Two Sisters near Wells/Barkerville, BC | Thomas Drasdauskis
Many in the mountain biking community consider the Cariboo Chilcotin the “unofficial mountain biking capital of Canada,” with unlimited riding for leisure bikers and adventure-seeking free riders. The spectacular terrain and quality trail systems here offer distinct riding experiences with hoodoos, river valleys, rugged canyons, logging roads, steeps, ramps, and single-track ridges. You could spend an entire summer here without setting a wheel in the same place twice. Red Bull’s 2012 feature film ‘Where the Trail Ends’ showcases the world’s top freeride mountain bikers, including Williams Lake’s own James Doerfling, as they search for unridden terrain in five countries around the globe, including the amazing cliffs and canyon walls of the Fraser and Chilcotin rivers right here in our Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.
Williams Lake | Ollie Jones
Quesnel biking buffs call the local Pins route a “flowy” ride, with spectacular views of Baker Creek and the hoodoos littering the valley floor. Quesnel’s Adventure Skills Bike Park has a freestyle section, pump track, kid’s area and features to challenge beginner, novice, experienced and highly-skilled riders. The Wells-Barkerville area offers some of the most extraordinary trails in BC, loaded with Gold Rush history. From gentle boardwalk trails through quiet wetlands to day-long epic mountain expeditions in stunning alpine terrain, this trail network has it all.
Bike magazine recently referred to Williams Lake as North America’s “Shangri-La of mountain biking.” The 200-plus tracks around the city provide the choice of tackling technical loops; try ‘Aflo,’ the Lake City’s most popular trail with awesome, flowy banked turns, or choose hours of exploring on many easy-riding trails. Downtown’s Boitanio Bike Park covers over 4hec/10ac, and is the largest of its kind in BC’s interior, with 6 major jump lines, pump track, drop zone, flow trails and log work. Here you’ll also find Fox Mountain – the longest-standing trail network in Williams Lake, host to some of the most stunning scenery in the Cariboo. The network has 28 trails totalling over 45 km (28 mi) of single track. All trails can be accessed via a nice climb up Jimmy’s Fox, Con Nino Y Pero, Skyline or by shuttling up Fox Mountain Road. There are three trailheads, each offering a large Kiosk with maps and info. For families, try out Foxfire which was rebuilt in 2019 and is a fun flowy trail that can be accessed off the parking lot on Ross Road.
The 100 Mile House area has hundreds of kilometres of marked and unmarked backcountry trails crisscrossing the plateau. Trails are accessible around the 108 Mile Ranch, and from downtown 100 Mile House. The trails beginning at Centennial Park take you up an old ski hill, and with plenty of old roads and tracks in the area, you have easy access onto trails in the nearby hills. On the 99 Mile trails south of town, choose to stay on the trails, or venture off onto singletrack for more amazing riding.
Gold Bridge | Jonny Bierman
The Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium actively promotes all of the wonderful mountain biking trails in and around Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. And the trail building is important to local Indigenous groups as well, such as the Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation (SXFN), previously known as Dog Creek Indian Band and Canoe Creek Band, who along with First Journey Trails celebrated the grand opening of mountain biking and hiking trails in summer 2022 at Big Bar Guest Ranch and helping to cement the region as a major destination for gravel cycling, drawing cyclists looking for quiet dirt roads from across the globe. A new gravel inn –Tutti Gravel Inn– in Clinton also supports gravel bikers to help further this major trend in cycling.
Meanwhile, in the Coastal region, the Schoolhouse Trail and Medby Trail Networks near Hagensborg offer a variety of routes for mountain bikers to tackle, while those visiting Bella Coola can embark on a 38.6 km (24 mi) trek from Bella Coola Wharf to Big Cedar Tree Larso Bay along the Clayton Falls Forest Service Road to The Big Cedar Tree Quad Trail. With the excess of trails and skill levels around these communities alone, you will think you’ve arrived in biking paradise.
The South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park offers an extraordinary destination for backcountry biking and guide outfitters in the region offer multi-day adventures to explore the wilderness. A family-friendly destination, there is a variety of places for camping, trail riding, and historical and cultural attractions throughout the South Chilcotin. Meanwhile, the entire region offers a variety of stunning landscapes, including grasslands, sub-alpine meadows, mountains and crystal-clear lakes as you explore over 200km (124mi) of rugged wilderness trails.
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