Destination Showcase: A Small Town with a Big Playground - Kimberley, BC

Jun 12, 2019
by Clint Trahan  

If there is a place you want to stop and smell the roses, this is it.
(No word on if they actually grow roses in Kimberley, but there are florists).

I digress.

There is a vibe in Kimberley, you feel it as soon as you enter.

The energy in Kimberley is palpable.

It’s a familiar hoodie, a pair of comfortable jeans.
The place you couldn’t wait to leave as a kid.
The place you can’t wait to go back.

Two legs or four, everyone is happy to see old friends.

Home to families of all kinds.

Kimberley has everything the outdoor enthusiast could want. All with that small home town feeling. Located in the Kootenay Rockies and off the beaten path, you’ll need to deliberately make your way there.
She is home to Canada's largest Coo Coo Clock, yet features a Bavarian Gnome over any foul feathered friend. It is a must see. Bring change, it does not accept Apple Pay.

With over 800 hectares of land in the Nature Park, and more than 100 kilometers of trails displaying a diverse landscape of hills, ridges, valleys and plateaus.You can use the park at any time for hiking, walking, or cycling and there are also free monthly guided tours. Google Lois Creek, Northside Rails, and Lions Trails for more information on these networks that are geared to get you out and about Kimberley's amazing landscapes.

Views for days

So we know there are views, and ways to get the feet moving. And a certain Euro feeling to the entire town; what about food? Drink? Beer? The Shed has you covered. One of the main local haunts, it’ll quench your thirst pre and post rides. This place is the Cheers of the interior. Everyone knows everyone's name, and a stories of dirtbags are commonly overheard nightly.

Pizza? Check. One of the best pizzas I’ve had (seriously) is at StoneFire Grill. Not only was the pizza amazing, but the owner Sue is also just a woman to behold. A quick check in on the food turned into a 2.5-hour conversation, 2 bottles of wine, cheesecake, deep discussions about the meaning of life. A true nod to that small town energy Kimberley oozes.

But is it good for bikes? Well that's why we are here, isn’t it? Can Kimberley hold her own with things to do on two (or four) wheels? Yes. Yes she can.

While a relative NKOTB (look it up) in the downhill biking scene, Kimberley has over 185km of some pretty amazing cross-country riding. Can't-miss trails include Magic Line and Round the Mountain.

For downhill, Bootleg Mountain is where it is at.

We were lucky enough to catch a few shuttle laps up with the locals.


25 kilometers of bring-your-own shuttle trails with a little bit of something for everyone.

All ages.

Top to bottom runs to check out: Atlas Shrugged, Purple People Pleaser, Snow White and the Seven Wasps. Who names these things? May they never stop.

Kimberley, British Columbia is 3 hours east of Nelson, or 4.5 hours south of Revelstoke. With an international airport (YXC) just on the outskirt of town, you can pick how you want to arrive. As part of a roadtrip circuit hitting several must ride areas, or a direct flight from Vancouver. There is no reason to not have Kimberley on your list of places to ride this summer.

See you there.


Regions in Article


  • 36 3
 believe it or not a bunch of pictures of smiling children isn’t usually what lures me to go somewhere
  • 4 1
 The bootleg trails are top level.
  • 11 0
 Agreed, I thought it was funny how there was like 3 riding pictures and 15 pictures of children or people standing adjacent to bikes
  • 19 2
 My guess is they are advertising to someone like myself, who has a dog/kids/family/disposable income and is looking for a sweet trip that we all can enjoy. I am guessing you would still enjoy Kimberley even though there are children. All that said, go to Whistler, get RAD and I will enjoy the trails that are a little less busy.
  • 1 0
 @dtimms: exactly, stayed
there for a couple months as a snowboard intructor and Kimberley totally is a family destination, even tho the locals are pretty rad. World class golf too.
  • 1 0
 Don't go!
  • 1 0
 @dtimms: I’m sure i would enjoy it, I’m just making fun of how they definatly have one market target haha. I will go to whistler though, and probably a bunch of other places too. One of the perks of no kids Wink
  • 24 0
 Kimberley is a gem in B.C. The number and quality of trails is unreal, from old school cross country to new school flow. The two bike shops are filled with rad people, the beer is cold and the pizza hot. Great bike trip destination.
  • 10 2
 From what I can tell every single small town in B.C. would be a huge riding destination if it was in the US. It's rediculous how little good riding exists in the US compared to B.C.
  • 4 2
 @unrooted: I'd have to strongly disagree. The US has an abundance of great riding. from the NorthEast down the coast, Places like NC and WV, The SW and Pacific NW. Utah and the surrounding States. While BC is HUGH I'd put just the SW combined with Pacific NW is equally as good with as much diversity (about equal in land mass)
  • 5 1
 @Grmasterd: I've ridden in the following "destinations" among many other locations:
St. George/Hurricane, Moab, Bootleg/Vegas Area, Sedona, Mammoth, Park City, Steamboat Springs, Santa Cruz, Tahoe Area, Oakridge, Ashland, Humboldt Area, Fruita, Eagle, Breckenridge, Lyons, Bend, Sandy Ridge, Hood River, White Salmon, Bellingham, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and probably a few other places I can't remember right now. . . The top places I've been too, in my not so humble opinion, are Squamish, Whistler, Bellingham, Ashland, Humboldt (specifically Blue Lake), and of course Moab.

My big issue with riding in the US is too many trail builders try to build trails for everyone, but in Canada they build trails for themselves and you can either step up or go find somewhere else to ride.
  • 3 5
 @unrooted: Moab/Hurricane, while offering great riding is prob one of most the overrated places u can go. I have spent a ton of time building and help maintaining trails and we mostly do build them for ourselves. If the trails aren't up to your standards pick up a shovel and get involved
  • 4 0
 @unrooted: The problem with Washington is the best trails aren't on TrailForks.
  • 2 0
 @MrReddington: and that IMO is a good thing
  • 1 0
 @Grmasterd: I'm from BC, but the trails in Bellingham WA are freakin' amazing. Galbraith! We have family so I get to ride there a fair bit : ) BC and WA combined is all I could as for.
  • 8 0
 Gonna put in a plug for Mussers Plateau trail.
Every time I ride Kimbo, thats one of the first I hit up.
Great diversity of trail features, and one long rip all the way down the mountain.
  • 3 0
 Agree, one of the best trails I've ridden.
  • 1 0
 Cool thanks! I’ve been riding magic line a bit too much and will hit this next trip!
  • 4 0
 Kimberley is an awesome town, great restaurants too (the Pedal and Tap is an absolute must). The DH scene has really expanded these last few years and the trail network is very good.
  • 7 0
 Someone likes HDR and lightroom.
  • 6 0
 Dogs, trucks, bikes, awesome country. anyone wanna life swap?
  • 3 0
 And legal weed too!
  • 2 0
 Maybe Innsbruck Tourism could learn a thing or two about developing the mountain bike scene from equally pretty places, but far more successful strategies...Or continue not building trails, ban transport of bikes, and remain a self proclaimed bike city, and air-lifting rocks to Crankworx...
  • 1 0
 What do you mean ban transport of bikes? That sounds brutal man
  • 3 0
 Cool, cool...but have you seen Bike City Innsbruck though? Razz

Joking aside, it looks like a really nice place, can't wait to visit BC soon!
  • 2 0
 There is allmost no "Bike City Innsbruck" anymore... Frown
even if i head there today for crankworx....The city does its best to kill off the mtb-scene there.
  • 1 0
 @Keepiru: Why is that?
  • 1 0
 @priest55: they just banned dh bikes from their public transit
  • 1 0
 @Keepiru: still banned to use buses and gondola? Is that a problem when traveling with en/am bike?
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: Don't take your full face helmet, half lids are better for society.
  • 2 0
 Kimberly is a cool town! The ski area there is really a nice place to strap on the boards too! Need to put this on my hit list for the drive out to the Nelson area.
  • 2 0
 snow quality is awesome, but the terrain is pretty unexciting, IMO
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: There is some pretty challenging stuff to ski there but it really is a family hill and they do a great job of providing for that market segment.
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: hmm? Lizard Headwall, Concussion Chutes/Currie, Snake Ridge, the trees off Stagleap and Anaconda Glades... there is so much awesome skiing in Fernie when the snow is good. I say this as a Whistler skier too.
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: yes Fernie is good, we're talking about Kimberley.
  • 4 0
 Stoked to call this place home! Hope to see you all on the trails soon.
  • 2 2
 Another awesome place in BC! Also close to Fernie another must visit area for biking. if you're planning a trip to Fernie and looking for a place to stay we have a range of condos at the Griz Inn on the ski hill with access to the bike park and Fernie's pedal trails. Ask for Ryan for special deals on accommodation.
  • 3 0
 Kimberly, Fernie, Invermere, Golden 1 week will blow you away these towns have everything except big crowds
  • 2 0
 Kimberly looks like a sweet spot to ride. I may have to check it out this summer.
  • 1 0
 The locals meet in the town center on Wednesdays at 630pm for group rides. A great way to learn how to link up trails, and meet some truly awesome folks
  • 2 0
 Only 6 hours away, might have to plan a road trip weekend.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 For those disappointed there’s no picture of the clock:
  • 2 0
 Kimberley sucks, stay on the coast.
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 I love reading comments. Hehehe
  • 1 0
 Looks much nicer than the big hole we have over here in S.A.
  • 1 0
 Fernie is so close too. Would make for an awesome trip those two alone.
  • 1 1
 No pictures of the gnome or coo-coo clock. I am disappointed.
  • 1 0

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