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Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada

Last week of July 2005

Photos from the trip

Lost Lake Park (No Horses trail mostly, Sunday and Friday)
Monday (Trash, Riverside Trails and Loggers Lake)
Whistler Bike Park (Tuesday)
River Runs Through It (Wednesday)
Whistler Peak (Wednesday)
Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail (Thursday)
Friday (Hiking and Exploring)

Videos from the trip

The date is set for Saturday July 23 to Saturday July 30, including travel days. Expect all rides to be rated at 5-stars or higher!

There has been interest in a biking trip to the Whistler Mountain area so am putting a page together to show us what is available. Consider this a work in progress.

Whistler is a true mecca of mountain biking. The terrain is rugged, the scenery is spectacular, and the local people are interested in all things outdoors, all things recreation, and all things spectacular, winter and summer! There is a lot of diversity in the kinds of riding, with hundreds of miles of cross-country trails ranging from pavement to extremely technical, and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park (watch Pete Fagerlin's video) for the ultimate in downhill and freeriding.

 July 2005: Tentative Calendar of events














Fly to Vancouver, drive to Whistler, set up bikes

Lost Lake Park

Cheakamus River trails

Mountain Bike Park (Freeriding)

Rest day or short ride: "A River Runs Through It"

"Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail"


Drive to Vancouver and fly to Los Angeles 


August 1

August 2

August 3

August 4

August 5

August 6


IMBA rates Whistler as the Global Superstar

In their 2004 report on trail conditions worldwide, British Columbia and Whistler were given top honors of

See the full report.

Travelling to Whister

There are many airlines that claim to fly between Los Angeles and Vancouver, but I have only been able to find two that fly nonstop with several flights per day: Air Canada and Alaska Air. Some others fly once per day, arriving late in the evening which would necessitate a very late arrival at Whistler, or more conveniently, an overnight stay near the airport, adding to the cost but not to the time on the trails. I suggest we arrive in Vancouver in the very early afternoon, have lunch, then caravan up to Whistler. The table below shows the recommended flight to take in bold, and possible alternatives. Both Air Canada and Alaska Airlines charge $50 each way ($100 total) to take a bike along. Alaska Airlines will sell you a bike box at the ticket counter for $20, but I wouldn't count on that, just in case they run out or it takes too long to pack the bike. Remember, you have to take the wheels, pedals and handlbar off.


Air Canada


Alaska Airlines











Saturday July 23:
Fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Vancouver (YVR)




$328 return



7:30 a

10:20 a

$354 return






10:20 a

1:05 p







3:17 p

Saturday July30:
Fly from Vancouver to Los Angeles






10:20 a

1:12 p






3:57 p

6:53 p






5:23 p


* The recommended flights are shown in bold.

Remember, airline tickets get more expensive to book as you get closer to the flight date and the plane fills up. These prices were checked in mid-May.

Driving to Whistler from the Airport

The most common car rental agencies have locations at the Vancouver airport. If you've going to be taking your bike with you, plan to rent a large car to fit the box. Once at Whistler, we'll ride to all the trailheads so we won't need cars to get our bikes around up there. In calculating the expense of a car, don't forget that it costs more to get one at an airport, and most accomodations at Whistler charge for parking, so let's try to share cars to save money and the environment at the same time.


There are many property management companies that can help you find a place to stay at Whistler. The one I have been using is It's really easy to search for rooms on their site and to get all the information you need about them. You can book online, or call them on the phone and talk to them.

When searching for a room, indicate that you want one in Whistler Village or the North Village (Village North?). Everything in these places is at most a 10-minute walk from the furthest place. There is also the Upper Village, but that's at the base of Blackcomb and is a little further away - maybe a 15-minute walk, but still pretty close. As of mid-June, there are a number of places that can be had for less than $75/night (plus taxes), or CDN$100/night. There are tons of places in the US$75 to $100 range that have two queen beds, so for two couples that works out to less than $25/night per person.

Another on-line property management place you can try is They have the same prices as for the hotels, but they have different condo units, so you might find something on one but not the other. They also allow you to search for rooms in a specific property, which is convenient if you know where you want to stay. Both places are considerably lower prices than if you go to the web site for the hotel or condo directly!


You can either rent a bike when you get there, or take your bike with you. See below for a discussion of the pros and cons of each. I originally thought I would be taking my own bike, but I was happy with the bike I rented one for two days in early June when I was scoping out the trails, so now I plan to rent. There are a number of bike rental places; the one I'm using is Whistler Outback Adventure. You can rent a "performance" full suspension cross-country bike there for $180 (CDN240), and they are willing to let take a downhill bike instead for one day (not sure how much extra they'll charge us for this, if any). Not all bike rental places at Whistler allow you to make a reserveration, but these folks do. And it's a good idea to reserve your bike, they only have 10 "performance" cross-country bikes. Their number is 604-935-7566.

Don't forget to take your pedals with you if you use cleats!


Photos of the 2-day scouting trip, June 5 & 6. I spent two days riding the trails to get an idea of where we should go. I took quite a few photos along the way.

I've also collected some pictures from the internet of biking and other outdoor activities at Whistler-Blackcomb and  nearby areas. There are some spectactular aerial photos from Vancouver to a little north of Whistler that give you a good sense of the ruggedness of the terrain. This is the area where I grew up.


I have collected a few maps of the area. The first one I scanned and it provides a really good overview of the trails in the area. Check out their names - we need some names like these around here! The second is one copied from the internet, showing the ski trails.

Trail Descriptions


Here's the plan:

Hmm, as I look at this, it leaves about 90% of the trails unexplored. Is anyone up for a longer trip?

"What about bikes?" I hear you asking. There are two options - pack your bike along, or rent one there. Each has it's benefits and disadvantages. First, take your bike. Obviously it would be best to ride your own bike. But to do that, you need to pack it in a big box, get it to the airport, pick it up at the far end (and hope it doesn't get lost or damaged), pack it in a rental vehicle with lots of space, drive it up to Whistler, then reassemble it. Of course you need to do the same on the way back and it costs $50 each way to fly it. The alternative is to rent a bike there. There are lots of shops and they have good bikes, but they're not your bike, and they cost money. To me, this doesn't seem to be an easy choice, but I've decided to rent a bike while there. See above.

Other Activities

Bring along your significant other, even if they're not a biker, because there are lots of other things to do! Also, we'll be looking into some of these after the rides.

People who are planning to go so far. If you are would like to go, email me at Spambot resistant email address - sorry you have to type it and I'll add you to the list.



Thanks for looking at Steve's guide to mountain biking trails in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) and other locations frequented by the North Ranch Mountain Bikers.