- Your choice of a scenic floatplane flight to an Alpine lake to start your tour (floatplane departure from our Tyax Adventures base, on Tyaughton Lake) OR peddle into the Chilcotin Park from the Tyax Adventures base with your guide.
- An experienced mountain bike guide to guide you through the backcountry trails on your extended backcountry wilderness experience.
- A delicious packed lunch on day 1 – 7 of riding (adjusted to suit on number of days riding). Includes Sandwich, piece of fruit and slice/muesli bar and/or baked energy snack (let us know if you have any allergies,/dietary requirements as we’re happy to cater for these).Feel free to being any extra trail side snacks if there is anything in particular you like to carry on your rides.
- A healthy, hearty and delicious dinner on nights 1 – 6 and Breakfast on days 2 – 7 (adjusted to suit on number of days riding). These are freshly prepared by our backcountry camp hosts (let us know if you have any allergies,/dietary requirements as we’re happy to cater for these).
- 6 nights double occupancy accommodation in our backcountry camps (see below for details on our backcountry camps)
- Unbeatable mountain vistas and stories for a lifetime
What’s included when staying at our Backcountry camps:
- A camp host to set up and maintain camp.
- A cozy bed in a dual occupancy canvas walled tent (2 people per tent typically)
- Three meals a day when in the mountains. Includes a hot breakfast and dinner prepared by the host, and self prepared and packed lunches for on the trails. A packed lunch prepared by Tyax Adventures is also included on your first day.
- Filtered water to fill your hydration packs and bottles.
- Sleeping bags, sleeping pad/mattresses, and pillows.
- Fleece jackets to help keep you warm in the evenings.
- Crocs footwear to wear while in and around camp.
- Outdoor hot showers with soap.
- An outdoor pit toilet that is basic in nature but fully stocked
- If ordered and paid for in advance – beer, wine and/or cider. Alcohol must be pre-ordered at least 30 days in advance and will be waiting for you at your desired camp location.
- The opportunity to dry out wet clothes and/or shoes, with a wood fired stove (this means you can travel even lighter!)
At Spruce Camp only, take advantage of our 3 fishing boats to head out onto the lake for some of the best fishing in the park. A fishing licence is mandatory.
What to bring
You will need to carry your own gear (including the packed lunch we provide you with), so come prepared to do so with a suitably sized backpack.
Essential Items –see picture here
- A 25 to 35 litre backpack – Osprey’s Manta/Mira series recommended – see here
- A Light weight and packable jacket that will protect you from the weather
- Casual short or long pants, socks, underwear, casual short or long sleeve shirt.
- A change of riding clothes, as you see applicable (socks, shirt/jersey, chamois, shorts).
Stuck for choice? our guides wear amazing gear provided by 7Mesh – see here for their options
- A change of clothes for in camp – for use in evening and for sleeping in (Remember, in camp we provide each guest with croc’s (footwear to use in camp) as well a fleece jacket to keep you warm.
- Food – includes any trail side snacks you like to eat on your home trails
- Hydration bladder/water bottle(s)
- Typical trail side repair tools such as spare tube, bike specific spare parts (derailleur hanger)
- Any personal medications you might require (including any over the counter pain/anti inflammatory medication)
- Personal toiletries (soap is provided, but not hair care products)
- Head lamp
- A sleeping bag liner/cotton sheet for in camp (sleeping bags provided) – see here
- A pillow case (pillows provided
- Small, packable camp towel (hot shower available) – see here
- Bear spray and holster to store it in (1 bear spray between 2 people is the minimum recommendation).
Note: We sell bear spray at our base of operations if you need to purchase.
Optional Items (if space and weight permits – see picture here)
- Light weight puffy jacket for in camp in the evenings (fleeces are provided)
- Hat/toque for in camp in the evenings (depending on the time of year visiting)
- Extra riding gloves (particularly if poor weather is expected)
- Pair of bike tights if unfavourable weather expected. We recommend the 7Mesh Seymour tights – see here
- Phone or camera for photos
- Personal charging device for phone/camera etc. if planning to recharge. (Sorry, we don’t have recharging facilities available at our backcountry camps)
- Personal sunscreen and/or bug spray if feel necessary
- Any additional backcountry items you ride with on a multi day adventure
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.
Our neighbor, Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing, rests on the shores of Tyaughton Lake on the border of the South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park. For those looking for a bit of luxury and indulgence, a night(s) at the lodge 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’s my Fitness Rating and Skill Level
For this trip we expect you have:
MTB SKILL RATING: Advanced to Expert
FITNESS RATING: Level 3
Mountain Bike – Technical Skill
- 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.
Mountain Bike – Fitness Level
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to carry my own gear?
Yes, so come prepared to do so with a suitably sized backpack – reflective of the length of your trip and gear requirements. See ‘What to bring’ for more.
- What can I expect in terms of the riding offered?
All of our mountain bike tours are backcountry cross-country/all mountain style.
There is a real mixture of the following:
- Rolling terrain made up of some ups and downs, combined with some flatter sections of trail
- intermittent short technical up hills that require a good base level of fitness (Level 2 to 3), and a burst of effort to ride
- short to long (30+minute) technical descents that require strong intermediate to advanced biking handling skills and good concentration.
- short (30 to 45 minutes) to long (2 hours plus) up hills to access the alpine, which can involve some continuous sections of hike a bike. See tab titled “Will I be expected to hike a bike” for a breakdown of trails you will need to walk your bike, and the associated typical time commitments.
- Some short sections of trail that can be a little off camber and/or slightly exposed. Such as the Gun Creek trail on a few occasions when travelling between Trigger Lake and Old Cowboy Camp, and again on the lower sections of Gun Creek Trail when it runs parallel to the creek itself at times.
Ultimately what you will experience and encounter will depend on your trip and the routes you and/or your guide(s) choose. There are generally multiple route options available to be considered. Reflective of factors such as rider expectations and experience, fitness and skill level, weather and wildlife.
- What kind of bike should I have?
We strongly recommend you bring a dual-suspension (fork at the front and shock in the rear) mountain bike designed for cross-country/all mountain trails that has hydraulic disk breaks, not V-Brakes. Downhill style bikes and fat bikes are not recommended.
Your bike should be well maintained and ideally recently serviced. The working condition of the brakes (including the amount of brake pads remaining), the shifting of gears, state of the tires, bolt tightness, cable housings, and derailleur alignment should all be good.
If your bike is considered inappropriate (or unsafe) for your tour and the riding in the region, please be aware that you will be instructed to use and pay for a rental bike as an alternative.
- Do I need prior mountain bike experience?
Yes. You must have a good amount of experience mountain biking and be a strong intermediate rider at minimum (see our self rating scale here).
- Riders must be comfortable with changing gears, braking, mounting and dismounting their bike in uneven terrain.
- Riders should have the ability to pedal and/or walk with their bike uphill for short to long periods of time, depending on routes travelled, and they must be comfortable descending moderate to technical downhill sections.
- If you unsure whether you have the experience, skills and/or fitness required please contact us direct to discuss prior to booking an adventure. We are experts at pairing people up with the appropriate trip, so that you have fun and remain safe.
- What is the right type of biking gear to wear when visiting Tyax Adventures?
You will need only the usual biking essentials that you typically wear.
But please note some recommendations below regarding your helmet, bike shorts, biking shoes and body armor so that you come best prepared:
- Full faced helmet is not recommended
- Durable and comfortable mountain bike shorts. Lyrca shorts are not practical for a wilderness experience. Our guides wear the glidepath short from 7Mesh – see here
- Mountain bike specific shoes. Low cut, cross country style mountain bike shoes are not recommended. Bring shoes that provide a good amount of ankle support, and that have a solid sole, for any sections of hike a bike. Check the condition of any shoes before you arrive-is the sole securely attached for example.
- Body armor is not recommended. However, if you feel more confident wearing it you are welcome to pack it. You will be responsible for carrying it at all times.
- How much water should I carry?
A difficult question to answer as all of us have different hydration requirements.
Most days there will be ample opportunities to stop and refill water bottles and/or hydration bladders from streams and creeks in the area.
It is recommended that you come prepared with a suitable water filtration system if you feel that you need one. Your guide/s will not be carrying one for guests to use.
If you are staying in our backcountry camps there is also the opportunity to fill bottles and/or bladders with filtered water provided.
- Does Tyax Adventures offer rental bikes?
Yes, we have a brand-new fleet of 2020 full suspension Norco Sight A3 for rent-pending availability. We do have a somewhat limited number of rentals, so reserve early.
- Are E-Bikes permitted
As per current BC Parks mandate, electric bikes are not permitted within either the South Chilcotin or Big Creek Provincial Parks. Please refer to theBC Parks websitefor further details. Scroll down for clarification – see Cycling under Activities Available.
Electric bikes can be ridden outside the park boundaries, on trails around our base of operations and in sections of the surrounding valley for example. Where motorized use is permitted. Thank you.
- How many riders with bikes can the plane carry?
The plane can carry up to 5 riders with bikes and small backpacks, up to a weight limit of 1000lbs to 1100lbs depending on the location you are flying into the mountains from.
- If there are more than 5 riders in your group that is absolutely fine, additional flight/s would just need to be scheduled.
- Groups of 4 or less total (guide included) will need to remove the front wheel only from the bikes.
- Groups of 5 total (guide included) will need to remove both wheels, so please come with the knowledge and tools to do so.
- If you are unable to remove your wheels, you may not be able to board the flight with your bike.
- Will I be expected to hike a bike?
Understand that to get into the alpine there typically will be some hike a bike required. A good base level of fitness (Level 2 to 3) is required, along with a readiness to commit to the adventure.
You’ll experience some hike-a-bike particularly if you travel the trails/routes below.
- Lorna Pass: 45 minutes to 1 hour of hike a bike (option on our 4- or 3-day tours)
- Elbow Pass: 45 minutes to 1 hours of hike a bike (option on our 4- or 3-day tours)
- Little Graveyard Pass: 30 to 45 minutes of hike a bike (option on our 4 + days tour)
- Manson Creek Col: 1 hour to 90 minutes of hike a bike (option on our 4 + days tour)
- Deer Pass: 90 minutes to 2 hours of hike a bike (option on our 4- or 3-day tours)
- Windy Pass: 1 hour to 90 minutes of hike a bike (option on our 4, 3- or 2-days tours)
- Camels Pass: 30 to 45 minutes of hike a bike (option on our 4, 3, or 2-day tours, or our single day non flight start tour)
- Eldorado Pass: 30 minutes to 1 hour of hike a bike (option on our 4, 3- or 2-days tours)
- Cabin Pass: 30 to 45 minutes of hike a bike (option on our 4, 3- or 2-days tours)
But do not be intimidated by these numbers. A good level of fitness and attitude will help you reach the passes, and the rewards (views, the descent etc.) are ultimately worth it. 1 foot in front of the other, onwards and upwards.
- What distances per day can I expect to travel?
This will largely depend on your planned trip, and the routes you and/or your guide(s) chose. There typically are multiple route options available to be considered. Factors such as rider expectations and experience, fitness and skill level, weather and wildlife will be taken into consideration.
Generally, however you can expect to travel on average from 12-20 miles / 20-30 km per day. Be prepared to be on the trails for anywhere between 4 to 7 hours – but this is not all time spent riding. There is plenty of stop-start, and opportunities to snack and break to enjoy the surroundings.
- What are the terrain and trails like?
The terrain of the South Chilcotin Mountains varies from dense treed bush-land, open grasslands to steep rocky mountain passes. Most of the 200+ kilometers of trails were originally created by horses and/or First Nations travelling on foot for the purpose of trading or hunting.
The trails are considered backcountry and remote in nature. You can expect to see the usual hazards (rocks and rocks), along with some perhaps less encountered – such as holes from marmots and creek crossings.
Depending on weather and usage, some sections of the trails may be muddy. But passable.
- Will we ride out or fly out on our final day?
You will ride out of the mountains on the final day of any trip, back to the valley and our base of operations on Tyaughton Lake.
There are 2 different route options.
Option 1 (typically the faster route back to the valley) is returning to the valley via gun meadows and gun creek trail. This route involves roughly 300m to 400m of climbing over approximately 24kms.
Option 2 is returning to the valley via windy pass, high trail and molly dog typically. This route involves roughly 1100m of climbing, with some significant high a bike on windy pass, over approximately 26kms.
- 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