Riding In Merritt B.C.
The town of Merritt is 272km North East of Vancouver in the Nicola Valley. It’s one of the first areas of BC snow free after a long winter making it a great place to camp and ride early in the season.
There are three distinct riding areas. The main trail areas are: Visitor Center, Midday Valley road trails and Lundbom Lake area. This area also hosts many forest service campgrounds surrounding the many small lakes that are popular fishing areas. Venturing into this area is a treat for the city folk, offering a chance to see loons, fish, osprey and ornery locals giving you the evil eye for camping in their fishing hole. The mountain bike trails are maintained by a small group of dedicated riders who form the Merritt Mountain Bike Association.
One disadvantage of coming here on a long weekend to camp is that everyone else wants to as well. The forest service campsites are quite full and you never know what kind of propane exploding, gun toting neighbours you may find yourself next to.
The only place we could find on this long weekend was a walk in site at Marquart Lake. Other Forest Service site info can be found at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Web site.
The first area we rode was up Midday Valley Road.
A good steady climb avoiding cow pies brings you to one of the more technical parts of this trail! Rock and Roll!
A taste of the North Shore.
Kinda out of the zone in this climate.
Then out in the open fields with views of the Coquihalla to be enjoyed for lunch!
Down Ziggy’s, so good you have to do it twice!
The next area we rode was right off the Visitor Center which is right along the highway near the exit to the Coquihala Connector leading to the Okanagan. This is quite a popular place in the summer and you can buy samosas, hot dogs and ice cream in the snack shop. There are 4 trails here; you generally climb up ‘Too Much Info and down Ursa Major, Godey, or back down Too Much Info. A new trail has been built over the year as another DH descent. These trails also mark the end of the trails off Iron Mountain. Unfortunately when we usually ride in Merritt there is too much snow to hit these trails. Most years they are good to go in June.
The Visitor Centre trails.
Too Much Info.
Meadow above Godey Creek.
Godey Creek Trail
Starting in June the trails off Iron Mountain become clear of snow. The easiest trail – 98 – will keep you on your toes! These trails are steep, rocky and gnarly. Then they become fast and buff and end up on the Godey Creek trail.
Luke on 99
Carlos on 99
Nigel on 99
Tyler on 99
Next time you’re driving east to hit the Kootenays, or Interior make a stop in Merritt and check out their goods! Buy the map from the Visitors center to support the group maintaining the trails and give’er.
Ever ridden in Merritt? Hit the country music fest? Had neighbour blowin’ shit up? Tell us about the trails and tribulations of this cowboy town here…