Canadian road trip

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Canadian road trip
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FL
Posted: Sep 15, 2020 at 6:09 Quote
I Need a Little help to set up a good route for a road trip through western Canada for 2021.

We are roughly planning to come over the Pond next years june/july and we'll have about 2-3 weeks to explore as much as we can within this rather short time.
Our first idea was to participate in BC bike race next year. But due to the unpredictable covid situation and the not very customer friendly cancelling rules we skipped that idea.

We'd like to start in Vancouver and will also depart from there.
Right now we're thinking about at least 5 days in Whistler.

About us: 43-53 year old farts, not much into big jumps and gaps, we rather prefer technical riding but don't mind some easier stuff in the mix.
Lift/Shuttle Services highly appreciated but not a must.
We are not going to camp; so it'd be good to have some proper Hotels/B&Bs nearby.

So what would you do within this short time?
Is Retallack a bit too much for us or doable for semi Joeys?
Are there areas where riding could still be a Problem due to snow at that time?

Thanks in advance!
Cheers
Joerg

O+
Posted: Sep 15, 2020 at 6:24 Quote
Biggest question is how much does your group feel like driving, and how much is it worth it to you to taste a bit of everything vs. fewer driving days.

Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Sunshine Coast, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, Rossland, Kimberly, Fernie, Revelstoke, Prince George... any of those places could entertain you for a week or more without issue. Many of these places are 4-6 hours of driving apart from eachother.

Some of the higher elevation stuff (Revelstoke, uppper WBP) can have snow through June, so the longer you wait into July, the better.

Whistler (valley and bike park) has endless technical riding, and pretty much whatever else you might want. I also highly recommend Nelson, Rossland (7 summits trail), Kimberly (Bootleg Mtn) and Fernie, but that whole area is maybe a bit much to squeeze into 2-3 weeks.

There are no wrong decisions, have fun!

FL
Posted: Sep 15, 2020 at 23:23 Quote
Thanks Mike!

I will check it out.

Short driving would defenitely be a plus.
Do some of the areas differ a lot from the other? It'd probably be a good thing to have a good mix of differnt sceneries and riding conditions.
How about cultural aspects? Is any of those places worth a visit anyway (besides riding?)

O+ FL
Posted: Sep 16, 2020 at 1:39 Quote
If it's a bucket list trip, wait until late July/early August so you can do something like the Cartier heli drop/Frisby/Martha Creek DH in Revy, Lord of the Squirrels in Whistler etc. Late June is too early for alpine stuff.

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 at 9:24 Quote
i mean, i'm biased, but i'd just stay in the Sea-2-Sky + Vancouver. enough world-class material and less driving. also depends on your ability level though.

O+
Posted: Sep 17, 2020 at 11:20 Quote
gramboh wrote:
If it's a bucket list trip, wait until late July/early August so you can do something like the Cartier heli drop/Frisby/Martha Creek DH in Revy, Lord of the Squirrels in Whistler etc. Late June is too early for alpine stuff.

Bucket list trip should include a couple days in the chilcotins too!

FL
Posted: Sep 21, 2020 at 7:07 Quote
Thanks a lot!

I will have look how to Combine Things.

How about Vancouver Island?
Is any of the mentioned places known for poor or very good shuttle or lift services?
Is Retallak something you`d recommend for average joes or experts only?

Posted: Sep 21, 2020 at 23:05 Quote
bishopsmike wrote:

Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Sunshine Coast, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, Rossland, Kimberly, Fernie, Revelstoke, Prince George... any of those places could entertain you for a week or more without issue. Many of these places are 4-6 hours of driving apart from eachother.

That. And assuming you fly in to Vancouver......there's also Silverstar, Panorama, and Kicking Horse.....and.........everywhere! Some are close enough that you can stay at one location, but be able to make the drive to a few others in the AM - which gets rid of the check-in/check-out BS which eats up your ride time. Staying in places like Revelstoke (the Super 8 is my go-to there....nice place, pretty cheap.....food just down the street) will put you within range of Kicking Horse, Silverstar, and Sun Peaks as well.....

Personally, I'm a HUGE fan of Fernie (and the Griz Inn, which offers in-suite cooking bits).....but, remember all the while that if you want to get a case of beer, BC has some really stupid rules about what days/times you can buy, since all the liquor stores are controlled by the province. (IIRC)

On another note, if you fancy a bit of a jaunt as you head towards Calgary to fly out......everything from Banff through Kananaskis country has PILES of beautiful XC trails.....And there's always Canada Olympic Park as a last effort, if you really want to. Other option is to take the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) from Banff up to Jasper, and there's more riding up there as well - though you'd be flying out of Edmonton instead (and can hit the Hinton bike park on the way!). The options are endless....

Riding the rockies is so freakin' good that it really doesn't matter what the name is! You'll have a blast no matter where you end up!

Most of the places will offer chairlift access.....if you want to shuttle in some of the non-resort dealios, well.....you'll have to argue with yer buds over who's driving; rock-paper-scissors!

And if you really want - keep this topic going, or start a new one when you have the route planned....I'm sure there's piles of guys on here who could meet up with you for a day, or two, - or more - in defined locations....and show you all what the local trails are.....This is one hell of a community......hence why I've been here 20 years.

O+ FL
Posted: Sep 22, 2020 at 0:36 Quote
firewalkwithme wrote:
Thanks a lot!

I will have look how to Combine Things.

How about Vancouver Island?
Is any of the mentioned places known for poor or very good shuttle or lift services?
Is Retallak something you`d recommend for average joes or experts only?

Vancovuer Island has awesome riding in Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo, Cumberland (my fave spot on the island) and some in Campbell River area. There is also the Sunshine Coast which is part of the mainland but requires a ferry to get to. The bottom line is there is amazing riding and bike town culture across pretty much all of BC. 2-3 weeks isn't enough to see it all. In that timeframe if you are flying in and out of YVR, Sure, you could drive every night and ride somewhere new each day but it's more fun to spend some time in each area.

For two weeks I would do North Shore (one ride/afternoon, lowest ranking place on this list) > Squamish > Whistler > Pemberton > Kamloops > Revelstoke and then drive back to YVR. For three weeks, add on Nelson (maybe stop in Kaslo on the way down from Revy) > Castlegar > Penticton and Chilliwack (Vedder Mtn) on the way back to YVR. You will be missing out on Golden, Fernie and "northern" (actually central) BC like Terrace, Smithers, Burns Lake, Prince George, Valemount and of course the island and Sunshine coast but you can always come back.

re: beer, the province controls distribution (as they do everywhere in Canada), but there are private liquor stores everywhere, in big cities open till midnight 7 days a week, and many many amazing breweries if you like good beer.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 at 0:45 Quote
gramboh wrote:
firewalkwithme wrote:
Thanks a lot!

I will have look how to Combine Things.

How about Vancouver Island?
Is any of the mentioned places known for poor or very good shuttle or lift services?
Is Retallak something you`d recommend for average joes or experts only?

Vancovuer Island has awesome riding in Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo, Cumberland (my fave spot on the island) and some in Campbell River area. There is also the Sunshine Coast which is part of the mainland but requires a ferry to get to. The bottom line is there is amazing riding and bike town culture across pretty much all of BC. 2-3 weeks isn't enough to see it all. In that timeframe if you are flying in and out of YVR, Sure, you could drive every night and ride somewhere new each day but it's more fun to spend some time in each area.

For two weeks I would do North Shore (one ride/afternoon, lowest ranking place on this list) > Squamish > Whistler > Pemberton > Kamloops > Revelstoke and then drive back to YVR. For three weeks, add on Nelson (maybe stop in Kaslo on the way down from Revy) > Castlegar > Penticton and Chilliwack (Vedder Mtn) on the way back to YVR. You will be missing out on Golden, Fernie and "northern" (actually central) BC like Terrace, Smithers, Burns Lake, Prince George, Valemount and of course the island and Sunshine coast but you can always come back.

re: beer, the province controls distribution (as they do everywhere in Canada), but there are private liquor stores everywhere, in big cities open till midnight 7 days a week, and many many amazing breweries if you like good beer.

Nice! That would work!

I just remember having everything being closed at one point, and being like...."Ummmm...I want beer?....where do I get one?!"....lol.....now I brew my own, so it's not really on the radar anymore.....

Like I said, don't be afraid to contact locals about the bits they're excited for....

FL
Posted: Sep 23, 2020 at 7:17 Quote
You had me at beer! Don't want to miss the first cold one after a day of riding.

Your tips are very much apreciated.
We will sit together middle of October and we will discuss what to do and where to go and if we can bribe our ladies into getting 3 weeks off I am sure we won't get bored. Don't know what the others think but as mentioned here: there are no wrong decisions.

My biggest concern right now is the covid 19 circumstances, Who knows whats up in 9 month.

I'll Keep you guys posted!
Thanks!
Jörg

FL
Posted: Oct 25, 2021 at 11:54 Quote
Here we go again,
I am a bit more optimistic for next year for things to work out.
Plan is to come over middle/ end of August 22.
Hope quarantine rules are gone by then.

I still feel like an overweight kid in a candyshop with limited budegt; so many options and little time to squeeze things in

O+
Posted: Oct 26, 2021 at 14:10 Quote
firewalkwithme wrote:
Here we go again,
I am a bit more optimistic for next year for things to work out.
Plan is to come over middle/ end of August 22.
Hope quarantine rules are gone by then.

I still feel like an overweight kid in a candyshop with limited budegt; so many options and little time to squeeze things in

Retallack is not all super gnar. You’ll be fine if you can get down single blacks in Whistler bike park.

FL
Posted: Jan 6, 2022 at 8:15 Quote
I've worked out 2 plans and would appreciate your opinions.

I guess the first one is too ambitious

A)
2 days Vancouver
2 days Squamish
4 days Whistler
2 days Pemberton
2 days Kamloops
2 days Revelstoke
1 day Jasper/Banff (not for biking, just for the scenic ride)
1 day Calgary, taking the flight back home

B)
2 days Vancouver
5 days Whistler
3 days Squamish
2 days somewhere on the coast on the way to Powell River
3 days on Vancouver Island
1 day Vancouver, taking the flight back home

what do you think?

O+ FL
Posted: Jan 6, 2022 at 13:26 Quote
I'd go with your second option just to have less driving and to be cheaper for round trip flights. You could hit up Coast Gravity Park in Sechelt on the way up to Powell River, then cross over to the island to ride Cumberland and then down to the Duncan area and back via the Swartz Bay ferry. That route would not really have you driving for more than 2 hours per leg (excluding ferries). There is also so much quality and variety in Whistler and Squamish that 8 days > 6 days.

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