True Wilderness Singletrack
The South Chilcotins. The name sounds ancient, like the people who first knew the land. Mystical. Say “Chilcotins” to riders on any continent, and they will give knowing nods, though, if pressed, likely admit they haven’t been - yet. The Chilcotins put the wilderness into single track. It’s a visually spectacular area with mid-elevation grasslands, sub-alpine and alpine meadows, lakes and mountains. There are broad valleys and ridges, with interconnecting trail systems. Over 200 km’s of trails through broad valleys, alpine meadows and ridges offer an excellent variety of loop trips of varying difficulty and distances.
These trails are rugged, wilderness trails. Be prepared, and be self-sufficient. Ride, don’t slide, unless you’re coming back to fix the corner, because no one else is. After a day of epic adventure, return to the comfort of a full-service lodge complete with spa, a guest ranch, cosy motel or a catered alpine hut.
Plan to visit the South Chilcotins for several days – its well worth the trip! If you have to choose just one epic adventure, the ride to do is…
Trail Rating: The trails in the Chilcotins vary in difficulty. Generally buffy, the trails can quickly become extremely technical, and progress back into flowy trail again within a few kilometres. In another setting, these trails might be rated moderate, however when you’re days from help or spare parts, they are a solid black diamond. Long climbs are the norm. Starting the day with a 3 hour uphill is standard, rewarded with multi-hour descents.
Driving: To access these epic trails, head west from Lillooet to the Bridge River Valley communities of Gold Bridge, Bralorne, Gun Lake, Tyaughton Lake and Marshall Lake along Highway 40 or from Whistler head up the Pemberton Valley over the Hurley Forest Service Road (4-wheel drive recommended).
- From Whistler over the Hurley Forest Service Road – 2 – 2 ½ hours
- From Vancouver via Lillooet and Road 40 – 5 hours
Trail access: Trails into the South Chilcotins start from Jewel Bridge/Slim Creek trailheads, as well as the Tyaughton Lake area via the High Trail, Taylor Trail and Tyaughton or Relay Creek Trails.
oo busy working, fixing your bike, and looking after the kids all week to plan your riding getaway this weekend? This article series does all that work for you. We give you 4 different trip itineraries, each one showcasing a unique riding experience in the Sea to Sky. Every itinerary is designed for a different type of rider and a distinct experience, they are curated around a 3.5 day get-away and are designed to be “grab and go”. We aren’t taking bribes or getting paid by businesses to tell you where to go, we just live here, like these spots, and think you will too.
‘Some of the best loamy rides in the west, hundreds of kilometers of singletrack and no crowds. Powell River charges onto the mountain bike scene with challenging, technical and fast trails through Coast Mountains rainforest. Maintained by a thriving scene of committed local riders and trail builders, Powell River mountain biking trails are blowing visitors away with the amazing quality and volume of singletrack.’ ~ Trailforks
Words and Photos by Sam Egan British Columbia’s Chilcotin region is a wild pocket of mountains and forest, lakes and rivers, and some of the most remote single track in the province. Warner Lake was our trailhead destination, tucked into the South Chilcotin Mountains...