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Squamish, BC Mountain Bike Trail Guide

Is it possible to have too many good mountain bike trails? We’d say no, but if any destination comes close, it’s Squamish, British Columbia. The mountain biking in Squamish is hands-down some of the best riding in the world. The small town on BC’s Sea To Sky Highway has an insane diversity of trails, from some of the best flow trails around to huge rock slabs and gnarly tech. While mountain bikers may be tempted to skip right by Squamish on the way to Whistler, the trails here are worth a trip in their own right. Paired with Whistler, and Vancouver’s North Shore, Squamish makes for a compelling BC road trip destination. Since there are so many trails, we definitely can’t cover them all, but below are some of our favorites, along with some food, lodging, and camping tips for mountain bikers visiting Squamish.
 Total  Trails 500+ Difficulty Beginner through Expert
 Total Distance 350+ miles Total Vertical 7,296'
Local Advocacy GroupSORCA
Trails & Trail Stats
Where to Eat
Typical Weather & Conditions

Popular Trails & Squamish Mountain Bike Trail Map

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Diamond Head

One of the main riding areas, Diamond Head, has a huge variety of riding, from some of the best flow trails in the world to fun technical descents - this is what mountain biking in Squamish is all about. Located in the hills next to Quest University, there are several parking areas that you can choose from depending on what trails you want to ride. The good thing here is even if you do get lost, you will end up with great riding. That being said, an app like Trailforks is a big help here for first-timers. We’ve picked out just a few of our favorite trails to go over in detail, don’t let this list limit you, go out and explore the wonderful bounty of epic mountain bike trails!

Stl’lhalem Sintl’ - Climb Trail
Beginner | 6.5 Miles | 4,091’ Climb

This well designed and well-signed climbing trail is the backbone of this trail system. While you will likely end up climbing some roads at some point, depending on how you plan to descend, this trail winds all the way up from the lowest parking area to the top of the area. When in doubt, head back up the Climbing Trail for more!

Half Nelson
Intermediate | 1 Mile | 823’ Descent

When you ask any rider about mountain bike trails in Squamish, Half Nelson will almost always be one of the first trails mentioned. This is hands-down one of the most fun flow trails out there. There are no mandatory gaps or drops, so riders of varying abilities can enjoy the huge berms, rollers, and features. This is a must-ride trail when you visit Squamish. 

Intermediate | 1.4 Miles | 1,005’ Descent

Speaking of flowy machine built trails, Pseudo-Tsunga is a great one. With maybe less all-out speed than Half Nelson, this trail still delivers on the fun with some huge berms and great flowy rhythm. The berms near the bottom are absolutely massive and super fun.

Angry M & Ditch Pig
Advanced | .74 Miles | 800’ Descent

Next to Half Nelson, these two trails are both awesome trails that dial up the technical difficulty. There are no huge features here, just a constant, loamy, and rooty descent. Riders who enjoy more techy riding will love blasting down these trails.

Our Favorite Bikes For Squamish
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Alice Lake

Also close to town, in the Garibaldi Highlands neighborhood, is the Alice Lake zone. Which is home to some of the best and most famous mountain bike trails in Squamish, including some of the rock slabs that the town is known for. If you’re looking for challenging technical riding, steeps, roots, and rock, this is the area is for you. There are two main access points to this riding area, from the south in the neighborhood, or from the north at Alice Lake itself. From the south, you’ll climb Mashiter to your descent of choice, while the northern parking area will climb up on 50 Shades of Green. Rides here usually link up many trails, a few are described below, along with some suggested rides.

Advanced | .5 Miles | 300’ Descent

Rupert is a great showcase or everything that Squamish mountain biking has to offer. There is a great variety here, from fast sections, to rock slabs and woodwork. Most difficult features have ridearounds, so you can pick and choose where you want to challenge yourself, too, but don’t let that fool you, this trail earns it’s advanced rating. For an easier option, check out Leave of Absence right next to Rupert. 

Credit Line
Advanced | 1 Mile | 745’ Descent

Rooty, raw, fast, and fun, Credit Line is an epic trail. Definitely don’t ride this trail at the end of your day, you’re going to want to be fresh and ready to take on the tech here. Lots of roots and rocks make for a fun descent The techy trail has good sightlines and good speed, letting you pop off roots and find fun transitions.

Pleasure Trail
Expert | 1 Mile | 1,200’ Descent

If you’ve conquered all the black diamond tech trails around and you're ready to be tested, Pleasure Trail is the final exam. This is a masterpiece of low-speed technical riding, full of drops rock rolls, and wooden features. A fall here could send you 10’+, so look before you leap and ride within your limits. That said, if you have the skills to clean this trail, it will be a ride you won’t soon forget.
Our Favorite Pads For Squamish

Where To Stay When Mountain Biking in Squamish

There are many different lodging options for mountain bikers staying in Squamish, from the barebones to the posh. For those on a tighter budget, or looking to stay connected to the wilderness, on and off the mountain bike trails, there are a handful of camping options. The Squamish Municipal Campground and Mamquam River Campgrounds are the closest to town. From these two campgrounds, you can easily pedal into town for food or a drink. Alice Lake Provincial Park is a popular pick for mountain bikers, you can pedal right from your campsite to the trails here, you’ll want to book your stay ahead of time - it’s a popular spot. If you’re camping, make sure that you stay in a designated campground, Squamish is a popular recreation destination, and it’s important to respect the local community in order to preserve access for everyone. Aside from camping, there are a handful of hotels and other options like Airbnb.
Squamish Municipal Campground
Mamquam River Campground
Lodging - Tourism Squamish

Where to Eat in Squamish

With so many great mountain bike trails in Squamish to ride, you’re bound to be hungry after big days pedaling. Luckily, there are a number of great pre and post-ride restaurants, cafes, and breweries. Backcountry Brewing is a favorite, with tasty brews and pizza. It’s usually crowded, but it’s hard to beat after a long day of riding, it’s also a quick pedal from several campgrounds. Locavore is another favorite, located super close to the trailheads.

Typical Weather and Conditions

While Squamish does have some mountain biking year-round, the best time to visit is spring through fall. Depending on snowfall during the winter, the trails usually melt out in May. Spring in Squamish is glorious, with ample moisture keeping the dirt tacky and the trails in prime condition. Like many North American riding destinations, mid-summer can get hot and dry, but that doesn’t mean you should stay away. Fall is a bit of a sleepier time, with more hit-or-miss weather, but the moisture and hero dirt return.

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