Whistler has long been one of the most popular meccas of mountain biking on the planet, an environment that encourages people to constantly push the limits of themselves and the sport. Being surrounded by the most talented riders and some of the most challenging and technical trails on earth can be both inspiring and intimidating for people seeking to get into the sport.
The Zappa Trails at Lost Lake are not only a great place for an introduction to cross-country mountain biking for all ages, the well-designed two-way flowing single track keeps even the seasoned veterans of the local cross-country community coming back for more. The forests surrounding Lost Lake contain a network of gravel access roads that are used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during wintertime as well as 35-kilometer network of bike trails that are split approximately half and half between meter-wide, pea gravel, green-rated trails and moderately difficult blue-rated single track. The trails are well built and well maintained, and the terrain provides a good mix of dirt, roots, rock rolls, and classic Whistler-style wooden bridges that are endemic to Pacific Northwest mountain bike terrain. All trails can be ridden both ways, and there are many different loop options. Each trail leads directly into another, and continuing along will lead riders on a loop designed to make the best use of the terrain. All trails are labeled and named after Frank Zappa songs, so plan your playlists accordingly.
The recommended 10-kilometer single-track loop begins just outside Whistler Village behind the Lost Lake Passivhaus on a trail called Peaches en Regalia, then proceeds through (following straight through each junction) Dinah Moe Humm, Disco Boy, Torture Never Stops, Fountain of Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Dwarf Nebula, Zoot Allures, Toads of the Short Forest, Gee I Like Your Pants, Son of Mr. Green Genes, and Jelly-Roll Gumdrop, which exits on a gravel road beside a bridge across Fitzsimmons Creek. Continue across the gravel road onto an easy green trail called Hooktender for approximately one kilometer and watch for a left turn on Central Scrutinizer. Continue straight across each junction again to Packard Goose, I’m Not Satisfied, Why Johnny Can’t Read, and The Grand Wazoo. This exits at Lost Lake Park, a popular day use area with a nice beach, a floating dock, and a small concession stand. From here a short gravel road leads back to the Lost Lake Passivhaus and Whistler Village.
If you like this ride and want to support local trail development and maintenance, check out the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association to see how you can help.