When you think of bike parks, it’s hard to find a bigger name than Whistler Bike Park, synonymous with Crankworx, Stevie Smith, Red Bull Joy Ride and weaved into the fabric of Mountain Biking so much that it’s hard to imagine the sport without Whistler. Part of the larger Whistler Blackcomb Resort, Whistler offers endless opportunities for anyone wanting adrenaline, on skis or bikes, as well as the sort of Aprés scene we love across the pond in Europe (maybe minus the blaring euro-trance, and replaced with hip micro-breweries). 

Whistler Blackcomb is in British Columbia, Canada in the Coast Mountains, about 120 kms (75 miles) from Vancouver. Whistler Blackcomb is actually 2 resorts joined together - you guessed it, Whistler and Blackcomb - which happened in 1997. The resorts work in tandem thanks to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, the highest and longest lift in the world - for chairlift and gondola aficionados, that’s worth the admission cost alone…

Much like the bike parks of Morzine and across Europe, Whistler operates a trail grading system, split into 4 levels. It differs slightly, as there are no Red trails, instead they’ve added a Double Black Diamond. Before you set off for those party laps, get familiar with the grading - green (easy), blue (intermediate), black (advanced), and double black (expert) trails.
 

Whistler Bike Park steep trails

The 4 Zones of Whistler

Fitzsimmons Zone

The OG Zone and the heart of the bike park. Fitz Zone includes a variety of trails for all skill levels. It's accessible via the Fitzsimmons Express chairlift. Home to A-Line, Schleyer, Clown Shoes and Dirt Merchant, as well as all the skill zones, like the Gatorade Skill Park Zone.

Garbanzo Zone

Opening in 2004, Garbo Zone offers a rootier and more advanced flavour of trails in the Whistler buffet. A mix of intermediate and advanced trails, with longer descents compared to the lower mountain, riders can access this area via the Garbanzo Express chairlift. You’ll find In Deep & Goat’s Gully in Garbanzo. 

Creekside Zone

Located near the Creekside Gondola, Creek Zone is recommended for advanced and expert riders. You can get to the Creek Zone with the Creekside Gondola which starts in the village of Creekside, but from here you can get to Fitz & Garbanzo via Expressway, Lower Freight Train and No Joke

Peak Zone

This zone can get pretty wild. Only open in the peak of summer season (July 1 - Sept 4 in 2023) this zone is for advanced riders only. Limited in rider numbers due to it’s severity, and needing a separate lift ticket, riders can access this area via the Peak Express chairlift. With incredible views, in Peak Zone you’ll find Top of the World Trail. Fully worth the $20 extra ticket for the experience. 
 

Trail Grading System

Like most bike parks, Whistler has a trail grading system. If you're familiar with Morzine or UK bikeparks, there are some crossovers, but with some differences you should be aware of. See the trail grading system below;

Green - Beginner

Blue - Intermediate

Single Black Diamond - Advanced

Double Black Diamond - Expert Only

Proline

The trails of Whistler

A-Line (Single black diamond)

2.9km / -331m (combined Upper & Lower A-Line)

A trip to Whistler wouldn’t be complete without hitting A-Line. Jumps, rock drops, massive berms and flow for dayssss, this downhill trail is the lifeblood of Whistler, taking riders right back to the bottom of Fitzsimmons Lift. A-Line is one of the most famous and popular downhill trails in the park, offering progression up to Dirt Merchant and Crabapple Hits. A-Line is incredibly well built, but as always, work your way up to it and we can recommend finding some flow on B-Line first off. 
 

Boosting on A-Line

A-Line Whistler


Dirt Merchant (Double black diamond / proline)

506m / -48m

Feeling like you’ve got A-Line dialled? Next up is Dirt Merchant - gaps, hips, road gaps and just generally bigger everything, Dirt Merchant isn’t for the faint of heart. 

Local Tip - Instead of jumping onto A-Line straight after Dirt Merchant, dive onto Del Bocca Vista instead - offering more fun than you’d think possible from a Green trail and some of the best flow in Whistler.

Original Sin (Single black diamond)

1.2km / -188m

Step away from the jump lines and you’ll find some rooty, techy fun in Whistler Bike Park. Original Sin is a tech trail with roots, rocks, and a touch of North Shore for that true Canadian feel.
 

It's not all berms and jumps


Top of the World (Double black diamond)

6.1km / -718m

Views to die for, and dirt to match make Top of the World and absolute must do. It’s long, at over 6km, and makes its way through three climate zones - Alpine Tundra, Mountain Hemlock and finishing in Coastal Rainforest. It offers a different experience compared to the more bike park-oriented trails, starting in an open, rocky, Alpine section before offering some flowing, bermed turns lower down. 

Please Note: The Peak Chairlift, which you access this trail from, is an add on ticket and only sold in limited numbers per day. 

Fade to Black (Double black diamond)

180m / -31m

A short, punchy track with plenty of features, including a road gap, stump drop and an on-off step-up, step-down feature. At less than 200 metres long, Fade To Black packs a punch. 

De Bocca Vista (green)

440m / -72m

The easiest trail in the list, but by no means boring. A super flowy track that is the perfect place to warm up and get ready for whats about to come your way. 

Epic Dark Crystal Ride

 

Dark Crystal (single black diamond)

2.8km / -531m

Accessed by a big climb out of Blackcomb village, taking about an hour to cover the 6km+ & 600m climb, but at the top you're greeted by a hidden gem, including rock slabs and loam like you wouldn't believe.

Previously an 'illegal' trail, Dark Crystal should be on everyone's list when in Whistler, kept fairly quiet because of the off-putting access climb. 

Locals Tip: Not the best trail for wet rides, so avoid this if the weather isn't great. 

what next?

All of that got you salivating thinking of berms and maple syrup? Atlas Ride Co work with several Whistler Hotels, or book a bucket list Whistler Bike Park & Beyond Tour for a fully guided exploration of Whistler, Pemberton & Squamish.
 

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