Many in the North American mountain-biking community consider this region the “unofficial mountain biking capital of Canada,” with unlimited riding for leisure bikers and adventure-seeking free riders. The terrain and quality trail systems offer distinct, unique experiences that encompass river valleys, rugged canyons, mountain peaks, logging roads, steeps, ramps and single-track ridges. It’s possible to spend an entire summer here without setting a wheel in the same place twice. Indeed, Red Bull’s 2012 feature lm Where the Trail Ends showcases the world’s top free-rides, with James Doerfling of Williams Lake, in search of virgin terrain in five countries around the globe – including the canyon walls of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coasts’ Fraser and Chilcotin rivers.
Quesnel biking buffs call “Pins” route a “ flowy” ride, with amazing views of Baker Creek and the hoodoos that dot the valley floor. Quesnel Adventure Skills Bike Park includes a freestyle section, pump track, kid’s area and features that challenge riders of all skill levels. The Wells-Barkerville area offers some of the most extraordinary trails in B.C., from gentle boardwalk trails through quiet wetlands to day-long mountain expeditions in stunning alpine terrain. As well, Bike magazine refers to Williams Lake as North America’s “Shangri-La of mountain biking.” The 200-plus tracks and trails around the city offer the choice of tackling technical loops; or “Aflo,” the Lake City’s most popular trail due to its awesome, flowy banked turns, or hours of exploring on many easy-riding trails. The city’s downtown Boitanio Bike Park covers more than 4hec/10ac and is the largest of its kind in B.C.’s Interior, with six major jump lines, flow trails, log work and a pump track and drop zone.
The 100 Mile House area has hundreds of kilometres of marked and unmarked backcountry trails criss-crossing the plateau, with trails accessible around 108 Mile Ranch and from downtown. Trails beginning at Centennial Park take mountain bikers up a ski hill, and provide easy access to routes in the nearby hills. On the 99 Mile trail network south of town, riders can opt to stay on the trails or venture off onto single track for more amazing riding. This area appeals to all skill levels and age groups.
In the South Chilcotin, Spruce Lake has epic grassland riding through alpine and sub-alpine meadows, skirting spectacular freshwater lakes. The classic 26km/16mi single-track Gun Creek Route gains elevation through a conifer forest mixed with aspen and cottonwood. Also popular are the South Tyaughton Lake’s 28km/17mi Taylor-Pearson loop and the 44km/27mi High Trail Loop into Windy Pass. Adventurous backcountry mountain-bikers can also opt for float plane and helicopter entries or packhorse-assisted and guided tours.