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February 7, 2023

Fat Tires on the Powder Highway

Winter is no longer just for skiing & snowboarding. An army of dedicated volunteers with an expanding quiver of trail grooming equipment, combined with epic winters that can last up to five months of the year make the Powder Highway a winter fat biking mecca.

Aerial views of fat biking a Nipika Mountain Resort; photo by Mitch Winton

Fernie’s Trail Grooming Collaborative coordinates maintenance on nearly 80-km of groomed fat bike trails, from wide-packed road grades to the black-diamond tight trees single-track that Fernie is famous for. Eric’s Trip and Mushroom Head trails offer a good heart massage climb and downhill option, while more laid-back trails can be found in the Ridgemont and Montane trail systems. The Fernie Fat bike Facebook page and the Fernie Winter Trails map are the best sources for all winter trail info.

Fat biking in Fernie; photo by Dave Heath

Southstar Recreation Trails overlooking Cranbrook keeps getting better every year, with 17-km of groomed fat bike trails maintained by the Wildhorse Cycling Club. Winter riders are asked to avoid Eager Hills and Chief Isadore Canyon area as these are critical ungulate winter range, with food and shelter required by our wild neighbours for survival through the long winter.

Fat biking in Cranbrook; photo by Mitch Winton

Up the hill in Kimberley the Kootenay Freewheelers Cycling Club maintains groomed fat bike trails in Lois Creek, the Kimberley Nature Park, and through the Trickle Creek Golf Course to Kimberley Alpine Resort. Organized poker runs and fun races take place in late February. The Nature Park’s Bench Trail to Apache, wrapping up with a flowy fun charge down Edge is a local favourite. The Kimberley Trails Society posts grooming updates and trail conditions.

Aerial view of fat biking in Kimberley/Trickle Creek; photo by RipTide Studio

Nipika Mountain Resort is a bucket list fat bike destination, and even has fat bike rentals if you are travelling light. Imagine exploring over 30-km of perfectly groomed trails in the heart of the wild Rockies, including a ride to the iconic natural stone bridge over the Cross River. Just when you thought things could not get any better, your ride ends at a luxury log cabin complete with a rejuvenating sauna.

Fat biking at Nipika Mountain Resort; photo by Mitch Winton

For an in-town fat bike experience, check out Revelstoke’s 13.5-km Tantrum Ride Fat bike Loop. After a stunning ride along the Columbia River below the snowy Monashee and Selkirk mountains, pedal straight to your favourite Revelstoke cafe for a post-ride lunch.

Rossland’s Revolution Cycles regularly updates the local fat bike grooming report, with locals riding in-town groomed faves like Rubberhead and Louis Joe, and even portions of the renowned Seven Summits trail.

If you are bumping into moose and elk and deer on your fat bike, you are riding in critical ungulate winter range, where pressure from bikes and dogs in the winter months contributes to decreased wildlife populations. Head for deeper snow and share the fat tire stoke of a perfectly groomed fat bike trail on the Powder Highway.

Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.

Related Stories
4 Reasons to Ski-Ride the Powder Highway this Winter
~ 5 Things to Do with the White Stuff
6 Safety Tips for your Powder Highway Road Trip
~ 9 Tips to Keep your Family Safe on the Slopes
~ Cozy Up in a One of the Kootenay Authentic Cabins this Winter

~ Family Fun on the Powder Highway
~ Getting into Hot Water: Kootenay Hot Springs
~ Invermere’s Whiteway and All Things Winter
~ Nordic Ski Adventures to do this Winter
~ Powder Fun on the Powder Highway
~ Powder Towns on the Powder Highway

~ What’s New on the Powder Highway? 
~ Where to See The Best Winter Alpenglows in the Kootenays
~ Winter Biking in Rossland Never Looked Better

Top/cover photo by Mitch Winton, on the trails in Cranbrook.

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