An eccentric mix of mountain folk and new-age hipsters, the region is peppered with ghost towns, artist studios, mining ruins, hot springs and trails as diverse as its culture.
There are so many gems in the Kootenay Rockies, it constantly blows me away… from the seemingly endless alpine trails to the legit 5000 vertical foot descents. The entire region is emerging for mountain biking and we’re just starting to tap into its unique historic and recently approved trail resources.
The riding in the Kootenays can be remote and unforgiving, so be prepared. Most bike destinations in the area have services and guides for hire, which is recommended for first-time visitors. Nevertheless, plenty of other attainable riding exists throughout the Kootenays.
Set amidst the dramatic Rocky and Purcell Mountains in the southern part of the Kootenays, Kimberley is a biker’s paradise. This quaint Bavarian-themed town features Canada’s largest freestanding cuckoo-clock (who knew?!) and diverse bike trails inside the Kimberley Nature Park. In nearby Fernie, riders can lap the lifts at Fernie Alpine Resort or pedal up the many public trails close to town. A few hours away, Rossland’s colourful heritage contributes to the majestic trail views, most notably with the epic Seven Summits trail.
To the north, the Columbia Valley offers hundreds of kilometres of twisty mountain bike trails along alpine peaks and dense forests, with numerous resorts maintaining their own signature singletrack. In Golden, the town is marked by a history of adventure. Mountain biking is a natural fit in this outdoor mecca, attracting athletes from around the globe with its XC singletrack heaven and thrilling, gravity-fueled runs. Revelstoke’s reputation for big-mountain skiing and snowboarding transcends to summer months, with epic bikes rides found in the Monashee and Selkirk Mountains. Shuttle-accessed downhilling or double-digit cross-country rides will reward you with stellar mountain views that eat up the entire skyline.
- Fernie Alpine Bike Park
- Nelson / Kaslo
- Sol Mountain
Sunny days and mild winters mean that this region of the Kootenay Rockies is one of the first to see the trails clear of snow come spring.
Number of Trails: 152
Total Kilometres: 298 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,204 m
Loops of singletrack leave from and return to downtown Fernie, making the ease of access here, second to none. Explore the endless singletrack and flowly trails.
Number of Trails: 335
Total Kilometres: 726 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,769m
Fernie Alpine Bike Park
Fernie Alpine Resort has one of the largest lift-accessed trail networks in Western Canada. Combined with its extensive web of cross-country trails, it’s easy to see why Fernie is the perfect mountain biking destination.
Number of Trails: 46
Total Kilometres: 44 km
Highest Trailhead: 1,733 m
Golden is a community that wholeheartedly welcomes the mountain biking culture and the experts from the Golden Cycling Club have created some of the best trail systems in Western Canada.
Number of Trails: 138
Total Kilometres: 228 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,386 m
Invermere on the Lake / Radium Hot Springs
The Columbia Valley lies within the majestic “Valley of a Thousand Peaks”. Invermere and Radium Hot Springs has diverse riding opportunities and an abundance of natural wonders in a mountain paradise.
Number of Trails: 186
Total Kilometres: 374 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,649 m
With 300 days of sunshine a year, Kimberley is a delightful biking destination that caters to the entire family. Located only an hour away from Fernie and Panorama bike parks, Kimberley is the perfect base camp for your biking holiday.
Number of Trails: 144
Total Kilometres: 247 km
Highest Trailhead: 1,911 m
In keeping with the Nelson Kootenay Lake culture, the mountain bike trails here appeal to the spirit of mountain biking, from gentle railway grades to steep technical tracks.
Number of Trails: 364
Total Kilometres: 614 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,272 m
With the largest commercial backcountry mountain bike terrain in the world, over 1.5 million acres of tenure, this is the place to go for an unforgettable biking adventure.
Total Kilometres: 19 km
Highest Elevation: 2, 508 m
From its location on banks of the mighty Columbia River, Revelstoke has two entire mountain ranges to use for a playground.
Number of Trails: 212
Total Kilometres: 379 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,596 m
With a deep history of biking on old railway beds, miners’ trails and whisky running routes, Rossland is one of the founding bike destinations in the country.
Number of Trails: 158
Total Kilometres: 271 km
Highest Trailhead: 2,332 m
Alpine singletrack from the front door is the true allure at Sol Mountain. Wake up with the sunrise, grab a fresh cup of coffee, and head out biking until dusk.
Number of Trails: 18
Total Kilometres: 26 km
Highest Elevation: 2,224 m
Heading down the windy road working our way east from New Denver and enjoying the beautiful lush forest and narrow valleys that the Kootenays provide, the only feeling I had was pure excitement. My partner and I were heading to Retallack Lodge for a weekend full of biking, relaxing and indulging in some great food and wine. We were heading out for the trip of a lifetime. Having spent the majority of my working years providing services in similar style backcountry lodges, I was beyond excited to find out I had been chosen as one of the winners from Mountain Biking BC’s Backcountry Giveaway contest and was about to spend 3 nights at the Retallack Lodge for a weekend of big mountain shuttles. Even better, I got to bring a lucky someone along with me to share the experience!
A go-to guide for female-focused races, clinics, camps, and courses in BC that are creating more diversity in mountain biking.
This week Ryan Creary shares some of his favourite spots to ride in Revelsoke. Ryan Creary grew up on the east coast of Canada in New Brunswick. This was where he first discovered mountain biking; he used to race on the rooty and soggy coastal bush trails around the...
Follow this itinerary for a week-long trip exploring BC’s Interior to visit epic riding destinations in Kamloops, Revelstoke, Golden, Valemount, and Salmon Arm. Pair riding with beer, visiting the region’s many breweries after laps down world-class trails.
Adaptive sports are growing around the world, and British Columbia is at the forefront of adaptive mountain biking trails that help bring the community together so everyone can enjoy the sport of mountain biking.
Dropping into Kamloops, sleet pelted the windshield as if the coastal rains were unwilling to let us go. We were on our way to meet Lisa Tedesco and her partner Marco van der Wilk, the winners of this year’s Bikes and Beer tour. It would be difficult to find a more deserving candidate: for the past 15 years, Lisa has been a dedicated member of the mountain bike community.
Beyond the Bike Park in Invermere, British Columbia Words and photos by Sam Egan Within the context of the exceptionally flexible seasonality of mountain biking, the chairlift-accessed bike park season is a short one at best. So, if all you know about mountain biking...
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.
A weekend is fast approaching and all you know is that Golden, BC (https://www.tourismgolden.com/activities/summer/biking) is a mountain biking mecca and you want to be there. What are the networks? Where do you bike? Where is the best food? Worry not, fellow mountain biker, I’ll show you the way.
Riding Revelstoke with photographer Bruno Long Bruno Long is a professional adventure sports photographer based in Revelstoke, BC. Originally hailing from New Brunswick, he quickly left the East Coast behind after graduating from university and began his hunt for tall...
Off The Bike
- With their therapeutic benefits, the region’s mineral hot springs are the perfect way to relax after a day of riding.
- Strap on a PFD and raft the mighty Kicking Horse River near Golden or float the Slocan River near Nelson.
- Nearby rivers and streams are ideal for fly-fishing and undisturbed lakes are primed for casting a line from a boat.
- The area’s rich mining history has left a number of obsolete heritage sites intact, perfect for discovering old settlements, railways and trading posts.