't have man made features, the ones that do are popular and in videos and whatnot. Even whistler trails(known for bike park) are mostly rocky and very technical.

    Heading to the chilcotins (you mentioned warner lake) is definitely exactly what you're after though, spectacular landscape and big natural single track rides. Float plane doesn't cut all of the pedaling there's plenty where ever you go. Tyax adventures can sort you out, unless you are savvy experienced bike packers.

    Been a fairly strong winter this year and a lot of alpine riding was still snowed in until August last summer depending where you were. There's no shortage of riding but snow up high may dictate exactly which trails you ride.

  3. #3
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    Merritt is fun for a day and only 45 min from Kamloops. Jasper which is 4 hours east in Alberta is definitely what I would call old school. Endless singletrack.
    Spend your whole trip in the Chilcotins and you won't be disappointed...

  4. #4
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    Well if you are in Kamloops.
    Check out Williams Lake area, specially if you will be heading out to the Chilcotin's.
    Heard good stuff up there and it is on my To Do List.
    Not sure how the fires from last year and the effects it had but it my be something to look at. Also Pemberton has some awesome old school earn your ride trails and rugged decent.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgprimo View Post
    Well if you are in Kamloops.
    Check out Williams Lake area, specially if you will be heading out to the Chilcotin's.
    Heard good stuff up there and it is on my To Do List.
    Not sure how the fires from last year and the effects it had but it my be something to look at. Also Pemberton has some awesome old school earn your ride trails and rugged decent.
    Don't mind flow trails but don't actively seek them out but there was a couple descents in Pemberton that had me wishing for a featureless blue flow trail! Terrifyingly steep! (old school?)

  6. #6
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    Tuned in.

  7. #7
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    Make up your mind yahsper if you like Flow trials or not.

    Besides why would they drive to Jasper when they are in Kamloops and want to go to the Chilcotins?

    Pemberton is not far if you are flying out of Taughton Lake and Whistler is another options. In Pemby the trails are awesome and it just depends what you are looking for but yes they are not the easiest compared to other areas. Depending on the conditions they could head to Whistler to ride Lord of the Squirrels or Comfortably Numb (Old school classic ........not my words......)
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgprimo View Post
    Make up your mind yahsper if you like Flow trials or not.

    Besides why would they drive to Jasper when they are in Kamloops and want to go to the Chilcotins?

    Pemberton is not far if you are flying out of Taughton Lake and Whistler is another options. In Pemby the trails are awesome and it just depends what you are looking for but yes they are not the easiest compared to other areas. Depending on the conditions they could head to Whistler to ride Lord of the Squirrels or Comfortably Numb (Old school classic ........not my words......)
    Just pointing out how steep Pemby can be...
    When I hear old school I just immediately think of Home as it doesn't get more "retro" than here. We have two berms. And they're small. I'm so used to long drives that 4 hours for empty singletrack seems worth it. OP should just go to the Chilcotins and ride till they drop. Awesome trails.

  9. #9
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    I was just going by Woodsbiker own words when they said they like rugged descents......That was why I thought of Pemberton.

    I have heard there is good riding in Jasper and it is on my "To Do List".
    Along with a lot of other areas.....like Prince George, Williams lake and area, Fernie/Cranbrook area........to name a couple.

    I agree they won'y be disappointed with the Chilcotin's!
    Have not been there for awhile but I have heard it is a lot busy then when I use to go years ago.......

    I born and raised in Alberta so I know about driving.......

    Cheers,
    K
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  10. #10
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    Thanks guys for the suggestions. Will be putting most of them on the to do list based on where we drive to. It is hard looking at trailforks to get a feel for the areas sometimes as a lot of what you see are man made features in the pictures. We just like to keep it on the narrow singletrack and not the 3-4 wide trails. Any thoughts on whether it would make more sense to push the trip to Aug due to snow?

  11. #11
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    Concerning snow.......August would be better but it really depends on a lot of factors.

    If you hit some of the high passes like Windy Pass there will be snow as to how much depends......
    When I camped at Spruce Lake one year, which is the Family Day Long weekend which is the first weekend in August,,,,just to be clear. The middle day, it started to rain in the early morning and for the rest of the day and everything 200 feet above Spruce Lake got fresh snow.
    The trails were all wet trenches and it was a day we did not go any where and sat around the fire.
    Thankfully next day it cleared we were able to ride out Gun Creek and the trails dried out a bit. Also, Dale was able to fly into Spruce to pick our stuff, which was a big concern for us........
    If you are flying into Warner and riding out to Taughton Lake will be a good day!
    So all I am saying be prepared.
    But you will have a awesome time!

    As to your concern about wood features....sometimes it is needed due to our landscape and sometimes pictures high light the wooden structures but they don't make the trail.
    Photo moment......
    Also, depending on the trail, they sometimes have ride arounds which gives you options........
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  12. #12
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    I think we will stick with July and just go for it then. You never know what the weather will do and I am sure we will find a way to have a great time! Thanks

  13. #13
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    July will probably be fine, last year was a bigger one for snow, and it's been a pretty dry March here in Whistler. It doesn't really matter, right now you could spend a week riding Vancouver /Squamish/lots of Pemberton and the island+sunshine Coast, already lots clear

  14. #14
    LMN
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    Kamloops is a good starting place. Harper, Greenstone, and Pineview are classic singletrack networks.

    From there you can go anywhere and find riding that rivals anything in the world. Trails with berms and wooden ramps are actually fairly rare in BC. They are the ones that get the pictures but for every new school flow trail there are a dozen old school trails.

    Sounds like you are going to the Chilcotins, I would recommend checking out Pemberton. A couple of things to consider the Chilcotins are remote, like middle of siberia remote. Something goes wrong help is a day or so away. If you are riding there, get a SPOT device and dial it back. The other thing to consider is Pemberton is super dry and loose mid-summer. Not my favorite riding in July and August.

    Have you thought about doing a trip to the east. If want good old school trails I would be looking at Revelstoke and Golden.
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  15. #15
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    I don't know about the interior, but Coastal BC including the Chilcotins is mostly "natural" riding. Machine built flow trails are the exception not the rule. I don't think you'll have any issues getting what you want as long as you skip any bikeparks.

    I'd also add that in a lot of places the wooden features are used to bridge areas that would otherwise be a problem to ride like swampy areas. So they serve a purpose not just as an obstacle.
    Safe riding,

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  16. #16
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    Iím planning a week in Whistler in June and planning on stops in Squamish and Pemberton. Following along with interest.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Kamloops is a good starting place. Harper, Greenstone, and Pineview are classic singletrack networks.

    From there you can go anywhere and find riding that rivals anything in the world. Trails with berms and wooden ramps are actually fairly rare in BC. They are the ones that get the pictures but for every new school flow trail there are a dozen old school trails.

    Sounds like you are going to the Chilcotins, I would recommend checking out Pemberton. A couple of things to consider the Chilcotins are remote, like middle of siberia remote. Something goes wrong help is a day or so away. If you are riding there, get a SPOT device and dial it back. The other thing to consider is Pemberton is super dry and loose mid-summer. Not my favorite riding in July and August.

    Have you thought about doing a trip to the east. If want good old school trails I would be looking at Revelstoke and Golden.
    Thanks for the advice. I actually did pick up a used Spot that we will subscribe to during that week. Remoteness is what we are after, so having the Spot is a good idea. There are so many areas to ride it is actually overwhelming. I wish we had that problem in Michigan!

  18. #18
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    Head to Golden, drive/ride to the top of Mt seven, put on your big boy pants and drop into dead dog, then head to Revy and hit up Martha Creek, ultimate frisby, Boulder mountain or pretty much anything there, finally, hit up Fernie and enjoy parking you car and riding from town for few days

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