Connecting the gravel patches scattered across West Van. Bring your climbing legs.
North Van has like a million gravel paths, loamy trails and unpaved connectors, so West Van must have some too, right? Well, sort of. We’ve always been curious about what’s west of the Lion’s Gate, so we figured we’d consult with our local oracle of backroads, outdoor coffee, and general bike culture, Morgan Taylor (aka @foundinthemountains
This route patches together a Cypress to Horseshoe Bay loop that is mostly paved with a few side hits of dirt to keep things interesting. And while we’ve found that there aren’t a huge amount of gravel sections to ride here, there are certainly some fun ones.
I dunno if any bike in existence could be considered “good” for this route, and that might be the best thing about it. Bring a heavy-treaded tire and you’ll zap your energy on the long paved sections. Bring narrow tires and you’ll lose grip on some of the steep climbs and chunkier gravel. You might need to get a bit creative with your gearing and tire selection.
A couple notes; there've been reports of a black bear commonly seen on Fern Trail this spring, so keep an eye out. We didn’t see it, but supposedly it’s been hanging out. Also, it looks like they’re currently resurfacing BLT around Eagle Lake Access Road, so keep your head on a swivel for patches of loose sand/dirt.
And one last thing - a number of the trails on this route are narrow, windy, community built walking paths. There’ll be some goofy dirt connectors and short hike-a-bike sections. So as always, take it easy, be respectful, and have fun.
Love Machine & Found In the Mountains
If you're feeling a little more road-oriented, give this all-paved version a try. The hardo's way to connect Cypress to Whytecliffe. 52km, 930m.