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Spruce lake to Vancouver

April 25, 2019, 11:59 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: April 25, 2019

Hello, I'm new to this site / forum. I'm planning a self supported MTB ride from Spruce lake to Vancouver calling at Gold bridge, Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish over 10 days. I see the riding around spruce lake is very good but the route south looks like double track / tarmac. Does anyone have any tips or advice as I've never ridden in Canada before.


 Last edited by: Milo46 on April 26, 2019, 11:20 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 26, 2019, 1:18 p.m.
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I’m not a Chilcotins expert but as far as I know there are no trails between Spuce and Pemberton so you will be pedaling along the Hurley which is a rough double track road.  While there are great trails in Pemberton there’s no trail to Whistler, just the paved highway. Again same for between Whistler and Squamish and then Squamish to Vancouver.  

Where are you coming from? If you’re arriving in Vancouver at the airport I would consider renting a vehicle to drive between all those towns and then spend more time riding the trails around town.

April 27, 2019, 1:52 a.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: April 25, 2019

Thankyou for the reply. We arrive from England in August, thought about hiring a vehicle but do like self support and thought despite some road riding it would be a great way to see the country side as well as exploring the areas on route.  I have the route planned out on Kamoot which agrees with your route descriptions.

April 27, 2019, 10:33 a.m.
Posts: 1321
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: syncro

Where are you coming from? If you’re arriving in Vancouver at the airport I would consider renting a vehicle to drive between all those towns and then spend more time riding the trails around town.

Ya this.

Also 10 days to cover all that distance between your destinations enjoying some of the best riding in the world. Would be a shame to cook your legs in transit between,  before a epic days in Squamish- Whistler - Pemberton- North Shore, Vancouver. 

For starters one would want to ride the Camel pass Lick Creek lap in the Chilcotins. If you want scenery that ride is incredible.

April 27, 2019, 1:27 p.m.
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Milo46

Thankyou for the reply. We arrive from England in August, thought about hiring a vehicle but do like self support and thought despite some road riding it would be a great way to see the country side as well as exploring the areas on route. I have the route planned out on Kamoot which agrees with your route descriptions.

Pedaling over the Hurley in August is not going to be a pleasant experience as you will cook - you could get temps 35C or higher. I honestly feel you will get far more out of your trip if you rent a vehicle. Besides making the travel between towns a lot easier, it will also allow you to ride more trails and explore more areas. For example, depending on your fitness you could ride Pemberton in the morning and then drive to Whistler and ride a valley trail in the afternoon. Then the next day you could do a day in the bike park. I think by not having a vehicle you'll potentially lose 4 of your 10 days to travel. With a car, you can easily travel and ride on the same day so there are no lost days to travel. Adding a vehicle will add cost, but imo it will make the overall experience a lot better. There is no shortage of trails to enjoy while you're here and in 10 days between the Chilcotins, Pemby, Whislter, Squamish and Vancouver there is no way you will run out of trails to explore. You can easily get the bike packing experience and seeing countryside by spending 3 days riding in the Chilcotins.

Here's a couple links for riding in the Chilcotins

https://www.lastfrontierheli.com/news/riding-the-south-chilcotin-a-first-timers-guide/

http://www.leelau.net/sharonandlee/taylor-pass-to-eldorado-basin-to-lick-descent/

And here's some info about the Hurley road http://isurvivedthehurley.com/?page_id=14


 Last edited by: syncro on April 28, 2019, 8:13 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Reason: sp
April 28, 2019, 6:37 a.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: April 25, 2019

Great advice thanks for the info and the links. I'll you posted on our planning progress !

April 29, 2019, noon
Posts: 1524
Joined: July 11, 2014

Other thing about pedaling the Hurley and other gravel roads is you are going to get dusted out by vehicles (not that it's a busy road, but still getting dusted when it's +35C sucks). OP you will be doing basically zero mountain biking once you exit Gun Creek from Spruce Lake all the way to Vancouver.

April 29, 2019, 1:08 p.m.
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

I could have sworn there was one of those summer solstice rides that some guys did that went from Pemby all the way to Squamish?  May have been the crew from OneUp?  I think the majority of it was on some sort of trails too.

April 29, 2019, 6:36 p.m.
Posts: 1321
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: shoreboy

I could have sworn there was one of those summer solstice rides that some guys did that went from Pemby all the way to Squamish?  May have been the crew from OneUp?  I think the majority of it was on some sort of trails too.

Pemby to Harrison on the Skookumchuck. A route thru Garabaldi? That would be something

April 29, 2019, 7:08 p.m.
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: shoreboy

I could have sworn there was one of those summer solstice rides that some guys did that went from Pemby all the way to Squamish?  May have been the crew from OneUp?  I think the majority of it was on some sort of trails too.

Pemby to Harrison on the Skookumchuck. A route thru Garabaldi? That would be something

https://www.travel-british-columbia.com/blog/a-road-through-the-past-douglas-road-in-shuck-ch-trail/

April 29, 2019, 7:53 p.m.
Posts: 1321
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: shoreboy

I could have sworn there was one of those summer solstice rides that some guys did that went from Pemby all the way to Squamish?  May have been the crew from OneUp?  I think the majority of it was on some sort of trails too.

Pemby to Harrison on the Skookumchuck. A route thru Garabaldi? That would be something

https://www.travel-british-columbia.com/blog/a-road-through-the-past-douglas-road-in-shuck-ch-trail/

Yes, was planning to ride this route with some gravel bike friends in early fall. Have a support- gear truck taking turns driving.  Thx for the link. 😀

Jan. 29, 2020, 12:24 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: April 25, 2019

Hi Guys,

I just thought Id share the ride we did last year after my original post asking for advise, thank you. The summary below describes each days but the images and maps are missing, can email if anyone is interested.  

Canadian MTB is the best !!! fantastic.

CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA MOUNTAIN BIKE TOUR 2019

Luxury transport provided by Tom, it would have been very difficult to even start this trip without Tom and his monster truck which took us over the Hurley pass on route to Gold Bridge. This route over the Hurley gave us a priceless opportunity to reccy the route for our return trip and discover Branch 12 which made for a fantastic adventure and 7km of some of the best single track which was never in the original plan.

After landing at Vancouver we got a lift to Gold Bridge, 3 nights with Billy at the Gold Dust Motel. We were well looked after by Billy and also Peter who runs the Gold Bridge Hotel.

Day 1 – Gold Bridge to Spruce lake and back. Excellent days riding in remote countryside.

Day 2 – Gold Bridge Chainsaw ridge.

A much shorter day, needed time to drink all the beer we bought on arrival.

Day 3 – Gold Bridge to Pemberton

Peter saved us from the Hurley by giving us a lift in his van to the highest point. We then rode down the junction with Branch 12 to Tenqille lake and down to Pemberton meadow’s. Excellent single track down from Tenquille lake, 7km downhill !

Day 4 – Pemberton to Whistler. Mainly Sea to Sky cycle track with some road work.

Day 5 – Classic route “Uncomfortably Numb” great ride very technical.

Day 6 – Rest day – eating and drinking around Whistler.

Day 7 – Whistler to Squamish via “Train wreck” and Sea to Sky cycle route. Excellent days riding, one of the best days.

Day 8 – Squamish to Elfin lake and a few other routes. We used a local uplift which helped with the initial climb.

Day 9 – Squamish to Vancouver via Indian Arm water taxi. Nice easy climb and lots of downhill to a lovely man with a boat to Deep cove. Thanks to the boat man another essential ingredient which made this trip work so well.

Day 10 – Day walking around Vancouver exploring the wildlife !!!

Day 11 – Enough of Vancouver, back on bikes to explored the woods and ice cream at deep cove.

Squamish to Vancouver via Indian Arm.. 321 miles mainly single track, 40800ft climbing/descending, no punctures, no mechanicals, 3 bears, 1 crash 🤐, a great ride through some fantastic country.

Miles, Paul & Richard.

Jan. 29, 2020, 4:57 p.m.
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Wow, sounds like a great experience. glad it worked out so well for you three. I'd venture that's a trip that most local would never do. 

What kind of bikes where you on?

Jan. 29, 2020, 11:42 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: April 25, 2019

Scott Genius 900, Santa Cruz Hightower and a Hope HB160

Jan. 30, 2020, 3:16 a.m.
Posts: 115
Joined: June 17, 2016

Sounds like an incredible trip, thanks for sharing!

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