Guidebook

Shred the North Shore: Best MTB Trails in North Vancouver

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

Greg Heil

Description

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

Mount Seymour: C-Buster and Severed D Double Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Mount Seymour: C-Buster and Severed D Double Loop

9.4 km
450 m
450 m
A highlights tour of mostly intermediate trails on Mt. Seymour
Difficult
Private
Mount Fromme: 7th Secret -> Expresso Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Mount Fromme: 7th Secret -> Expresso Loop

8.7 km
517 m
517 m
A killer singletrack loop on some of the 'shore's best trails
Severe
Private
Bobsled and Floppy Bunny Double Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Bobsled and Floppy Bunny Double Loop

3.9 km
173 m
173 m
A couple of great warm up laps on Mount Fromme.
Difficult
Private
7th Secret -> Leppard -> Crinkum Crankum -> Kirkford
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

7th Secret -> Leppard -> Crinkum Crankum -> Kirkford

10.0 km
464 m
464 m
A logical trail combination on the north side of Mount Fromme that's not nearly as steep as some of the other lines on the mountain.
Severe
Private
Ladies Only -> Lower Ladies
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Ladies Only -> Lower Ladies

5.4 km
293 m
293 m
Hit all three of the classic Ladies Only trail segments, including the insanely difficult lower sections.
Extreme
Private
Ladies Only -> Big Stupid
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Ladies Only -> Big Stupid

5.8 km
290 m
289 m
Ride the mega classic Ladies Only trail with an easier finish on Big Stupid.
Extreme
Private
Corkscrew -> Pingu -> Pangor Figure-8
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Corkscrew -> Pingu -> Pangor Figure-8

7.8 km
431 m
431 m
An approachable single black diamond line on Mount Seymour that will help you hone your skills for the more challenging double blacks.
Severe
Private
Boogieman Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Boogieman Loop

5.2 km
295 m
295 m
One of Mount Seymour's classic double black lines.
Extreme
Private
Eagle Mountain Figure-8: Manhandler and Eastbound and Down
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Eagle Mountain Figure-8: Manhandler and Eastbound and Down

9.2 km
476 m
476 m
Eagle Mountain is home to massive manmade features and chunky singletrack.
Severe
Private
Dale's Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Dale's Loop

7.1 km
336 m
336 m
A fantastic rocky loop on Mount Fromme's new school side.
Severe
Private