How to Go Mountain Biking Near Vancouver

A mountain biker hits a jump in the forest

Photo: Destination BC/Stirl and Rae Photo

In the 1980s and 90s, Vancouver mountain bikers pioneered gnarly and technical riding with tons of woodwork. These days you can ride classic jank or smooth flow in several different zones. Here’s everything you need to know about mountain biking near Vancouver.


When to Ride?

May through September are the best months to ride in Vancouver. The trails are a little wetter in May and September and can be loose and dry in July and August. Shoulder season riding in March, April, October and November can be great too. The trails are a little wetter, but you won’t have to share them.


What to Bring?

Vancouver has all kinds of trails from XC to freeride DH so the bike you bring will depend on the style of riding you prefer. Most mountain bikers in Vancouver favour All Mountain-style bikes with suspension and tires for technical rocky sections. If you need parts or a tune-up, the Vancouver area has dozens of friendly bike shops to help you out.

AdventureSmart recommends bringing essential safety and first aid gear on every ride. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.

Bears are common on Vancouver’s mountain bike trails. Consider riding with bear spray. The North Shore Black Bear Society has great tips for mountain biking in bear country.


Give Back

Vancouver’s mountain bike trails are built and maintained by volunteers from local mountain bike clubs. If you ride the trails, consider making a donation through the Trail Karma program.


Where to Ride

There are tons of places to mountain bike near Vancouver. Most are in the North Shore cities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, but it is also worth venturing into the eastern suburbs of Burnaby and Coquitlam. Use the Trailforks app to find your way around.

Keep in mind that the difficulty ratings on Vancouver’s trails might be a bit harder than you’re used to (some blues here would be rated black elsewhere) so go slow and roll features before you ride them. Most big features have ride-arounds.

Mount Fromme (North Vancouver): Cruise down the big berm turns of Bobsled, a blue-rated, new-school flow trail. To try a North Shore classic, take on black-rated 7th Secret, which features the region’s signature ladders, bridges, jumps, and log rides.

Mount Seymour (North Vancouver): Challenge your balance on Pangor (rated black) which has tons of woodwork including optional skinnies. Or ride John Deer, a popular blue that is fast and flowy.

Cypress Mountain (West Vancouver): Experienced riders can experience some old-school North Shore gnar on 5th Horseman (double black), which has some steep mandatory rock features. Or try Wutang (black) which has a series of jumps from rollers to gap jumps that are great for progressing your skills.

Burnaby Mountain (Burnaby): Most of the trails in this zone are blues, like Upper Gearjammer, which is mostly flowy with some optional drops. If you like technical blacks, try Nicoles, which has steep sections and is the most challenging trail in the zone.

Eagle Mountain (Coquitlam): Start with Three Little Pigs (blue), which is flowy with lots of berms and rollers. More advanced riders can try East Bound and Down (black) with lots of tech features and drops with some flow in between.

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