Whitehorse: The Wilderness City

The motto for Yukon's capital is the 'Wilderness City'  –  and they aren't joking.

With some estimates of trails within the city of Whitehorse at 800km (!), residents and tourists of the area have no shortage of opportunity for outdoor recreation, summer or winter. Lets also not forget that they can enjoy these trails some 20 hours a day in the summertime – and with only 23,000 residents, they don't really need to share.

The true asset to trail users and mountain bikers in the city of Whitehorse, however, lies in the active partnerships between users and the City, which continue to work toward a vision of a city that benefits from excellent trails. Rachael and I were there on behalf of IMBA affiliate club Contagious MTB, and we also worked closely with the City of Whitehorse's full time trail crew.

That future vision includes a stewardship model where Contagious and other trail user groups will take over the maintenance of the trail network from the city when the trail network is completed. IMBA was invited to help get local riders excited about building trail, and share some tips and best practices on how its done.

The build project was a fun but challenging section of trail built on a steep sideslope with high sand content and lots of hidden rocks. Luckily, we had a great crew of hard working volunteers, along with some of the city trail crew to lend their expertise of building in the area.

If you haven't been to Whitehorse before, start planning you trip. Now.

The trails in the region (including the IMBA Epic Mountain Hero, in neighbouring town Carcross) are awesome, and boast both quantity, and quality. Local tour operator Boréale Mountain Biking has no problems taking visitors out every day, never riding the same trail twice.

And when you're finished riding, there are plenty of great places to eat, including Burnt Toast Cafe, Sanchez Cantina, and Picka Peppa. Make sure to wash it all down with suds from local Yukon Brewing.

A huge thanks to everyone who fed us, put us up, and took Rachael and I out for epic rides!  Jane & Derrick, Carrie & Paul, Alex, Ben, Paul – you made the trip really awesome!

If you are in town, spend a day or two (or a week!) with the SUPER nice folks from Boréale Mountain Biking. They will take you on epic rides, and even rent out Norco bikes if you'd rather not travel with your own bike. Sincere thanks to Sylvain and Marsha for lending us a pair of Norco Fluids for our 10-day trip.

Photos from Whitehorse and Carcross on Picasa

ContourGPS footage from Bouncing Bunny

Bouncing Bunny, Whitehorse YT from IMBA Canada on Vimeo.

A small clip of a trail called Bouncing Bunny, one of the most fun and flowy trails we rode during our time in the Yukon. Would definitely recommend taking the journey up north to check out all the great riding in the area.

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