Posted by: Lisa Lefroy
Over the last 16 years that I’ve been living and riding in Whistler, it has become famous for its extensive array of easily accessible mountain biking trails. Rookies who are just learning to roll on a bike can find trails through the Valley and in the Bike Park. Veterans who are progressing their skills regularly find double black diamond technical trails to challenge them. And we all know that “how the hell do I ride this?” look, no matter how much experience we have!
As a bike coach, I’ve scouted plenty of Whistler trails for their skill development and confidence boosting potential. A classic, that is often recommended to visitors looking for a taste of Whistler trails, is A River Runs Through It.
View A River Runs Through It in a larger map.
Its popularity is, in large part, due to the way it caters so well to a range of abilities. It’s the perfect test-piece, if you want to see how your skills stand up against a Whistler black diamond.
With its minimal elevation gain and seemingly endless array of man-made stunts, log rides and fun flowy dirt, A River Runs Through It is great trail for intermediate riders who want to challenge themselves or advanced riders who want to practice their skills. Remember to keep trying the obstacles if you don’t succeed on your first attempts! It’s the perfect trail to session.
The trail meanders along 17 Mile Creek, crossing the river three times throughout the ride. These crossings are an exciting test of your nerves and focus. There are also various exits along the way in case someone may find themselves in a little over their heads. It may take you a couple of rides to clear the entire trail and any obstacles that you are not able to clear will make for a great “trail tale” at dinner that night!
The trail takes roughly 1.5 to 2 hours to ride, depending on the amount of time you take to “session” the various obstacles, and it ends at the beach at Rainbow Park.
I like to ride in leg pads – it helps give me the mental edge on the more challenging stunts. And I always ride with a friend – it’s a good safe practice, and ensures there’s someone there with high-fives and a camera to keep me stoked!
For trail information and access, check out the free online trail guide (and download the info to your mobile device): www.whistler.com/trails/bike/river-runs-through-it
If you need to rent a bike and equipment there are several very helpful shops that will get you rolling. Check out www.whistler.com/bike/ for rentals, guiding and lessons.