Mountain Biking in Pemberton
Photo by Pat Mulrooney Photography
Pemberton’s mountain bikers want you to know that there is wicked riding north of Whistler; really epic stuff.
Pemberton’s sandy soil, microclimate, and intense 2010 investment in trail building equals an unparalleled mountain biking opportunity. Trails are well built and maintained and are meant for both up and downhill biking. As Pemberton resident and mountain biker Edward Witwicki says, “There are some shuttle rides in Pemberton, but the roads are pretty bad to shuttle, that’s why Pemberton is known as a community that pedals. Now with the new bike technology the pedalling up for the downhills makes it all worth it Pemberton is a great for “Enduro” it’s like Pemberton was made for “Enduro.”
Being great for Enduro also means that Pemberton is a great place for things like the Ironman and the Nimby Fifty -- Races that are ideal for Pemberton trails and conditions.
Mountain Biking Benefits
Mountain biking in Pemberton differs from nearby Squamish, Whistler and North Vancouver in both the climate and the types of trails. What that means to you as a rider is that you can often ride year-round, you’re going to be on some incredible single track for much of your ride, and you can ride from your back door to an epic trail often in minutes. As Edward Witwicki says, “What I like most about riding in Pemberton is the location of all the trails; I can leave from my front door and be at any trail within 2 – 15 minutes. I can choose to do a quick 30 minute loop (Usually my lunch hour) or an epic 8 hour grunt!! And everything in between.”
- Pemberton spent $120,000 on upgrading its mountain bike trails in 2010. You reap the benefits.
- The Pemberton Bike Company is over 20 years old and they know their stuff.
- The Nimby Fifty has put Pemberton mountain biking on the map
- Trails often run near 2 lakes, which are great for a quick dip when it gets hot.
- The climate: This year, in 2013, we are still mountain biking on December 19th.
- Trails are within biking distance from the Village, for easy access.
Maps and Itineraries
The Pemberton Valley Trail Association has their new trail map coming out this February, which will include a couple new blue trails including “Back Pains” and “Pacific” that Edward Witwicky built with some fun flowy single track and jumps.
Other great trails are “Pioneer”, “Fizzy Pop”, “Rusty Trombone”, and “Moose Jah”. And there are many more! Check the Pemberton Valley Trail Association map for details. Most of the trails are Blue – Double Black Diamonds. There are plans to create some beginner trails in the works, but like everything else, it all comes down to funding and what the people want. So far, people in Pemberton come here for the epic rides: double black diamond stuff. See a complete list of trails on the Pemberton Valley Recreational Trail Map.
When to Ride
Pemberton is nestled between Whistler and Lillooet, an arid region just north of Pemberton. This means that it can be 10 degrees warmer in Pemberton than it is on the coast. So if it is 20 degrees in Vancouver, it can be 30 degrees that day in Pemberton. At the same time, it is not nearly as dry as the region just beyond it to the north. This gives you an ideal climate for biking in spring and fall. As Ed (full name) says, it’s often a bit too hot in mid-summer with many trails being loose and dry. However, Pemberton has been gifted with two lakes (Mosquito Lake and One-Mile Lake) bordering a lot of the trails “ which are amazing to jump in mid ride or just make it a great destination ride. Work up a sweat then jump in the mountain lakes to cool off.”
Because of Pemberton’s proximity to Whistler, and incredible backcountry skiing on the Duffy it’s possible to ski/board in the morning and then bike that afternoon. Certainly, not every year works this way, but often the season is extended in Pemberton and some years you can pedal year round. “Makes for a great day. Powder shots in the morning Brown pow in the afternoon.”