It’s always exciting becoming familiar with a new riding area, especially when it’s extensively developed and efficiently navigated. The mountain bike trails of the Fraser Valley (FV
) represent just that. Undeniably overshadowed in the past by older, more established networks like the North Shore, Squamish and the Whistler Bike Park, the FV is definitely not eclipsed in trail quality. It seems people don't realize how close it is to Greater Vancouver; only a pleasant 40 min drive for me from the North Shore. The Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association
) has been working tirelessly to maintain these networks and provide a positive experience for all users as well as working with the local land managers and government advocating sustainability. They are why the Fraser Valley is a Mecca.
Upon completing our Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides
, Sharon Bader and I agreed that the Fraser Valley would be the next project.
The Fraser Valley is defined as the region of the Fraser River basin in southwestern British Columbia downstream of the Fraser Canyon and east of Vancouver. It is bordered by the USA to the south and the Coast Mountains to the north. The riding found on these mountains is some of the best around with a healthy variety at that. We list more than 100 trails in the Locals' Guide to Fraser Valley Rides
, and with 6 main riding locations all within a half hour's drive; it makes for a perfect riding destination.
Variety is what stands out in the Fraser Valley. Possibly the most popular of these trails is the “Squid Line
”. Located on Sumas Mountain, it is 5 kilometers of undulating-flowy-single-track goodness unparalleled anywhere. The hard-pan clay and gravel trails found in the Ledgeview trail network close to the heart of Abottsford, are unique to the Lower Mainland almost feeling east coast in nature with abundant deciduous trees and peculiar rock formations – a terrain rarely experienced by locals.
If DH riding is your forte, Vedder Mountain in Chilliwack serves up some of the best shuttling around complete with large gap jumps and technical features such as log-rides and drops. On the north side of the Fraser River, Bear Mountain has the in-famous Bear Mountain DH – a long-time running BC Cup race. (Currently undergoing a full revamp thanks to funding by Race Face and Pinkbike.com/Trailforks.com
Visiting riders will find that there is no shortage of terrain variety or difficulty, and the trail networks satisfy to no end. In the Locals' Guide to Fraser Valley Rides
we showcase 18 suggested rides of varying length and difficulty to help new and unfamiliar riders navigate the trails with ease. We hope you ride here enough to find your favourite loops and enjoy the Fraser Valley hospitality as much as we did. Below is a short overview of each area
Located the most west of all the FV riding areas, Abbotsford is the largest municipality of the Fraser Valley Regional District with a population of 133,497 people. Driving through Abbotsford on Highway 1, one wouldn’t think that great trails exist here. But the ridge that parallels just north of Highway 1 is a riding mecca!
The larger eastern peak of the two, Sumas Mountain, has the lion’s share of trails. Sumas has a variety of trails ranging from newer style flow such as Squid Line to older ‘freeride
’ trails such as Time Killer and Devil's Throat, both peppered with stunts and challenging terrain. The staging area has adequate parking, washrooms, and a great map for reference. If you are DH focused you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to shuttle most of the way up. If you prefer a serious adventure, the Chadsey Lake trail is well worth the effort.
The ridge running west from Sumas is what is referred to as Ledgeview. It’s a great compact trail network that will keep you busy for a good couple of hours. Ledgeview is an XC and all-mtn riders dream featuring fast flowy descents and punchy cleanable climbs with many small loops to link - check out the Xcellerator and Ambidextrous loops on the south side. If your fancy is more airtime, check out Daplow, Berminator and Paper Route. There are two main access points noted in the guide, so do some research and realize that not every trail is marked; the network is not too large so enjoy getting lost because you most certainly will!
Harvey, the owner of Lifecycles
bike shop in Abbotsford, rides Ledgeview so much we felt obliged to name a loop after him! Check out Harv’s Haul.
For a post ride coffee and eats, check out the Wired Monk
located conveniently on the south side near Highway 1.
We would like to thank Tourism Abbotsford
for the support on this project and for supporting mountain biking in general within the municipality of Abbotsford.Ledgeview's Quick Hit Lap
Pinkbike.com/Trailforks.com's Tyler Maine joined me for a sample ride from our guide book. We chose to the Quick Hit from page 76 as it's a great lunch time, post work or night ride lap if you have 1-2 hours for a quick ride. At pace most riders will be around 60-80 minutes for this 5.6km lap, it's a Quick Hit.
We chose the Quick Hit on the left page based on time to ride.
Climbing the main access road off of McKee.
Entering the single track from the tower, trail is called Little Buttafuco.
Wade getting into Mixed Bag on the east side of Ledgeview.
Little Amy Fisher is the last trail before getting back to your vehicle. Wade hits up one of the bigger, optional features on the loop.
All pics from our quick hit lap here
and more from Ledgeview area here
If Abbotsford feels the most urban of the FV ride areas, Mission would be the most rural. Tucked up against the mountains on the north banks of the Fraser River, Mission is mostly forested upland rising from the Fraser River banks where the city core is located with a population of 36,426.
Mission has three main riding areas spreading west to east: The Woodlot (technically in Maple Ridge), Red Mountain and Bear Mountain. Red and Bear are located right beside each other and can both be ridden on the same ride.
The Woodlot gained notoriety in the Freeride heyday in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Trails such as Platinum, Hekyll and Jekyll and Giant Killer were filmed for MTB videos featuring their crazy stunts. Some stunts still exist, and most are rebuilt, better maintained and have more flow - a sign of the times. The Woodlot is predominately rider maintained, and many of the trails have been toned down, but are still extremely fun.
This network also provides great all-mountain loops best hit on a 150mm or similar travel bike. It is possible to ride 20km of great trail in an outing!
The mountains of Red and Bear sit beside each other and can be ridden together in a big day, or each separately providing great quality loops. Bear has seen the most recent trail construction with a good variety (climbing, machine built, DH)
to sample. Red on the other hand, has an “old school
” minimalist feel with technically challenging trails peppered with a few great flow routes – a perfect combination! Of all 11 of Red’s trails, most can be hit in one day. We’ve provided a great (19km/760m of elevation change) epic tour called Shred Red and it’s well worth the sweat!
Bear Mountain is a destination. People have been riding here for more than 17 years and the sizeable network reflects that. With more than 19 trails, Bear provides everything a mountain biker needs: uphill single-track climbs, technical DH course (currently being rebuilt
), pumpy flow, technical “old school
” root rock reggae, and everything in between. It is the most developed of all the Fraser Valley areas, and if the FVMBA were to have a showpiece – a piece de résistance – Bear would be it. The trails are easily navigated with great signage and the municipality has provided parking/staging areas with maps. All there is left to do is ride!
The best bike shop in Mission is Wentings' Cycle and Mountain Shop
. Bruce has a great selection of outdoor equipment and quality mountain bike products.
To fuel up on caffeine and food before or after the ride, we recommend a visit to Grab - A - Java
. It’s the best coffee in Mission.
Also check out the Mission Springs
Brewing Company for lunch/dinner or a tasty beverage to end a great day. The pub is a big supporter of the FVMBA, and often feature MTB movie nights!
As with Abbotsford, Tourism Mission
recognizes and supports mountain biking in its municipality and has generously supported the book.Trailforks.com Chilliwack
Vedder Mountain, the main riding location of Chilliwack, is located south of Highway 1 rising above beautiful Cultus Lake. This makes a great spot in the summer for a dip after sampling Vedder’s trails. Chilliwack is the eastern-most municipality of the Fraser Valley and is pinched between Highway 1 and the USA border. It is also the start of a magnificent mountain range going south called the Cascade Range.
Of all the FV riding areas, Vedder receives the most DH activity due to an easily driven shuttle road; fortunately this does not deter the many all-mtn and XC riders from enjoying it as well. The riding area is quite compact and provides a good variety with numerous well-maintained trails. Riders will find the more than 14 trails all signed and easily navigated. This is also a popular multi-use area (motorcycle, horses, runners) and well thought out management these users also have designated trails, which provides a pleasant experience. Note: a new climbing trail is under construction so XC/AM riders rejoice!
The trail surface of Vedder is clay-based resulting in ultra fast and smooth conditions. This encourages many different styles and travel of bikes, but be cautious, the trails tend to be jumpy and stunty. Luckily most stunts do have a ride-around to accommodate a variety of levels.
The main Vedder network starts off Parmenter Road and the parking area is easily found on the south/east side of Vedder. Another riding area does exist on the north side, and these trails are part of the Duck Farm loop. This ride is an excellent all single-track alternative to the main area if you are looking for something of the beaten track!
We recommend stopping by Mt Waddington's Outdoors
if you need quality outdoor products, and of course to pick up your copy of this guide book!
It's great to see that Government is finally recognizing mountain biking and Tourism Chilliwack
has supported us from the start, thank you.
Check out all of Sterling Lorence's images from the Fraser Valley here
Sharon Bader and I started MTBTrails
in 2011 having a passion for riding and realizing people wanted/needed a comprehensive product to navigate and enjoy the North Shore trails. Our first product, Locals’ Guide to North Shore Rides, came out in spring of 2011. Shortly after, we created a North Shore iPhone app partnering with trailmapps
recognizing the great product they develop. After many requests, we now have an Android version of the North Shore app available. These can be found at the iTunes App store
and Google play
As the North Shore evolved and the North Shore Mountain Bike Association’s remarkable TAP program took affect, we printed an updated and revised second Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides
. At the same time the Locals' Guide to Fraser Valley Rides
was completed and they both were published in 2014.
In the near future, we will be offering iPhone and Android apps for the Fraser Valley, we also have commenced work on a Locals’ Guide to Okanagan Rides, so exciting things are happening at MTBTrails!Trailforks.comPinkbike and Trailforks
Pinkbike have been great supporters of MTBTrails since day one. In turn, we are big supporters of them, and have helped contribute to their new online trail resource/data base called Trailforks
. Trailforks is the place to go to plan and research your global MTB rides. Keep up the good work Pinkbike.
Thanks to Sterling Lorence
, Margus Riga
and Wade Simmons
for the images.
MTB Trails, created by Wade Simmons and Sharon Bader publish the Locals' Guide to Fraser Valley and North Shore rides. The books are available through our sponsors
MEC in Langley. Vancouver and North Vancouver
Lynn Valley Bikes
Wentings' Cycle and Mountain Shop
North Shore Bike Shop
Mt Waddington's Outdoors
Bean Around the World - SeymourTrailforks.com