Warm season along the Powder Highway beckons you to spin your wheels in dirt. Famous for sliding snow, this road traversing the southeastern corner of British Columbia shifts into flowy and loamy time in the summer, with a plethora of mountain biking trails — from gravel grinds and forested single tracks to pedal-worthy alpine ridge rides and downhill delights.
Summer detours through four mountain towns in the region offer the opportunity to pedal your way down some of Canada’s best mountain bike trails, then down pints of craft beer at local brewpubs, recapping your day while sipping the flavors of the region. All four towns have brag-worthy trails, as well as a unique gritty and soulful appeal. They’re a little crazy and laidback, and you can’t beat the refreshing post-ride suds.
Revelstoke: Head in the clouds
You can get really up there in Revelstoke. Then, you can tear downhill hella fast. Once the snow melts, drop by Mt. Cartier. Few places have big-peak and alpine-ridge riding like this. A sinewy track cut from the rocky rubble tumbles down from peak to valley.
Across the wide Columbia River from Mt. Cartier, on the big tree-studded flanks of Mount Macpherson, a variety of single tracks await, providing options for riders of all ability levels. Try Session Flowdown to give your tires a taste of the sweet tacky dirt, rolling through the shaded lushness. Then kick your tires into Mt. Begbie Brewery for a fresh Tail Whip, a drink made with ingredients and attitude sourced 100 percent from British Columbia, as well as local water from high places.
Golden: Alpine heritage
Climbing is in Golden’s nature. There’s a reason that the famous Swiss Guides are located in the blue-collar haven of Golden, British Columbia. They came with the railroad of the early days, with Americans forming the base of their business. With precision, they knocked off thousands of routes, with big mountains being the draw. Over the years, switching ice axes for two-wheeled gravity slayers, an expanded and dedicated crew have created myriad mountain-biking trails.
Start with one in Moonraker Network, from smooth and rolly to fast-and-furious banked goodness. If speed is your quest, there is the famed Mount 7, one of the original places for badass descent events in North America. No shortcuts. You’ll have to make it all the way back into town to enjoy an after-ride bevy at the newly opened Whitetooth Brewing. Speed Metal, a foreign stout, will crush your taste buds with a deep, dark, chocolate hoppy feeling.
Kimberley: A good place to be
This is Kimberley, British Columbia. All wheel lovers are welcome here. No need to ride a fancy frame — there’s literally a trail for anything that rolls, and no judgment. Shuttlers will enjoy new drop-ins on the Bootleg Mountain network, where the Snow White and the Seven Wasps trail will have you scrubbing dirt, tight and turny, with “send-it” rolls.
Whet your appetite with a portion of the classic Round the Mountain trail, a tasty introduction to the region starting from Kimberley Nordic Club. Forested single track is broken up with twists and vistas. After a lip-smacking day in the saddle, you can pedal into the aptly named Over Time Beer Works. The fresh, fruity, malty Right About Now IPA will do the trick and slap that thirst away.
Fernie: Pioneering spirit
Fernie, British Columbia is home to the grandmother of all trail systems and a throttling good time. Awaken your heart by exploring the massive variety for downhill lovers. Check out the speedy and uber-flowy Fernie Alpine Resort, as well as the butt-busting Morrissey Ridge, or test yourself against steep and twisty Al Matador.
Plenty of standout cross-country options abound, so don’t stop pedaling until you give it up on Swine Flu, where a burly climb and bike-ballet turns combine beautifully as you ride your heart out into Fernie Brewing Company. The Kickstand Honey Kolsch is calling your name and makes for a refreshingly good way to end your summer day.
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