Mountain Biking

What type of riding do you offer?

All of our mountain bike tours are cross-country/all mountain style. On all tours, except the Tyax Trail Tour, you may be required to climb (pedal and/or hike-a-bike) for short to long (up to 2 hours) periods of time and descend on various types of terrain. Ranging from open fire roads to tight, twisty single track (steep at times). Body armor is not required however, if you feel more confident wearing it you are welcome to pack this for your rides.

What are the terrain and trails like?  

The terrain of the South Chilcotin Mountains varies from dense treed bush-land, open grasslands and steep rocky mountain passes. Most trails were originally created by cattle and horses and, on average, are two feet wide and generally in excellent condition. Depending on weather and usage, some sections of the trails may be muddy, but passable. Plenty of the usual natural hazards exist – such as roots, rocks and trees trail side.

Do I need prior mountain bike experience?

Yes – previous mountain biking experience is mandatory on all Tyax Adventures tours. Riders must be comfortable with changing gears, breaking, mounting and dismounting their bike in uneven terrain and be in excellent physical shape with the ability to climb (pedal and/or hike-a-bike) for short to long periods of time. Riders must be comfortable descending on moderate to technical downhill sections which may be steep at times.

How many kilometers can I expect to ride per day?

Depending on your particular tour and the route traveled, the distance of your ride each day will vary. Mountain biking tours range, on average, from 20-30 km / 12-20 miles per day.

Does Tyax Adventures offer rental bikes?

Yes, we have a brand-new fleet of full suspension Norco Mountain Bikes. We offer the Norco Sight A7.3 from Extra Small to Extra Large. These all mountain trail bikes offer 4” to 5” of travel and have been chosen specifically for the trail conditions in the South Chilcotin Mountains. All rentals come with flat pedals (bring clips if you typically ride with them), a saddle bag with some basic tools, a spare tube, hand pump and helmet if needed.

What kind of bike should I have?

As you will be participating in cross-country rides, we strongly recommend you bring a dual-suspension (fork at the front and shock in the rear) mountain bike, weighing no more than 35 pounds and designed for cross-country/all mountain trails. Triple-clamp front forks, fat bikes and extra bulky frames (e.g. downhill mountain bikes) are not advised for transport on Tyax Adventures’ float plane and are not appropriate for the style of riding offered on our tours. We also recommend mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes versus traditional V-Brakes as several downhill sections are sustained and can be strenuous on you and your brakes. Ensure that your saddle is comfortable, you have the appropriate sized tires on your bike (we recommend 2.3 mm tire width), and your bike is well tuned prior to your tour.

What is the weather like in the South Chilcotin Mountains?

Tyax Adventures operations are located on the border between the Chilcotin Mountains and the Coast Mountains. The temperature is substantially cooler in the early morning and evening, so make sure you bring warm layers for when the sun goes down. In the higher alpine areas, please be prepared for snow in the summer. The middle of the day is a great time to swim in Tyaughton Lake (our base location) or Spruce Lake.

Average temperatures are:

JUN: 77F / 25C high       JUL: 82F / 28C high         AUG: 86F / 30C high

41F / 5C low                      46F / 8C low                       50F / 10C low

What bike gear should I wear?

You will need only the biking essentials – a helmet, durable and supportive mountain bike specific shoes, bike riding gloves and eyewear (tinted lenses for sunny days). Armor and full-faced helmets are not recommended. Lycra bike shorts are not practical for your wilderness experience – they are not warm nor are they comfortable for sitting on rocks and logs, etc. We strongly recommend you wear durable mountain bike shorts. It is also strongly recommended that you wear shoes that provide a good amount of ankle support, and that have a solid sole, as some sections of trail can involve some significant hike-a-bike. Light weight, low cut cross country/road style shoes may not be the best option.

Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

What should I bring/pack?

The following items are recommended for day trips, resort-based tours, and camping tours.

All Tours:

Clothing:

  • Cycling socks
  • Short and long sleeve bike jerseys
  • Cycling windbreaker or light jacket that is water proof/resistant also ideally
  • Bike shorts & padded inner (only lycra not recommended)
  • Bike tights for cold weather (optional)

Gear:

  • Bike helmet & gloves
  • Durable and supportive mountain bike specific shoes (light weight, low cut cross country/road style shoes are not recommended)
  • Bike hydration pack (for water and carrying your lunch, bike tools, etc.)
  • All-purpose bike tool, spare tube and bike-specific parts (such as derailleur hangers)
  • Sunglasses
  • Head Lamp
  • Camera, film, batteries, plus self charging solar device if deemed necessary

Personal:

  • Medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Lip balm
  • Camp towel
  • ID or passport
  • Cash and/or bank card for souvenirs, tipping your guides, purchasing food and/or drinks

Gold Rush Tours:

Clothing – all items listed above, plus:

  • Warm casual pants
  • Warm casual jacket
  • Casual socks
  • Fleece or long sleeve layer
  • Warm gloves (non-riding)
  • Toque or winter hat
  • Bathing suit (optional)

Gear – all items listed above, plus:

  • Wet weather riding gear
  • Casual/camp shoes

Personal – all items listed above, plus:

  • Personal toiletry items
  • Book or reading material (optional)
  • Towel for recreating by the lake (optional)

Backcountry Tours:

Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

Clothing – all items listed above, plus:

  • Extra warm clothing

Gear – all items listed above, plus:

  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Backpack large enough to carry your overnight gear
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pillow case
  • Light travel towel

Personal – all items listed above, plus:

  • Personal toiletry items

What types of clothing is recommended?

Lightweight, quick-drying fabrics such as nylon, fleece and other synthetic materials are preferred. Cotton, especially denim, is not recommended as it retains heat and moisture. During the early morning and evening the temperature cools down significantly, so make sure you have a warm jacket, warm hat, socks and gloves.

Will I be carrying my own gear?

Yes – all guest are responsible for carrying their gear during their trip. Our guides carry limited First Aid supplies and tools for the group, but riders are required to carry their personal gear on all trips. Guests should have a bag large enough to carry all their personal gear, bike specific tool/parts, lunch and water.

Do I need a daypack?

Yes – as you will be responsible for carrying your own water, food, tools and additional clothing/items of gear. We recommend that you carry a light, mountain biking-specific backpack in the range of 20 to 30 litres that is equipped with a hydration system so that you can access plenty of water during your ride. Our tour guides do carry some limited emergency supplies and tools.

Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

Do I need to bring a first aid kit?

Our guides are trained and prepared for first aid situations. Packing and carrying your own first aid kit on rides is optional. If you require specific medical attention, you are required to notify Tyax Adventures upon booking to ensure our guides are prepared. Please bring sufficient prescribed medication(s) with you.

Do I need tools?

Our guides have the basic tools and are quite knowledgeable, but you should bring what you would normally carry on an extended ride around your home trails. Plus any bike specific parts e.g. a spare derailleur hanger, spare tube.

Are there Bears and/or Bugs?

During most tours, we venture into remote country and even though there will be an abundance of wildlife, it can be rare to spot them. With proper precautions, it is unlikely any will bother us on our tours. Certain times of the year there are mosquitoes, black flies, horse flies and other bugs. We recommend you bring bug spray or light long sleeve shirts if you have a tendency to attract them.

Do I have to hire a guide?

We recommend our guided trips for all first time visitors to the area. Our guides are highly qualified at mountain biking, very familiar with all the trails and wildlife in the South Chilcotin Mountains, and experts at wilderness safety, first aid and rescue. The South Chilcotin Mountains are challenging to navigate if you are unfamiliar with the area – there are very few trail markings and the wilderness is very remote.

 

Accommodations and getting here

What are Tyax Adventures backcountry accommodations like?

Tyax Adventures operate 5 backcountry camps for our multi-day backcountry tours. All camps are set up with double occupancy walled tents with a camp bed and sleeping bag for each guest. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag liner. All our camps are fully hosted and catered. We typically travel hut to hut in the backcountry.

Where is Tyax Adventures base location?

Set on the shores of Tyaughton Lake, Tyax Adventures is located approximately five hours by car north of Vancouver and 1.5 hours west of Lillooet. We are nestled in British Columbia’s newest provincial park, a 72,000-hectare area boasting some of the best backcountry hiking, horseback riding and biking in BC.

How do I get to Tyax Adventures base on Tyaughton Lake?

Several modes of ground and air transportation are available from Vancouver and Whistler. They include Tyax Adventures floatplane transfers, ground transportation to Whistler (Whistler Connection, Perimeter, private limousine) and rail (Rocky Mountaineer). You can also access Tyax Adventures by private vehicle either from Pemberton (via the Hurley), or from Lillooet. Directions are available on www.tyaxadventures.com.

What accommodation options are there prior / post tour with Tyax Adventures?

In the Bridge River Valley there are some excellent accommodation options for pre / post backcountry adventure. Or if you prefer to stay in the valley close to Tyaughton Lake and take daily activities there are many options too. You can find more information on our local recommendations here https://tyaxadventures.com/stay-sleep/front-country-accommodation/

Where can I stay in Vancouver and/or Whistler?

There are many accommodation options in Vancouver and Whistler. Visit www.whistler.com (Tourism Whistler) and www.tourismvancouver.com (Tourism Vancouver) for rates, availability and to book your accommodation.

 

General – all tours

Are you associated with Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing? 
Tyax Adventures is a separate company from Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing, located adjacent to our base location on Tyaughton Lake. At Tyax Adventures we have been in operation for 30 years as an Air Charter Service and Guided Tour Company offering multiday backcountry adventures in the South Chilcotin Mountains.
Will Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing know the details of my Tyax Adventures reservations if I am also staying with them? 
No. As Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing are a separate business to us they will not know the details of your adventure or activity booking with Tyax Adventures. We do have many guests who chose to stay at Tyax Lodge at the beginning or end of their trip with Tyax Adventures due to the convenient location. Our base property and check in location for Tyax Adventures is located adjacent to Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing on the shores of Tyaughton Lake, and not on the lodge property.

What are the tipping guidelines? 

When your guiding and hosting team provided service that went above and beyond, in Canada it is customary in the outdoor adventure industry to express your appreciation through a cash gratuity. A gratuity is not mandatory, but if you would like to recognize the work of your team in this fashion, our recommended guideline is 10-15% of the total value of your trip.

As it takes many people – both frontline and behind the scenes –  to ensure your trip is the amazing adventure you hope for, our policy is to pool all gratuities and split them amongst the whole team. To accommodate this, we ask that you pay any tips to our Guest Experience Coordinator at the activity desk, or arrange for payment through our reservations staff.

Should I bring my own snacks?

Plenty of food and snacks will be available during the trip, however, you are welcome to bring your preferred snacks. Should you bring your own, remember to never leave them in your tent or backpack unattended. Bears and other animals are a concern and will chew through anything to get to your food. Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

Is alcohol allowed?

Yes. For multi- day trips you are required to pre-book your alcohol with us before arriving or arrange your own.

What if I have special diet requests?

If you have any special dietary needs, please notify Tyax Adventures when you book your trip so that we can make the necessary allowances, if possible. 

My question is specific to women…

Ladies should bring feminine hygiene products in plastic zip-lock bags. Please bring extra zip-locks for disposal after use. Please remember, your guides, female or male, have spent many days with groups in the backcountry. They have heard your question before and will always be mindful of your privacy. 

What if I have additional questions?  

Please visit www.tyaxadventures.com, by email at fun@tyaxadventures.com or call us at 1-888-892-9288 and we would be happy to answer your questions.

 

Backcountry camps

How much gear can I bring?

You will only need your personal gear, Tyax Adventures will provide all camping gear. Please refer to our suggested packing list for more details. Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

Can I leave extra stuff at Tyax Adventures’ base while I’m in the Backcountry?

We do not have secure storage for your belongings at our base however many people leave extra gear in their cars. We can store small bags if absolutely necessary however Tyax Adventure are not responsible for these items.

Do I cook my own food and what do we eat?

Your host will prepare all of your meals, including delicious and healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. If you have any special dietary needs, please notify Tyax Adventures when you book your trip so that we can make the necessary allowances.

What are the camping arrangements?

You are required to bring your own sleeping bag liner and pillow case, however the huts and camps will have sleeping shelters so no tents or cooking gear are required. The campsite is also equipped with bear-proof food containers.

Are there shower and toilet facilities?

There are outdoor showers at Spruce Lake Camp, Bear Paw Camp & Eldorado Cabin/Camp. We will have biodegradable soap available for use. There are outhouses at the Spruce Lake Camp, Bear Paw Camp and the Eldorado Cabin/Camp.

It’s my first time in the South Chilcotin should I book the Backcountry Accommodations?

Our Backcountry Accommodations are recommended for Experienced Backcountry Travelers only, we recommend booking a Guided Adventure if you’re unfamiliar with Backcountry Travel.  An experienced backcountry traveler is comfortable route finding, orienteering and is prepared for wildlife encounters and first aid emergencies.

What should I pack?

Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

  • Sleeping Bag Liner or cotton sheet (Sleeping bags supplied)
  • Rain Jacket or Light Puffy Jacket depending on the weather
  • Change of clothes (chamois, jersey & extra socks)
  • Personal Toiletries/Medications
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Hat/Toque for wearing against elements and sleeping
  • Sunscreen, Insect Repellent & Sunglasses
  • Camp/Travel Towel
  • Backcountry Travel Items
  • Emergency rations; shot bloks, energy bars, etc.

What’s Included?

  • A camp host to set up and maintain camp
  • A cozy bed in our backcountry camps
  • 3 meals including a hot dinner and a hot breakfast prepared by our camp host, and a packed lunch for the trail
  • Sleeping bag & sleeping pad, pack only a sleeping bag liner or sheet
  • Fleece jackets to help keep you warm in the evenings
  • Crocs footwear to wear while in camp
  • Outdoor showers with biodegradable soap available in our 3 main camps

*At Spruce Lake camp only; take advantage of our 3 tin boats to head out onto the lake for some of the best fishing in the park.

**At Eldorado Cabin only; soothe your tired muscles in the wood fired sauna after a long day on the trails.

Can you cater to special diet requirements?

We can accommodate vegetarians and we will do our best to accommodate those with allergies.  Please note that due to the remote nature of our camps we may not be able to accommodate all requests.  If you have specific requirements please note on your booking form and our staff will be in contact with you.

Is alcohol allowed in camps?

Alcohol is allowed in camps and you are allowed to carry your own.  Tyax Adventures does not serve alcohol however we do offer beer and wine to be pre-ordered and ready waiting for you in camp.  You will need to pre-book this at least 7 days in advance.  Please remember that our backcountry accommodations may be shared with other guests, please be respectful and responsible when imbibing.

 

Horseback Tours

Does Tyax Adventures have helmets for horseback riding?

We have a limited number of helmets available for children. If your child has their own bicycle helmet or horseback riding helmet we recommend bringing it to ensure that they are wearing something that will fit them well.

Do I have to wear a helmet while riding?

We do not require adults to wear helmets while on tour with us. Children under the age of 14 must wear a helmet

Is there a minimum age requirement for children?

Although there is no minimum age requirement for children there is a minimum height requirement of 52 inches for any horseback riding tour. Pony rides are available for children under this height with the child being accompanied by a parent walking beside them.

Do I need prior horseback riding experience before going on a Backcountry Horseback Riding adventure?

We recommend that you have some horseback riding experience before joining a Backcountry Horseback riding tour. If you are a beginner we recommend our 3day tour to start. The first day of all of our backcountry rides begins with an afternoon orientation ride, this is the time where your wrangler will introduce you to your steed for the trip and your chance to ask any questions you might have. Some of our longer itineraries such as the 7 or 10 day trips require previous riding experience. We recommend taking some horseback riding lessons to gain experience prior to these trips if you are inexperienced.

What should I wear on a horseback riding tour?

Wear – long pants and sturdy footwear (boots or trainers with heel are preferred, closed toe shoes, sandals or open toed shoes are not acceptable). A hat and sunscreen is also recommended. Full day tours we recommend bringing a pair of gloves.

Backcountry tours packing list:

  • Sleeping Bag Liner (our camps are equipped with sleeping bags)
  • Rain Gear (Tops and Bottoms)
  • Riding Gloves or Cotton Gloves –for warmth
  • Warm Jacket
  • Change of Clothes, extra socks – additional socks as we will not have dry out on the final Ride
  • Matches or lighter in waterproof bag
  • Hankercheif (to tie around your neck to help against wind)
  • Long Johns – warm ones
  • Foot Wear for Riding (not too wide or with grips but should have good ankle support)
  • Footwear for around camp (hiking or walking shoes)
  • Helmet for riding if preferred or hat
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or headlamp
  • Hat/Toque for wearing against elements and sleeping
  • Sunscreen, Insect Repellent & Sunglasses
  • Soft Bag for Gear (no suitcases, or hard framed back packs please)
  • Towel/travel towel
  • Personal Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hygiene products)
  • Medications if necessary (ie. benedryl or epipen for allergies)
  • Camera and Film / Spare Battery

Will there be time to explore the area when not riding?

Yes, some days where we have shorter travel days or if we are staying in the same camp more than one night you will have time to explore the surrounding area. There are all sorts of daily activities to enjoy along with your trail riding; fishing, wildlife viewing, photography time, hiking, exploration and more. Ask your wrangler about activities.

 

Hiking Tours:

Will we see wildlife?

During most tours, we venture into remote country and even though there will be an abundance of wildlife, it can be rare to spot them. With proper precautions, it is unlikely any will bother us on our tours. We may spot grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, cougars, bobcats, marmots, wolves, and many more including many varieties of birds. For more information about the flora & fauna of the area take a look at the South Chilcotin Mountains Park website.

What should I wear on a hiking tour?

Sturdy hiking footwear is mandatory, we recommend something with ankle support and a thick sole. Running shoes are not recommended. A light long sleeve layer to keep bugs off on hot days along with a hat and sunscreen are also strongly recommended. For Backcountry mulit-day tours we recommend bringing a pair of light long pants to protect against brush along some sections of trail. Please keep in mind that everything you bring with you, you will be packing and riding with on your own back. We recommend packing light.

Will we encounter other users on the trails?

The South Chilcotin Mountains Park and Big Creek park trails are shared between; hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. All user groups should abide by the trail etiquette guidelines and use Common Sense and courtesy. Hikers and mountain bikers are to yield to horseback riders and mountain bikes yield to hikers. Please remember to be aware when you are on the trail and keep your eyes and ears open for other users. By following the guidelines we can all share the trails in a safe and responsible manner.