2 Day / 1 Night Backcountry Mountain Bike Tour
As pioneers of float plane accessed multi-day backcountry mountain biking, this trip is a glimpse into that world. Your adventure begins with a charter flight from Tyax Adventures base on Tyaughton lake into the heart of the Chilcotin Mountains where endless and mind-blowing singletrack riding awaits. Catered to your goals and skill level, our guides will uncover the magic of the Chilcotin as you travel through remote mountain passes, meadows rich with wild flowers and wildlife, shorelines of turquoise glacier fed alpine lakes, and vast expanses of rocky alpine terrain with signature rolling Chilcotin trails. And just when you’re too tired to go any further and your spirit is saturated with bliss, a backcountry camp/cabin awaits where full service and thoughtful meals, comfort and accommodation welcomes you.
- Price:$600 per person or $900 w/flight start from Tyax Adventures base (based on 4 people)
- Ride Type:Cross country, with some technical cross country; some hike-a-bike
- Duration:2 Days
- Distance:~ 50 kms
- Daily Ride Time:4 - 6 hours4 – 6 hours
- MTB Skill Rating:Intermediate to Expert
- Fitness Ratinglevel 2
Sample Intermediate Itinerary
Day 1: Warner Lake to Spruce Lake
Stats: ~ 15 kms, + 117 m / – 404 m, 3 – 4 hours
You will begin your day with a scenic 20 minute flight into beautiful Warner Lake located at just under 1800 m. The day will mostly consist of semi-technical rolling single track along the shores of glacier fed Trigger and Humming bird Lake, before dipping down to the Spruce lake Valley. You can expect some rocky and rooty terrain mixed with rolling downhill, short uphill sections, and mild expsoure. After a 3 – 4 hour ride, your first day of pedaling will deliver you to the comforts of our Spruce Lake camp where you can relax, fuel-up and enjoy some lake activities before tucking into bed for the night.
Day 2: Spruce Lake to Gun Creek Road
Stats: ~ 25 kms, + 145 m / – 864 m, 3- 6 hours
After a nutritious and delicious breakfast at camp, you will embark on a classic Chilcotin ride starting from 1500 m at Spruce Lake. Your guide will lead you on a scenic 25 km rolling single track cross country ride that begins by wrapping around Spruce lake, and then includes sweeping downhills, scenic traverses, and short uphill pedals. You can expect to travel through fields of wildflowers, open meadows and aspen groves, and along the banks of a rushing mountain river. This ride will take you anywhere from 3 – 6 hours and will end with a shuttle pickup that will bring you back to the Resort for the completion of your 2 day journey.
Sample Advanced Itinerary
Day 1: Lorna Lake, Lorna Pass, Tyaughton Creek Drainage, Deer Pass, Trigger Lake to Spruce Camp
Stats: ~ 35kms, + 1285 m / -1655 m, 8 – 10 hours
The journey will begin with a 30 minute flight into the heart of the South Chilcotin to stunning Lorna lake. From here you will pedal and hike-a-bike up 250 m to the top of rocky Lorna pass, before the enjoyable 500 m decent into the vast Tyaughton creek drainage and the early meadows that are home to our Bear Paw camp. Climbing over majestic and iconic Deer pass is next, and is not for the faint of heart. leaving the meadows you will pedal and hike-a-bike up 600 m of mountainous terrain where 360 degree Chilcotin vistas await. This endeavour is directly followed by a long technical cross country downhill that drops 800 m to the headwaters of Gun Creek and the home of glacier fed Trigger and Hummingbird Lake. With 3 hours left of your ride, you will follow the shores of Trigger and Hummingbird lake on a rolling technical single track with rocky and rooty sections, before traversing into the Spruce Lake valley which will be home for the night. The much deserved comforts of home will await you at our Spruce Camp.
Day 2: Spruce Lake to Gun Creek Road
Stats: ~ 25 kms, + 145 m / – 864 m, 3- 6 hours
After a nutritious and delicious breakfast at camp, you will have time to enjoy this historic location and a few lake activities before embarking on a rewarding classic ride back to civilization. Your guide will lead you on a scenic 25 km rolling single track cross country ride that begins by wrapping around Spruce lake, and then includes sweeping downhills, scenic traverses, and short uphill pedals. You can expect to travel through fields of wildflowers, open meadows and aspen groves, and along the banks of a rushing mountain river. This ride will take you anywhere from 3 – 6 hours and will end with a shuttle pickup that will bring you back to the Resort for the completion of your 2 day journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 for short to long (e.g. 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 armor, 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 and open grasslands to 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.
Do I need prior mountain bike experience?
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 for short to long periods of time and descend on moderate to technical downhill sections.
How many miles do you ride per day?
Depending on your particular tour, the duration of your ride each day will vary. Mountain biking tours range, on average, from 12-20 miles / 20-30 km per day.
Does Tyax Adventures offer rental bikes?
Yes, we have a brand-new fleet of 2017 full suspension Norco Mountain Bikes. We offer the Norco Sight A7.3. 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.
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 before your tour.
What is the weather like in the South Chilcotin Mountains?
Tyax Resort and Spruce Lake 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 (Tyax Resort) 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, 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.
What should I bring/pack?
The following items are recommended for day trips, resort-based tours, and camping tours.
- Cycling socks
- Short and long sleeve bike jerseys
- Cycling windbreaker or light jacket
- Bike shorts with padded inner
- Bike tights for cold weather (optional)
- Bike helmet, shoes & gloves
- Bike hydration pack (for water and carrying your lunch, bike tools, etc.)
- All-purpose bike tool, spare tube and bike-specific parts
- Camera, film, batteries
- Bug spray
- Lip balm
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
- ID or passport
- Cash for souvenirs
- Cash for tipping your guides
Clothing – all items listed above, plus:
- Extra warm clothing
Gear – all items listed above, plus:
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Sleeping bag liner
- Pillow case
- Light travel towel
Personal – all items listed above, plus:
- Biodegradable soap
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.
Do I need a daypack?
We recommend that you carry a light, mountain biking-specific backpack (e.g. a Camelback) that is equipped with a hydration system so that you can access plenty of water during your ride. You will also be required, on some of the longer day rides, to carry your own lunch, snacks, spare parts and equipment specific to your bike (e.g. a air fork pump), and possibly wet weather gear. Our tour guides always carry emergency supplies and tools.
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 if you should bring specific parts for your bike, 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 the Resort accommodations like?
Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa offers accommodation in their Resort Rooms. Visit www.tyax.com for more information.
Are my valuables secure at Tyax Resort & camping?
We recommend you avoid bringing valuables with you if possible. Tyax Adventures, Tyax Resort and other accommodation partners are not responsible for the loss of valuables while on their tours or premises. Please ensure you keep valuables on you at all times.
Where is Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa?
Set on the shores of Tyaughton Lake, Tyax Resort is located approximately five hours by car north of Vancouver and 1.5 hours west of Lillooet. The resort is 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. Tyax Resort offers Resort Room accommodations and a variety of services. Please visit or www.tyax.com for more information.
How do I get to Tyax Resort?
Several modes of ground and air transportation are available from Vancouver and Whistler. They include Tyax Adventures floatplane transfers, ground transportation to Whistler (Greyhound, Perimeter, private limousine) and rail (Rocky Mountaineer). You can also access Tyax Resort by private vehicle either from Pemberton (via the Hurley), or from Lillooet. Directions are available on www.tyaxair.com.
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
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.
Is alcohol allowed?
Tyax Resort has a bar where you can purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For multi- day trips, you are required to pre-book your alcohol with us before arriving at Tyax Resort 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 (i.e. before you arrive at Tyax Resort) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-892-9288 and we would be happy to answer your questions.
How much gear can I bring?
Your luggage must weigh less than 25 lbs. You will only need your personal gear, Tyax Adventures will provide all camping gear.
Can I leave extra stuff at Tyax Resort while I’m in the Backcountry?
We do not have secure storage for your belongings in the Resort however many people leave extra gear in their cars. We can store small bags if absolutely necessary however Tyax Adventure and Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa 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?
- 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.
- 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.
Find Your Ability
- Advanced Novice – You enjoy riding singletrack that has small obstacles that may include roots and rocks that are a couple inches tall, as well as some mud and sand. You understand how to shift your gears and are often able to shift your gears in response to terrain. You are learning how to use both front and back brakes to control your speed, and to be comfortable and reasonably balanced standing up off your seat while descending. You are just learning how to climb effectively. Exposure is still intimidating.
- Intermediate – You are comfortable riding singletrack that has various obstacles including tight trees, mud, small loose rock, roots, and sand. You are able to mostly shift gears in response to terrain demands and use both front and rear brakes to control your speed. Descents are fun as long as they do not contain any obstacles and everything is easily and visibly rollable. You are practicing shifting your weight forward while climbing over technical terrain. Exposure with little to no consequence is fine.
- Advanced – You love riding singletrack and aren’t deterred by obstacles including roots and rocks that are up to 6” tall, loose sand and rock, mud, tight trees and corners. You are able to shift gears in response to terrain and modulate both front and back brakes in steep terrain. Descending is super fun and you are not intimidated by long descents with obstacles. You are able to climb technical singletrack and understand how to shift your body weight to achieve ultimate traction. Exposure is acceptable on moderate trails.
- Expert – You love to ride your bike in all terrain. Tight trees and corners, loose rock and sand, long descents with obstacles are all welcomed challenges that make the ride more fun. Modulating both front and rear brakes in varied terrain is a given, and shifting your body weight over your bike to respond to the terrain is brainless. Long descents with obstacles are exciting, and exposure with reasonable consequences often goes unnoticed.
- Level 1 – exercise weekly and are reasonably fit. could ride at a comfortable pace for 3 – 4 hours including 45 min climbs
- Level 2 – exercise 2 or 3 times a week with a focus on fitness. could ride up to 6 hours a day at a moderate pace, including 1.5 hour climbs, for a few days
- Level 3 – exercise 3 or 4 times a week and are very fit. could ride up to 8 hours a day at a good pace, with 2 hour climbs, for multiple days
Customize Your Trip
Here are a few added service offerings that can make your trip extra special! Please contact us to learn more about these custom opportunities.
Full Gear Support
Enjoy your multi-day adventure without the burden of a heavy pack. Let our team of horses transport 20lbs of your personal gear to camp daily, so you can arrive at camp with more energy and coveted fresh personal items waiting.
Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa rests on the shores of Tyaughton Lake on the border of the South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park. The Resort is our summer home base where our activity desk greets guests, and where our float plane docks. For those looking for a bit of luxury and indulgence, a night(s) at the resort before or after your adventure might be just what’s in order. Choose from amenities including full spa services, deluxe rooms, fine dining, lakeside recreation and bar service.
Door to Door Flight Service
We are happy to pick you up with our DeHavilland Beaver float plane from a destination near you, and fly you directly into the heart of the Chilcotin Mountains where the magic awaits. Return flights from locations such as Vancouver International Airport, Whistler, Seattle, Tofino… and many more, are available. Please visit our flight page for details.
Premium Performance Apparel
We have partnered with 7mesh apparel to provide our guides and guests with some of the world’s most specifically and thoughtfully designed mountain bike apparel. As a premium performance brand located in the Sea-to-Sky corridor we couldn’t think of a better partner to help elevate our guests experience when it comes to apparel comfort and performance. As a valued guest, we can help outfit you with the some of the best apparel for mountain biking available.
What our Guests have to say…
“Starting with the float plane delivery to Lorna Lake and through the second day where we finished back at Tyaughton Lake, the service provided my Dale and his team was first class. From the accommodations, to campsite meals, and the knowledgeable guides, it’s an experience that has to be on any outdoor fanatics wish list. Can’t wait to go back!”
“Trip of a lifetime! I can’t wait until the day I can ride there all over again!”