Tyax Lodge Mountain Biking Activities

Category: Camping

Bikepacking at Tyax Lodge

Tyax Lodge Mountain Biking Activities

Tyax Lodge and the South Chilcotins has been attracting mountain bikers for as long as we can remember. The sheer vastness of the area and epic trail network means this place is on the bucket list of riders all over the world. For a lot of riders, the trails here are all about speed and fast, flowing trails. However, year on year, we find more riders coming here to go bikepacking.

Bike Packing South Chilcotin Mountains
Photo: Blake Jorgenson/Scott Bikes

What is bikepacking?

Bikepacking, in it’s simplest form, is combining cycling and camping in one. Everything that you need to go camping is loaded on you and your bike and you set out into the wilderness for an overnighter.

Bikepacking differs from regular mountain biking and hiking as it allows you to go on long bike adventures out into the backcountry for days on end. You’ll experience a connection with nature and a much more substantial journey than a regular day of riding. Not many bike rides end with sleeping under the stars and waking up to the sunrise over epic mountain ranges. And most camping trips don’t venture so far into the wilderness so quickly. Bikepacking lets you access remote places to camp that would take much longer to reach otherwise.

Where can I go bikepacking at Tyax Lodge

The bikepacking route around Tyax Lodge is a 130km long loop that crosses Tyaughton Creek and loops around Eldorado Mountain and Cardtable Mountain. The singletrack trails in the South Chilcotins are generally quite flowy, open and fast. The loop can be ridden in either direction – clockwise for those who want the long and tricky climbs and anti-clockwise for those wanting a more balanced ride. The trail is unpaved in all parts and over half of it is singletrack. There’s a good amount of climbing on this route. The ride will have an elevation gain of almost 2,900m with the highest point being 2,225m. The trail usually takes about 3 days to complete.

What do I need to go bikepacking?

Bikes

In truth, the best bike for bikepacking is the bike that you already have. In saying that, there are some bikes that are better suited to bikepacking than others. There are dedicated bikepacking bikes, but most mountain bikes, and even some gravel and cyclocross bikes, are perfect for a bikepacking trip around Tyax Lodge.

Chromag Surface Mountain Bike
The Chromag Surface

Chromag Surface

This Whistler made bike is ideal for bike packing at Tyax Lodge. This hardtail frame is made from steel, which soaks up trail vibrations much better than aluminium, it’s also incredibly durable. The Surface has front suspension so when the trail points downhill, you’re able to ride any line you want. The trails around us at Tyax Lodge are fast and flowy, perfect for the Chromag Surface.

Surly Ogre Mountain Bike
The Surly Ogre

Surly Ogre

Surly makes a wide range of bikes. They have city commuters, cargo bikes and rigid bikes. Their fully rigid Surly Ogre is a great choice for bikepacking. Because it has no suspension at all, the frame is very efficient, which is great for long days pedalling out in the backcountry. Surly also design their bikes with lots of handy mounts for racks, bottle mounts and frame bags.

Marin Four Corner Mountain Bike
The Marin Four Corner

Marin Four Corners

You don’t need a mountain bike or something that looks like one, to go bike packing. Marin has been making off-road bikes for a while now and their Four Corners is their most adventurous off-road bike. Again, it’s made from steel and is designed with a much more relaxed geometry than most road and cyclocross bikes. It is much more efficient and quicker on the climbs than other bikes mentioned here, but will need more care and guidance on the descents.

Racks & Bags

Bikepacking rigs are usually outfitted with racks and bags to help carry all the equipment. Frame bags fit inside the frame of the bike and are attached with straps. These bags are great for storing clothes and camping equipment. Saddlebags attach to the rear of the saddle and extend backwards. Saddlebags come in a range of sizes and are great for carrying a tent, extra clothing, or any other larger structures. Handlebar bags attach to the handlebars in front of the bike. Most riders use these bags for carrying sleeping mats or sleeping bags. Finally, you might want a top tube bag. This bag sits just behind the handlebars and is easily accessible at all times. This is the ideal place to keep some snacks, maps and other things that you will be using often.

Camping Gear

Bikepackers tend to run a light or ultra-light camping setup. Instead of large, spacious tents, most riders opt for a lightweight one-person tent or even a bivvy bag. A bivvy bag is basically a more robust sleeping bag that is suitable for outdoor use without a tent. On a multi-day trip into the backcountry, you’ll need to pack your own food. Freeze dried food has come a long way in the past number of years, these will tide you over until you get back to Tyax Lodge and treat yourself to a fantastic, well-earned, meal. Don’t forget to pack your coffee though, there’s no Starbucks out here!

Backcountry Hiking – Gear Check

Backcountry Hiking Equipment Gear Checklist

Some of our favourite summer days are the ones spend hiking in the mountains surrounding Tyax Lodge. We have a fantastic trail network on our doorstep that showcases the beautiful scenery here and allows you to really get a sense of the history of the area. When you’re out on the trail, the last thing you want is for your gear to let you down. Having the right equipment, that is up to the task at hand, is imperative. Here we take a look at some essential hiking equipment that will keep you out on the trail for longer.

Boots

Arc’teryx Bora Mid GTX Hiking Boot

A good hiking boot is absolutely essential for hiking in the backcountry. When choosing a new hiking boot it is important to consider the fit, material, and type of boot. We’re big fans of Arc’teryx boots and think that the Arc’teryx Bora Mid GTX is the perfect hiking boot for the trails at Tyax. Arc’teryx is a Vancouver based company that is known for making high-end outdoor equipment and this boot is no different.

The boot features a high cut, ankle support Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit. The Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit is a liner that moulds to the shape of the user’s foot, ensuring a perfect fit. The upper is one-piece, seamless, thermolaminated, and made from GORE-TEX. This all leads to fantastic waterproofness, making this boot suitable in any conditions. A 3D moulded Ortholite™ footbed and a Vibram® outsole means that the Bora is also an incredibly comfortable hiking boot.

Hiking Gear Rossignol Jacket

Jacket

Rossignol Camino MP+ Jacket

Having a jacket in your pack while hiking is very important. Without the proper clothing, a day hiking in the woods can quickly turn into a wet and cold march back to shelter. It’s a good idea to have a jacket made from waterproof material and for it to be easily compressed and packed for easy transport. It also helps if the jacket is stylish! That’s why we think the Rossignol Camino MP+ jacket is a fantastic option, as it fits the bill perfectly.

The Camino MP+ is a two-layer, ultralight waterproof jacket. It is easily packed away and stored for those days when you get caught in a downpour. It also features a modern and stylish cut, with reinforced shoulder areas for use with a backpack. The Camino MP+ is available for both men and women.

Shorts

Arc’teryx Sarbria

Arc’teryx features here on our list again. This is because of their high-quality across their range of products. What makes their hiking shorts so good is their considered fit and style. The Arc’teryx Sabria shorts for women has a streamlined design that works with the body’s movement to ensure comfort at all times. The shorts are made from Fortius DW 1.0 fabric that stretches with the user. These shorts will allow you to hike comfortably throughout summer. Arc’teryx also has a great selection of hiking shorts for men.

Backpack

Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Backpack

In order to spend a day or more out in the backcountry, you’re going to need to carry all your gear and equipment with you. Having a backpack that is practical and suitable for the task at hand is very important. The most important thing to consider when looking for a new backpack is the size. 70-litre backpacks are suitable for multi-day excursions into the backcountry, while smaller packs are more suitable for single day trips.

Because of the vast trail network surrounding us here, and our well-equipped lodge, we recommend people to go on single day hikes and return to the lodge to avail of all the fantastic facilities here. The Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 backpack is the perfect choice. It is a durable, light-weight pack that will stand up to the rigours of alpine life.

Hiking Equipment Hat Patagonia

Hat

Patagonia Hike Hat

Staying sun-safe while out on the trail is very important. Long periods of exposure to direct sun can lead to sunburn, dehydration, and sunstroke. One of the most effective ways to combat this is to wear a hat with a brim and neck cover.

Patagonia’s Hike Hat is a smart choice. It features a brim and neck cover and is also made from upcycled nylon. Patagonia has a reputation for being an ethical company and this can be seen in their material choice for this hat. The hat is also finished with a water-repellent layer that will keep you dry when you get caught in a short downpour. The hat is available in three colours, so we’re sure you’ll find one that you like!

Hiker Gear Socks Darn Tough

Socks

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion

Socks are often overlooked when it comes to thinking about essential equipment, however, we think that’s a big mistake! Darn Tough socks are widely considered the best socks made today, what other sock company has a lifetime warranty?

The Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion is a fantastic sock that will keep you comfortable while out on the trail. They are made from Merino wool, have a performance fit and are seamless. It’s no wonder that Backpacker Magazine gave them their Editor’s Choice Gold Award for 2018.

Now you have all the essential gear needed to come hiking at Tyax Lodge. Get in touch with us today and book your trip!

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