The 5 Most Popular Biking Trails in Squamish
The Sea to Sky corridor is legendary for biking, and Squamish mountain bike trails are some of the best in Canada. There is something for everyone, from gnarly prolines to easy beginner-friendly bike trails.
You may have heard about the famous Squamish trail Half Nelson, the incredibly grippy rock slabs, or the close-to-year-round biking in British Columbia. Whatever drives you, Squamish is well-known throughout the biking community.
Need to Know: Squamish Bike Trails
Located 40 minutes south of Whistler and with over 750 trails spread across town, Squamish mountain bike trails hold their own when compared to Whistler mountain biking.
All bike trails in Squamish are accessible by pedalling, but don’t let that scare you off as access is very pedal-friendly. The main area for biking, Diamond Head, has a green climb trail to mid-mountain trails and a blue to the top.
Mid-mountain trails such as Hybrid and Half Nelson are accessible from the North Side Connector for those who prefer to pedal up a fire road. This road is free from cars; however, you can shuttle Garibaldi Park Road.
Do you want to shuttle but don’t have a bike rack or the right car? Check out The Shred Shuttle. Whether you have a big group, just a few friends with you, or are enjoying a solo ride, you can get a lift with them from $12 per person, depending on drop-off.
Be mindful that if you are going to shuttle (the act of driving a car up, riding down and then retrieving the upper car with one left at the bottom), the majority of those trails accessible by shuttles are either black or double black diamond.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Bike in Squamish?
As we mentioned above, biking in Squamish is close to year-round (depending on snowfall). This means you will always be able to find a bike shop in Squamish with gear and mechanics to help you out.
In saying this, if you are going to venture out for a winter ride, be sure to prepare yourself. It is usually wet and cold and the trails can be unforgiving.
Having the option to ride excellent bike trails year-round is rare on the West Coast of Canada. However, the fantastic team at Squamish Off Road Cycling Association, or SORCA, put their heart and soul into every trail they build.
SORCA: the Team Behind the Squamish Mountain Bike Trails
The Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association is a volunteer-driven organization hosting over 2600 members. By partnering with the District of Squamish, Rec Sites, and Trails BC, and various private landowners, they have created some of the best trail networks in Canada.
Showing truth to the old saying, “From little things, big things will grow,” SORCA started as a small group having a coffee and a social riding every Sunday in 1994.
Fast forward to today and the organization is the backbone of all things Squamish mountain biking. They are the team behind race hosting, social events, fundraisers, and trail maintenance days.
You don’t have to buy a membership to ride the Squamish mountain bike trails, but if you want to show your appreciation for the fantastic work they do, feel free to drop them a donation.
5 Must-Do Bike Trails in Whistler
1. Half Nelson
Even if you are not a die-hard mountain biker, chances are you have heard of Half Nelson. As mentioned earlier, this trail is a blue-rated bike park-style flow trail. Friendly to those new to biking and those who want to send it, it is a must-do!
Usually the first trail anyone does in Squamish, Half Nelson is located amongst the Diamond Head trail network.
A fun black trail with a mix of tech and flow is a favourite for watching bikers jump a road gap or get an Instagram-worthy picture of yourself taking flight.
Pamplemousse was recently built in the Alice Lake trail network. It has a short but punchy climb directly from the car park called 50 Shades of Green, making it easy to lap.
This is a fast, fun, blue flowy trail that is made up of three sections. Enjoy the newly rebuilt top sections with some freshly made rollers and berms.
You can make the most out of your lap by pedalling back up the fire road from the finish of Half Nelson or Angry M in the Diamond Head area.
An ode to all of the trail dogs, Rupert is a fun and easier black technical trail with a blue ride around called Tazers. You can expect rock rolls, wooden features, and a tricky corner on this trail.
Pedal to the top of the Alice Lake area to get onto this Squamish classic. It is a favourite trail, so expect high traffic on a sunny day.
Not for the faint of heart, don’t let the easy climb to In & Out Burger trick you as this trail is a 350m-long rock slab. Although there are a few lines on the slab, the options on the rider’s left are the more manageable lines, and as you look to the right, the more challenging and gnarly it gets.
Located on the backside of Alice Lake, take in the view of Squamish and the surrounding mountains before you take on the famous In & Out Burger slab.
Squamish, a True Mountain Biking Town
When you arrive in Squamish, you will see that the town lives and breathes everything mountain biking. As you make your way through, be sure to keep an eye out for big-name brand headquarters such as Commencal and Specialized.
As you can imagine, a culture like this brings in many like-minded people and professional mountain bikers. So it is no surprise that Squamish is the perfect destination for a mountain bike lesson.
With trails spread across the town and in all skill levels, you will have your choice of what sort of lesson you want or need in order to progress.
If you are a downhill mountain biker and want to try trail riding, then Squamish bike rentals will be able to help you out. The widely varied rental fleet has some of the best cross country and enduro bikes on the market.
You can do so many exciting activities in this sleepy little town, like rock climbing, paddleboarding, hiking, and, of course, enjoying the Squamish mountain bike trails. So make sure you give yourself enough time on your next visit to enjoy them all.