It's no exaggeration to say that British Columbia is home to some of the world's best mountain biking. From the ingenious and harrowing man-made features that define the North Shore style to the high ridges that trace the edges of the Whistler Valley, B.C. is truly a foundational region for the sport of mountain biking. The sport's roots in this province are deep, and many of the classic lines that are still enjoyed by riders today were put together by the intrepid pioneers of the sport as early as the mid-1980s. Plenty of hands and backs have worked throughout the decades to build trail networks that are second to none, which signals another important if less obvious differentiator here: the B.C. trail community is strong, active, and very dedicated. If you are a regular rider in B.C., you've benefited from the efforts of groups like the North Shore Mountain Biking Association, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association, Squamish Off Road Cycling Association, and countless others that harness support from business and volunteers to maintain existing trails and develop new and thrilling routes. In areas with lush forests that quickly overtake trails and in areas that receive heavy traffic from riders near and far, every phenomenal trail is a testament to community care.
Today there are more trails in B.C. than any sane rider could hope to hit, and the addition of resort riding has helped to make mountain biking thriving industry. Cross-country, all-mountain, downhill, freeride, and parks are all part of the B.C. mountain biking landscape, and an abundance of beginner-friendly trails ensures the newbies have just as much selection as the expert riders. We've put together a small sampling of some of the best mountain bike trails near Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are enough trails in any of these spots to keep you busy for weeks, so grab your gear, get out there, and don't forget to let us know how the ride was in the trip comments!
Undulating Construction along Ladies Only. Photo by Outdoor Project Contributor Adam Cowcill.
- Mount Fromme: Trails like Ladies Only, Digger, and No Quarter are just the beginning. Loop variations galore here just 20 minutes from Vancouver.
- Mount Seymour: Check out CBC, Old Buck + Pangor Loop, and the Lower Mountain Loop, or choose your own adventure!
- Cypress Mountain: Great steeps for freeride and downhill riders, Cypress also has great all-mountain options. Shuttle or lap the loops.
- Burnaby Mountain: Another great option for Vancouver riders looking for loops. Nicole's, Gearjammer, and Mel's are some of the classic trails on this classic hill.
- Woodlot Mountain: Blood Doner, Giant Killer + Hoots or the Toadstools? The correct answer is both.
Stunning views help keep you motivated on the Diamond Head rides. Photo by Outdoor Project Contributor Adam Cowcill.
- Valleycliffe: More than 30 trails here to keep you pedaling and plunging through the singletrack. Sweeter the Barry, Meet Your Maker, S&M, The Graduate, 3 Virgins...definitely one of the premiere networks in the Squamish area.
- Diamond Head: Sculpted trails with fantastic flow that are rivaled only by the incredible views over the sound. Legacy, Recycle + Psuedo Tsuga and the Half Nelson + Full Nelson Loop will whet your appetite for more.
Sunlight on Whistler Mountain. Photo by Outdoor Project Contributor Duncan Sadava.
- South Whistler: It's Business Time, also known as Duncan's Trail, is a phenomenal introduction to the beauty and excitement Whistler riding has to offer.
- Westside Trails: Spend a few days on the west side of town exploring Pura Vida, A River Runs Through It, and Billy Epic.
- Lost Lake, Zappa Trails: 35 kilometers of bike trails, all named for Frank Zappa songs. Great terrain here for a range of riding abilities.
- North Whistler: If Kill Me, Thrill Me + North of Town doesn't put a smile on your face, Out There will.