King of the Scene
What It Is: Once an isolated mountain town most famous for its seed potato, Pemberton remains happily in the shadow of glitzier nearby Whistler.
You Should Go If: You need a break from the crowds in Whistler, or just want to check out a cool off-the-beaten-path destination.
Don't Miss: Linking Happy Trail, Overnight Sensation, and Cream Puff, creating an epic three-hour cross-country ride that includes lots of twisting singletrack and a few technical rock features. Finish the ride with a dip in nearby Mosquito Lake.
Local Knowledge: The cross-country trails are much drier and less rooted than those in Squamish and Whistler, making the learning curve a little less steep.
Quotable: "It's pretty quiet up here most of the time," says John Inglis, owner of the Pemberton Bike Co. "We get some of the Whistler overflow, but it's still pretty casual. We've been under the shadow of Whistler and Squamish for a long time, but I think within the mountain-bike community people know it's a place worth checking out."
Shoptalk: The Pemberton Bike Co. (www.bikecowhistler.com; 604.894.6625) on Portage Road is the sister shop to the Whistler Bike Co.
Crash Pad: The Pemberton Valley Lodge (www.pembertonvalleylodge.com; 877.894.2800) on Portage Road offers summertime discounts and has secure mountain bike storage. For dinner, drinks, or a cup of coffee, try Pony Espresso. It's a funky, locally-owned spot that shouldn't be missed.
Getting There: Drive 30 minutes north of Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication