Photo Essay: Off Season Mountain Biking in Revelstoke
Alpine hiking, stunning sunsets, and endless mountain biking prove there's more to Revy than just skiing
iPhone 6s + Moment Lenses
If you ski or snowboard, you’ve probably heard of Revelstoke. Famous for deep snow and big mountains, it’s a must stop destination on British Columbia’s famed powder highway. But come spring, as the ski hill shuts down and snow begins to melt, dirt is revealed. For the local mountain bike community, it means game on for getting the endless network of trails ready for riding.
Originally drawn to the area for winter purposes, my girlfriend and I ended up sticking around this past summer, working remotely from Revy, which turned out to be a very good idea. Our goal was to continue working full time, while also getting some outdoor activity in every day. Staying in a mountain town with long summer days, fiber internet, and damn good coffee made this very achievable. Working in the city is cool, but so is working five minutes from world class mountain bike trails. The variety of these trails is mind blowing too — Machine-built flow, raw DH, jumps, rock slabs, alpine single track, grizzly bears, moose, huge fish — and maintained by a close community of volunteers—a small group of dedicated individuals organize weekly volunteer trail maintenance days to keep things dialed for the numerous races, events, and all around good times that take place all summer. From the after work race series to the Thursday night "pedal and pint" rides, the locals know how to party on two wheels.
The Revelstoke valley has it all. Plus, most rides end very close to a body of water, so a post-ride swim is always within reach. With trail names like Berm Donor, Boondocker, Gravy Bacon, Super Happy Fun, Ultimate Frisbee, and Yew! R Here... you know you’re in for a good time.
And did I mention the alpine? When we first arrived in late Spring, everyone was already talking about it. “Just wait till the alpine trails melt out.” To be honest, I would have been completely content to keep riding the valley trails because they’re that good. But once the snow had melted enough to get into the high country, it was like unlocking another dimension. One where you can push your bike for 5 hours to the top of an iconic peak and then ride 7000 feet to the valley floor. Or drive 20 minutes after work to an XC loop that takes you through alpine meadows full of wildflowers, high lakes, and views across surrounding mountain ranges. Then get back just before dark in time to hit the Taco Club for dinner and get back online to work until bed. You can hire a helicopter to drop you on top of some of these peaks as well, but I prefer spending my money on tacos.
BC has all kinds of incredible mountain biking, and I haven’t even come close to riding it all. But I like to think what’s going on in Revelstoke is pretty special. Local initiative, passionate people, and endless terrain make a solid recipe for success. Not to mention the proximity to places like Golden, Sol Mountain, Nelson, Rossland, Retallack—the list goes on. If you’re looking for a rad road trip, or you’ve been to Whistler too much lately, don’t be afraid to give Eastern BC a gander. It might not be on your list yet, but it should be.