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Rider: Braiden

Shred the North Shore: Best MTB Trails in North Vancouver

Explore some of the world's most famous—and most technical—mountain bike trails!

Mountain Biking Difficult, Severe, Extreme

Rider: Braiden
Rider: Braiden Photo: Greg Heil


Vancouver's North Shore reigns as one of the most famous and influential mountain bike destinations of all time. The rugged, technical, feature-filled trails of the North Shore (or "the Shore" for short) served as the fertile Eden from which the sport of freeride mountain biking sprang. While "freeride" in the classic sense has fallen to the wayside, the progression of mountain bike skills, techniques, and equipment that collectively created the flavor of mountain biking that we enjoy today all had their roots in freeride.

But without trails, there would have been no freeride. Mountain bike trail building on the Shore was almost singlehandedly founded by Todd "Digger" Fiander, who built most of the original iconic trails on Mount Fromme and beyond. When you add in "Dangerous Dan" Cowan and Ross Kirkwood, you get a trifecta of slightly insane mountain biking godfathers that built trails that were so visionary, even today—30+ years later—they're still heralded as the best of all time.

Thanks to the North Shore Mountain Bike Association, today the mountain bike trail access on the North Shore is more developed and more organized than it's ever been before. While many of the iconic freeride lines have been built and rebuilt over the years, you can also enjoy flowy trails that are achievable for beginner and intermediate riders. Advanced black diamond lines have propagated across the landscape, providing needed stepping stones to build the skills to even attempt the mega classics like Ladies Only.

The two most famous trail systems on the North Shore are Mount Fromme and Mount Seymour. Mount Fromme is generally considered to be Digger's baby, and you'll still find him building and maintaining trails on the slopes of Fromme even in his 60s. But the riding on Mount Seymour is just as good, and the network is flush with options. Beneath the towering canopies and green ferns of this second-growth forest, there's a veritable smorgasbord of singletrack on these two mountains that can't be fully documented here. Even so, in this guidebook, you'll find a broad selection of route options on both of these mountains, ranging from intermediate in difficulty to expert-only.

Cypress Mountain is also famous in the North Shore scene, but at the time of this writing in 2022, the future of many of the trails on Cypress is unclear. New housing developments will likely demolish the best trails on Cypress Mountain, closing a storied chapter in North Shore mountain biking.

When one chapter closes, another invariably opens, and so I've included one figure-8 ride on Eagle Mountain near Coquitlam in this guidebook as well. While not technically in North Vancouver, the short drive over to this incredible trail system is well worth the effort. On Eagle Mountain, you'll find absolutely massive manmade features that are intimidating in their scale, along with entertaining rock-filled downhills.

As usual, in a mountain biking destination with such a rich history and such a vast array of trails, the route options included here are only the tip of the iceberg. Once you've ridden all of these fantastic trails, keep digging and keep exploring. There's always another epic trail to be discovered!

Sources: Digger: North Shore History X - Part I Digger: North Shore History X - Part II IMBikeMag.com NSMBA.ca

Routes included

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