friends mountain biking together

Incredible Mountain Bike Destinations in Western North America

06/04/2021

When it comes to mountain bike destinations, a handful of epic locations across the globe frequently top bucket lists: Switzerland, New Zealand, and Iceland, to name just a few. Sometimes, however, it's easy to overlook the fact that some of the most amazing rides are just a hop, skip, and jump away from where we actually live.

For example, check out these adrenaline-pumping rides right here in western North America: Kananaskis Country (near Canmore, AB); Vancouver's North Shore & Squamish (just north of Vancouver); Washington state's Wenatchee; Sun Peaks and Revelstoke in BC; and Yukon.

We've put together a comprehensive guide to the best mountain bike trails in each of these destinations so you can ride to your heart's content this season. Before hitting any trails, download the Trailforks app for interactive trail maps, route conditions, and more. Happy trails!

Kananaskis Country (near Canmore, Alberta)

The Canadian Rockies are a four-season hub for all sorts of outdoor activities, and Kananaskis Country is located in the heart of this region. Just west of Calgary, you'll find every outdoor pursuit imaginable, including, of course, some of the best places to mountain bike anywhere.

Popular trail networks

  • Canmore Nordic Centre
  • West Bragg Creek
  • Chester-Small
  • Moose Mountain
  • Sheep River

MTB Project-recommended routes

  • Ridge Ranger Loop (intermediate)
  • Powderface Loop (intermediate/difficult)
  • Moosepackers Loop (difficult)
  • Powderface Short Loop (difficult)

Where to stay near Canmore

When you come to Kananaskis Country to discover the best places for mountain biking, you want easy access to all the must-ride trails. The Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre is ideally located just 15 minutes from Kananaskis and a short drive from both Banff and Calgary. In addition to the unbeatable location, enjoy pet-friendly accommodations, a recently-renovated fitness centre with Peloton bikes, an indoor pool and hot tub, and an onsite restaurant, Table Food + Drink.

biker heading around a curve

Vancouver's North Shore & Squamish, BC

Squamish sits on spectacular Howe Sound, just north of Vancouver and south of Whistler. It bills itself as "the adventure capital of Canada," offering abundant year-round recreational opportunities. Along the same lines, Vancouver's North Shore is renowned as a world-class mountain biking destination. In fact, mountain bikers all over the world aspire to master "The Shore" style of riding. It's safe to say that this is one of the best mountain bike destinations in Canada!

Pro tip: The North Shore and Whistler areas in particular are notorious for being "lenient" when it comes to trail ratings. According to cycling enthusiast Two-Wheeled Wanderer, trail ratings should be taken with a grain of salt. Plan on them being much more challenging than in your hometown.

North Shore trail networks

  • Cypress Mountain
  • Mount Fromme
  • Mount Seymour

Squamish trail networks

  • Alice Lake
  • Brackendale
  • Diamond Head
  • ValleyCliffe

Where to stay in Vancouver

When you choose to stay at the Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel by APA you'll enjoy proximity to all the best places to mountain bike. Coal Harbour is in the heart of downtown and offers modern, upscale amenities plus a restaurant and spa onsite. 

Wenatchee, Washington

The Wenatchee Valley is widely regarded as a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to its diverse terrain, natural beauty, and abundant sunshine. There are miles upon miles of trails, and some of the best mountain bike trails are just minutes from downtown.

Wenatchee trail networks

  • #2 Canyon
  • Devils Gulch/Mission
  • Sage Hills
  • Squilchuck State Park

Outside the Wenatchee trail network is Leavenworth, a nearby mountain biking paradise that is also worth checking out when you are in the area.

Where to stay in Wenatchee

Enjoy being right downtown and mere steps from the Columbia River when you stay at the pet-friendly Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel. You'll quickly learn why Wenatchee is considered one of the best cities for mountain biking, plus enjoy a 24-hour gym, unique indoor/outdoor pool, and the rooftop restaurant, Rivertop Bar & Grill.

Sun Peaks, BC

Sun Peaks has both incredibly scenic and rugged terrain, which is a winning combination in terms of mountain bike destinations. From moderate and picturesque cross-country trails to highly technical courses and even the downhill bike park, Sun Peaks is one of the best places for mountain biking.

Sun Peaks trail networks

Where to stay in Sun Peaks

The Coast Sundance Lodge is one of the top ski-in, ski-out hotels at Sun Peaks Resort. That means in the summer you can't get any closer to the area's best mountain bike trails. The sustainability-focused hotel has an oversized hot tub, rooms and suites with sweeping views and mini- and full kitchens, and a restaurant and two cafés onsite. Guests can also book excursions without needing to leave the property.

biking riding through flower fields

Revelstoke, BC

Revelstoke is a world-renowned ski destination, known primarily for having the highest vertical in North America (1,700 metres, or 5,620 feet). Its reputation for being "steep and deep" extends to biking as well, and Revelstoke is widely considered one of the best mountain bike destinations in the country. Revelstoke offers numerous trails, many lift-accessed at the resort and several others in the gorgeous backcountry nearby.

Revelstoke trail networks

  • Boulder Mountain
  • Cartier
  • Frisby
  • Glacier National Park
  • Joss Mountain
  • Keystone Standard Basin
  • Mount Mackenzie
  • Mount Macpherson
  • Mount Revelstoke National Park
  • Sale Mountain
  • Sol Mountain
  • Sunnyside

Where to stay in Revelstoke

The Coast Hillcrest Hotel is a destination in and of itself, just minutes away from the resort and boasting some of the best views in the area. Take advantage of two whirlpools, a dry sauna, and a steam room, and treat yourself to a drink in Guides Lounge or dinner with a view at Mountain View Terrace. When you're ready to discover the area's best mountain bike trails, hop on the complimentary shuttle.

Yukon Territory

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory's capital city, is nicknamed "The Wilderness City" — and for good reason. Aside from being stunningly beautiful, the entire area is traversed by a dizzying number of mountain biking trails. You could easily come here and devote your entire itinerary to exploring the bike trails. You'll also rarely find crowds in Yukon Territory, easily crowning Whitehorse one of the best cities for mountain biking within solitude.

Whitehorse trails network

  • Grey Mountain
  • Mount McIntyre ("Mount Mac")
  • Yukon River Trail

Where to stay for mountain biking

This summer, explore some of Canada's best places to mountain bike in Yukon Territory. Stay in downtown Whitehorse at the Coast High Country Inn, which re-opens on July 1st. The welcoming, pet-friendly hotel is just one block from the Yukon River and has hosted a long list of Prime Ministers and members of the Royal Family.