As far as British Columbia’s southeastern corner of the map is concerned, the region formally known as the Kootenays, Cranbrook is a comparatively bustling metropolis. Located less than an hour’s drive from the US border, the city is home to the Canadian Rockies International Airport and topographically, it rests in a sort of high country plateau between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges that will feel familiar to visitors hailing from interior locales like Kamloops or Merritt. If you’re travelling in the Kootenays there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be passing through Cranbrook, and there are a handful of tips that will help you better explore the “mountains of opportunity” the community boasts as their city tagline.
With new trail networks popping up all over British Columbia these days and many of the hosting communities dubbing these fresh installments as Mountain Bike Parks, it’s not surprising that Big White’s entry to the market may have missed your radar. Shuttling is much less daunting a task to organize than the makings for a chairlift, and ambitious projects like Valemount’s new park are certainly deserving of the moniker. Biggie’s Bike Park is different, however, boasting lift-access to a professionally designed trail network, with a surprising amount of alpine appeal for an interior resort.
Rolling into Valemount, British Columbia, there’s simply no denying the natural beauty of this quant locale, reputed as gateway to the towering, imposing, legendary Mount Robson. The village spreads from the base of Fox Mountain, itself the meeting point of three major ranges, and just across Fox River lays the Valemount Mountain Bike Park, a community affair managed by the Valemount & Area Recreation Development Association.
With the bikes and gear available to today’s savvy rider, there’s really no reason you couldn’t ride year-round if you were really keen. For those of us not quite ready to commit to this extreme, whether that’s due to a competing winter pastime like skiing or snowboarding or just an overall distaste for this bitterest of Canadian seasons, there are a handful of tips that can help you keep riding right through the dreaded, cardio-sucking shoulder season, and into the depths of winter.
Although Sun Peaks was an early player to the Bike Park and DH race game back in the late 1990’s, like so many smaller communities it can still be tough to make the most of a weekend of riding without some local knowledge. Consider this a blueprint to maximize riding time, for the ultimate Bike Park weekend.
Already mid-summer in a mountain biking season that kicked off in early spring, we’d been patiently waiting for the alpine routes throughout British Columbia to thaw out and dry up for our first hit of high-altitude riding.
Hornby Island is home to quality singletrack in a very relaxed and scenic setting. Salt Spring is on the opposite end of the spectrum and although relatively quiet and friendly, it’s the most populated island and has a lot more going on because of this. Both are incredible islands to visit, with very different personalities