Coastal Escape: Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

May 21, 2017
by Ryan Kelly  

Coast Gravity Park, the Sunshine Coast. For mountain bikers in the Pacific North West, these names—and the casual plans to go there—are about as common as arguing over bike lanes and deciding which farmers market to go to. For the rest of us though, that area can seem like a magical, far-off land that you’d have to catch a ride on a fairy, err, ferry, to get to. What’s Coast Gravity Park like for mere mortals who don’t do superman seat grabs in their warmup run? Once the shuttle trucks are parked for the night, where can you eat/drink/sleep? I’ve been meaning to answer these questions for myself for a while now, so when the latest dump of springtime snow hit my hometown, I knew it was time to pay a visit.

After a quick hour and a half flight, we were at Vancouver International Airport, where typically you'd have to figure out a way to get over to the ferry terminal and on to the Sunshine Coast. For this trip, though, we decided to take the easy (and fast) route with Harbour Air.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Harbour Air has a location right off the south YVR terminal, which is about as convenient as it gets for people wanting to get out to Coast Gravity ASAP.

We caught a ten-minute shuttle from our terminal over to Harbour Air and after that, it was literally a twenty-minute flight over to Sechelt. That’s less than two hours of total flight time to go from wading through snow to riding through lush, green forest. Crazy.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

We wanted to pack light, so renting bikes was a must. Off The Edge Adventure Sports stocks rental bikes for whatever style of riding you want to do. Beth picked out her 160mm weapon of choice and I went with a full-on DH rig. They had pads, helmets and basically anything else you need. They even had a replacement lens for my goggles that I wasn’t able to find back home. Me like. Gary (co-owner of the shop with his wife, Lydia) gave us some background on the Sechelt area and how Coast Gravity Park came to be, which was a pretty interesting story. He also told us about the huge network of trails around Sechelt and the heli-drop service that’s about to unlock even more terrain, but you’ll hear more about that later this year.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Off The Edge Adventure Sports set us up with gear for the weekend. They're right in Sechelt and a relatively quick drive down the hill from Coast Gravity Park.

Enter: Coast Gravity Park

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

When you roll up to CGP, you understand instantly that this place is built purely for riding. There’s a parking area, an eating/hanging out area where you wait for the shuttle truck and a jump area, off to the side. The Starbucks’ and vacation shoppers of typical riding centres are nowhere to be seen. It’s a refreshing experience. Dotted throughout the park are decommissioned relics once used as features in some of the best slopestyle and freeride edits of the last few years.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Recognize this?

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Everything you need and nothing you don't.

I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that the riding was incredible. The placement of every roller, berm, jump and rock seems to have been meticulously thought through for maximum stoke no matter what speed you're going. I feel like I could have sessioned one trail all day and would still be finding new lines and transfers by the end of it, depending on how fast I wanted to go and how brave I was feeling. I think the biggest testament to a great trail centre is when it gives the rider confidence to push their skills forward, which is exactly what we found at CGP.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

bigquotesThis was my first time hitting the bike since last season, so I felt pretty rusty and cautious dropping into the first trail of the day (which was "Mr.Green"). With the progressive way the park was built, I was moving on to blues, reds ("Intermediate/Advanced") and blacks by the end of the day.Beth Kelly

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
High speed berms for days.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
The last time these shins saw the light of day was October 2016...

After a full day of riding, we went to go check in at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
The resort is about 20 minutes down the road from Sechelt

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
A winding network of boardwalks takes you to your "tent".

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
A Tenhouse Suite at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast


There were plenty of restaurants to choose from in the area. We went with The Gumboot for the first night. The food was tasty and there were options for everyone, like this house-made veggie burger.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
The burger is in there somewhere.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

The next day, Beth stayed back to relax at the resort so I rode solo on day two. Like I mentioned before, the quality and depth of the trails at Coast Gravity is immense, so it was cool to hit some of the same trails at higher speeds now that I was warmed up from yesterday. I also rode a few others that I had my eye on the day before.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Handjob. That's the name of this trail.
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Chef John Montgomery was serving up stellar food all day.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
#MOSSCAP

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Beth was doing okay back at Rockwater.

After two glorious days of riding and relaxing on the Sunshine Coast, it was time to enjoy the last night, pack up and head home. We got word from some friends that while we were on the coast, it had snowed another half a foot where we live...

So we made this video and article to show riders how accessible and amazing it is to ride and stay on the Sunshine Coast. Going in we truly didn't know what to expect from the area, but we were blown away by the hospitality, the options for post-biking food/drinks/accommodations and of course the riding. It's a no-brainer that mountain biking the Sunshine Coast is a must, but I don't think many people know that you can come here literally any time of the year for snow-free riding (most of the time, anyways). We're planning our next trip out for January 2018. Considering we're talking about a Canadian destination, a mid-winter bike trip with no snow and no exchange rate to worry about (or an awesome exchange rate if you're from south of the border) sounds like the stuff of dreams. And it is.

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Heading back to YVR

Coastal Escape Ditching Spring Snow For the Sunshine Coast
Welcome home


For upcoming travel guides and trail videos, check out The Loam Ranger on Youtube.

Just a note that we were not paid by any of the companies in this article or video. Cheers!


Posted In:
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20 Comments

  • 16 0
 Great coverage. Awesome too see places like GCP covered from a mortals point of view Big Grin . Held off from going there because I thought it was only for supermen - i am going to have a plan a trip there now!
  • 8 0
 I'll get blasted for this but CGP needs a better shuttle system. Went couple weeks ago and spent so much time in line vs riding the nice but short trails. Problem is the shuttles get in each other's way since there is only one road. They need to make The road a one way loop and get the shuttles crankin!
  • 7 0
 Just went last month for the first time. CGP is a very special place with a great variety of buffed trails for all levels. Only had one day to ride, but stayed until closing and can't wait to go back! Down-home welcoming atmosphere and their chef makes really good food! Go if you can!
  • 4 0
 CGP is definitely awesome but do yourself a favour and give yourself a day or two to explore some of the amazing trail networks outside of the park too if you're doing a trip. It is mind blowing how extensive the trail network is and it's expanding every year.
  • 3 0
 My wife and I have done two trips to CGP now and we have never been disappointed. Trails are in excellent shape and the flow is like no other. You can not beat the laid back atmosphere of the coast and the park that Evan and his team have put together is something special. We highly recommend checking it out.
  • 5 0
 This video might have sold my wife on where we are going next winter.
  • 3 0
 You managed to turn cost gravity into whistler with your trip Flights Spas
  • 2 1
 The difference is that Whistler is one big circus, but CGP is its own thing that you can build whatever kind of trip you like on.
  • 2 0
 Gad damn it man that was cool. I think that would cure any type of blues. Great vid!
  • 2 0
 Nice...rock water resort. Awesome bacon-waffles for breakfast Wink
  • 2 0
 Whose custom Demos at 3:17??
  • 2 0
 One is Dylan Dunkertons and I can't see who the other guy is.
  • 2 0
 Whats interns real name?
  • 1 0
 Yew! Gonna be out there in a couple weeks. Cant wait.
  • 1 0
 CGP is sick as heck. Best jump trails I've ever ridden
  • 2 1
 It don't cost nothing to dream about it
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