About 150km northwest of - and a world away from - the resort mecca of Whistler lie the gently sloping valleys and dome-shaped mountains of South Chilcotin Mountains Park. The region, now a mecca in its own right for mountain bikers who have heard about its unique geography, mythical alpine singletrack and fly-in single day, multiday bikepacking, and luxe cabin-based outtripping opportunties, has been used by the Tsilhqot’in, St’at’imc, and Secwepemc Nations peoples for hundreds of years. More recently, and before the area received the park protection deserved of a region of such natural, cultural and recreational significance, the Chilcotins were a hub of agricultural and mining activity. While the thousands of sheep that used to graze the area are now long gone, one can find artifacts of extraction industries strewn throughout the park, not least in the form of the trails now used by riders in pursuit of mountain biking's renewable resources: endless views, Cheshire Cat grins, and high-fives for days.
Following the gently climbing Taylor Creek flows one of these trails. About midway along it on the way to Eldorado Pass and the heart of the Park can be found one of the last remaining cabins from an old mining site in upper Taylor Basin. While it remains habitable, especially in an emergency, the write-up found in our regional backroads guidebook is a little...optimistic: “comfortable…4 bunk beds.” Contracting hantavirus is probably more likely than having a good sleep on one of the "comfortable" bunks in the cabin, but stopping in to check out the artifacts strewn around, telling stories of history old and new, is a must-do while stopping for a trailside bite and a reminisce about what life must have been like prospecting the area 100 years ago.
Back in the present day and back on your bike, you pass the site of the old mine just up the trail before the climbing gets real, and the unreal views of this backcountry paradise begin spreading out before you.
You can see a few more of these views in the album from our 2014 trip. While many folks take the fly-in-ride-out option afforded by Tyax Adventures, you can do as we did and dirtbag a trip into Taylor Creek and the rest of the region by staging from the great camping at the Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa (you can also be rather less dirtbag and stay - and spa - at the beautiful log structure lodge itself). If you're thinking of going and have any questions about trail beta or otherwise, drop us a line.