Video: BC's Panorama Bike Park is One of Canada's Best Kept Secrets

Jun 21, 2018
by Ted Morton  


Pure Canada // Panorama, BC
By Ted Morton


When I was told about Panorama bike park from Jose (the legend) Letelier, a Chilean-Canadian, living in between Invermere and Panorama, he told me that the resort was unlike anything else he'd ever experienced. That their trail crew was a little different, the terrain was expansive and that the dirt here was literally gold. He mentioned that there was quick access to the alpine, barely ridden loam trails from top to bottom and a whole bunch of gnar, with a spice of family friendly. Jose never lies.

Panorama Mountain Resort was the host of the 2018 MEC Canadian National Enduro Championship, and this says a lot. We're proud to say that this was likely the gnarliest race the resort has ever seen, utilizing trails that are often left out in the DH events. As the most prestigious enduro event in Canada next to the Whistler EWS, the event has to fulfill some very big shoes. For starters, for this particular event, we needed a big day, something to challenge every type of rider across varied terrain, and lastly, have a setting that is epic. Many venues were considered, but Panorama truly has it all. Between the Rockies and the Purcell's helps to set the stage as this area is expansive; jagged tooth mountains covered in snow, alpine trails leading to glacial lakes and trails hand-crafted from top to bottom, culminating with an enduro route that boasted more than 3800m of descending. The best part, it all converge's right in the village. This is a true mountain bike Paradise, fitting as the Paradise Mine was one of the reasons this area was first explored!

The trail crew and management team from Panorama are cut from a different cloth, they welcome new ideas, bold undertakings and truly understand what it means to be a rider. Diversity is king at Panorama, and whether you like sending jumps, cruising runs with your kids, or testing your nerve on the Canadian National Enduro course, you'll leave with a big dirty grin, sore legs and memories (don't forget the Instagram pics), of high alpine, lush soil and likely more than one broken bike part!

Very few places that you ride really give you that Pure Canada feel, but this is one of them.

Don't miss your chance to explore, you only live once!

-Ted Morton




If you're looking to come to explore this beautiful and booming mountain bike destination, start planning your trip with Mountain Biking BC and Invermere Panorama Tourism



MENTIONS: @canadianenduro



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42 Comments

  • + 6
 "Our goal is to have our trails be able to run top to bottom." Nothing like getting a quarter of the way down a trail to have it just end and have to bushwack and find your way back to the bottom. Maybe that is why it's been a secret?
  • + 11
 To be clear, you have always been able to start a trail at the top of the park and ride to the bottom. There were no "close out" lines. However, in the past it often meant the connecting of several trails to get there or the negotiation of several intersections. The goal is to make seamless top to bottom runs with few to no intersections.

An example, in the past you if you wanted to ride Moose Powder you would have to start down Look Out or Rocking Horse then to Black Moose and finally to Moose Powder. Now you simply head to Moose Powder from the top of the lift and ride it to the base. 1 track.
  • + 1
 Yeah, this is an extremely weird way to start a video with a sound bite like that.

Also, from the title of the article, one would gather the video content would provide an overview of a bike park. Instead the video was a recap of an enduro event.

Lastly..."Less than ten hours east of Whistler"? That's a really odd description. That's like "Helena, Montana - less than ten hours east of Seattle!"

No disrespect... just.. huh.
  • + 2
 @kcj801, Kelly, Have you been up there yet? When they say top to bottom, they're talking about continuous trails, without crossing over or intersections, and their terrain is MASSIVE!

Just check out the reviews from our race on our Instagram, it was all-time!

See you next year!
  • + 3
 @sngltrkmnd Dan, what Jason in the video is referring to, is the addition of new trails that run interrupted from the top to the bottom, trails without intersections, crossings, just unadulterated singletrack! The descents are amazing.

And we chose to mention the distance from Whistler, as when you compare bike parks, it's the most iconic in the world, and most people coming to BC always reference the sea-to-sky, so we wanted to showcase the difference.

Lastly, we pretty much did an overview of the bike park, as when you come here, you'll want to follow our course route as a guideline, as it's a solid 5.5hrs of riding, so you'll have a great touring route as a starting point for your adventure!

Let us know if you're coming out this summer!
  • + 1
 @canadianenduro: Cheers - I hope I can make it happen! Got a new Slash that's itching for some big terrain.
  • + 6
 I was there last year, Half the mountain was closed off for maintenance, and the other half was so completely blown out it was survival mode going down,pot holes a foot deep, and filled with moon dust, made for some sketchy riding,other than that it was a nice place to be, friendly staff accommodations were nice, maybe a bit more rain and its a different story.
  • + 7
 Our area went almost 70days with no rain last summer which resulted in a complete Back country closure. This did not help trail conditions.
  • + 2
 @d-man: Yes i knew what it would be like, cant plan for the weather, no issues other than that, folks were nice, invermere was a nice place to visit, added it to my list of potential retirement towns,stopped in at Elemental cycle and had a good chat with Rob. I'll be back there.
  • + 4
 @goytay, Brian, as D-MAN mentioned, last year was exceptionally rough year for all of BC, but as you can tell from the video, when the conditions are anything other than 70days without rain, this place is all-time!
  • + 3
 Sounds like Northstar.
  • + 3
 @canadianenduro: i completely agree,just bad timing on my part, not hating Pano!
  • + 5
 I spend a week out in Invermere every summer with my family. I'll usually get 2 to 3 days in on the hill there. Every one of my visits to the hill have been incredible. The staff were great, super friendly and lots of fun trails. They also have great activities on hill for the kids if you have young ones. And if you haven't stayed at the on hill resort, do it! The pool there are great!
  • + 6
 It’s not a secret it’s just really far away in the middle of nowhere.
  • + 2
 Depends on where you live. It's the closest lift-serviced bike park to Calgary and Edmonton with Fernie as a close second. Haven't ridden Pano for probably 10 years but I'm still kicking myself for not jumping on their $100 season pass when they had it for sale in the winter.
  • + 1
 @gtbiker87:

Kicking Horse: 264km, 2h45m drive
Fernie, 296km, 3h drive
Panorama: 295km, 3h30m drive

You can get to KH/Fernie faster than that with some aggressive driving. Pano is farther because of the access road.
  • + 3
 No doubt...
they suffer from a "Lack of major highway" and "Middle of freaking nowhere".

Same with Snowshoe WV here in the states...sure it looks close on the maps but then you get to WVA where roads were a secondary concern to moonshine.
  • + 24
 @gramboh: On behalf of everyone who lives in those areas, F#%k off with your aggressive driving.
  • + 3
 @majury: and there is that friendly Kootenay hospitality. I lived in Invermere and Kimberley for years and always found it strange that people have this bad attitude about tourists. Holier than thou. I often refered to some locals as hippie-crites. Without the tourists these towns would die.
  • + 10
 @rebel12: Nothing about hospitality there, haven't met too many a*sholes in Fernie yet. Just saying people should settle down on the road, you'll get there.
  • + 7
 @gramboh: this is part of the locals dislike for tourists. Some drive 40km over the limit, others 40 under and then there is the drivers who slow down to 70 for a corner but speed up to 140 when you try to pass in the passing zone....
  • + 1
 I was going to say that. On top of that you have other awesome parks closer. Ie. Fernie or kicking horse.
  • + 1
 @rebel12: part of why I left the Kootenays. While some peot aren't like that though but lots have this hatred towards tourists while they didn't actually grow up there and started off as tourists themselves! I blame the people from Ontario.
  • + 3
 @makripper: worst case Ontario.
  • + 6
 Someone says something against aggressive driving, in defense of that driving people turn quickly to calling people tourist haters, which then escalates to hating Ontario. Probably why I never comment on anything on this interweb thing.
  • + 4
 @majury: the Ontario comment was more of a joke haha
  • + 7
 @majury: Spent the winter in Fernie and my god, driving in and out of town on hwy 22 was terrifying when the Calgarian weekend warriors were on the road. Sloppy, whiteout conditions and you're still getting tailgated by an audi SUV that's trying to go 40 over the limit. I'm honestly surprised there aren't more deaths on that highway in the winter.
  • + 0
 @gtbiker87: in they end, they spend there money in these small towns and give people jobs. Kind of funny
  • + 2
 @makripper: I'm not complaining about them coming lol I'm saying they should slow the f*ck down on a snow covered 2-lane highway. Even when there are loads of city riders there it's still more dead than a slow day at Sunshine so I don't care. The resort has to make money somehow
  • + 5
 @makripper: We all agree tourism brings money to our towns, which brings jobs and amenities with it. That's why we live here. Doesn't do us any good after a head on collision and you're dead. People come to the mountains to relax, part of that is learning how to relax on the way there.
  • + 2
 @majury: it's the few who ruin it for the many.
  • + 1
 @gramboh, @jflb, @preach, adventures are always off the beaten path, come explore, you won't regret it!
  • + 2
 I'm sure it's expanded a lot - I had a fun day there in summer 2005 but make sure you don't hit the trail called "Blue disc". Both me and my buddy faded our Hayes (this was the era) brakes to the point of no rear braking at the bottom and had to go into the shop for brake bleeds.

And yah I find it odd that they describe it as "less than 10 hours east of Whistler". If you were going there as a destination you would fly to Calgary and then it's less than 3 hours west by car. You can do an absolutely amazing "loop" from Calgary by heading west through Canmore, Golden, then Invermere/Panorama, then Fernie, Crowsnest pass and stop to ride at each of them, and you're going to need at least 3-5 days in Fernie to really do it right.
  • + 0
 There has never been a trail called blue disc...
  • + 1
 @d-man: Maybe my memory fails me but the name was something along those lines. It was a long time ago and the name made perfect sense in hindsight.
  • + 0
 @tsn73: rhats a long time ago for sure. there has been some straight line trails, hay fever, get in line, Denali's, locals only...
  • + 2
 Probably the best variety bike park out there, great dh track, loamers, jump trails that have good flow, beginner trails and some gnar... plus all the new backcountry (or slack country trails) ... if you came to pano 10 years ago I challenge you to make it back and not be totally impressed ! This place is changing but still keeping to its roots, it’s not perfectly manicured, machine built, pavement trails, it’s mtbing and challenging but with some “new school” mixed in.
Awesome event and awesome job pano trail crew on putting together a sweet bike park “in the middle of nowhere” (no lift lines are okay by me) haha!
Cheers !
  • + 3
 Good job pano trail crew,i ride there every day i get off and it never gets old
  • + 1
 do they still allow sight see'ers wander around the top of the mountain? nothing worse than having a family of four wander out in front of you when you're riding.
  • + 3
 Mouse powder is literally the best.
  • + 1
 i think alot of those high country garnite trails have sections that decompose into pumice like dust and it makes for serious skill building sessions...to put it lightly
  • + 1
 If their website is accurate and lift tickets are $10, then this place sounds like a deal.

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