The Perfect PNW Mountain Bike Road Trip

Embark on the road trip of a lifetime and ride the best mountain bike trails from central Oregon to Whistler, British Columbia!

Mountain Biking Difficult, Severe, Extreme

Also in British Columbia, CanadaOregon, United States of America

Rider: Chris Daniels
Rider: Chris Daniels Photo: Greg Heil

Description

Mountain biking in the Pacific Northwest is renowned for its loamy black dirt, gnarly freeride lines, steep downhill trails, and massive dirt jumps. While steep, gnarly riding predominates, if you look for it, you'll also find sculpted beginner-friendly flow trails and endless sinuous singletrack that's perfect for long-distance trail riding.

If you don't live in the PNW, getting to this corner of the world can take some serious time and money. So once you're there, why not make the most of it and string together the most epic road trip through the northwestern corner of the USA that you can imagine? Well, now you can skip the planning with this greatest hits itinerary!

The route envisioned here begins in the south in central Oregon and heads north toward Canada. Stop #1 is the Gold-Level IMBA Ride Center of Oakridge, Oregon. As with almost every single destination on this list, you could easily spend between a week and a month riding in Oakridge alone. Whether you add in additional trails is up to you, but the Alpine Trail is a must-ride trail bike-friendly shuttle run.

Next up, the McKenzie River Trail is actually an isolated trail with few other top-notch tracks nearby, but is well-worth a stop on your trip. This may be the most XC-oriented trail on this list, but the scenery is second to none!

Portland's Sandy Ridge Trail System is home to a plethora of trails and route options—fit in as many as you have time for! If you're ambitious, you might be able to hit Hood River's Post Canyon Trail System in the same day.

Time to hop in the car and log a few hours of driving, because the next stop is Seattle. While in Seattle, must-rides include Tiger Mountain and Duthie Hill, but again, you could spend so much time here! Check out this guidebook for an in-depth dive on the riding in the Seattle area.

Just north of Seattle, Bellingham is the unofficial capital of mountain biking in the PNW. Must-rides include Unemployment Line and SST, but there is so much more to ride just in the Galbraith Mountain Trail System, as evidenced by this guidebook.

If you're going to drive from Oregon through Washington and almost to the Canadian border, you can't just stop here! While technically British Columbia isn't in the "Pacific Northwest," you just have to keep on driving to sample some of the best trails in the mountain biking capital of the world!

First up, be sure to hit Mt. Fromme and Mt. Seymour as you pass through Vancouver.

Then, you'll quickly arrive in Squamish. Yet again, you could easily spend a month exploring the fantastic riding in Squamish, but two can't-miss trails include Half Nelson and Squamish's classic slabs. For more on Squamish's berms and slabs, be sure to dive into this guidebook.

Well, the road trip has to end somewhere… and what better place to wrap up than mountain bike mecca itself—Whistler?! If you're straight-up dirt bagging it, you may just have to spend a couple of months hanging in Whistler—there's that much riding to do here. But at a bare minimum, be sure to ride Into the Mystic -> Lord of the Squirrels and Micro Climate for pedal-driven loops. And of course, schedule a few days in the bike park to ride A-Line and Top of the World. For more on pedal-driven riding in Whistler, check out this guidebook. And for more on the Whistler Bike Park, here’s your guide.

If you successfully made it all the way from Oakridge to Whistler and hit all of these world-class mountain bike rides along the way, chances are you just completed the most epic mountain bike road trip of your life. And if this wasn't the most epic trip you've ever taken, well, then color me envious!

Routes included

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