Billy Epic is one of the oldest mountain bike trails in the Whistler Valley, built by Bill Epplett. Part of the Westside Trails, it is most often accessed from the Alpine Meadows subdivision 4 kilometers north of Whistler Village.
From the Alpine Cafe, head straight up Alpine Way to the top. From the gate at the end of the pavement the road immediately begins climbing steeply. At the first fork, proceed straight past the wooden sign reading Rick’s Roost and continue on the main road. Immediately after passing a lookout point on the right, take a left through the wooden gate and head south on the Flank Trail. After a few minutes of pedaling you’ll find yourself at another lookout point with a wooden bench, which also happens to be a popular local paragliding launch spot. Continue on and you’ll find the upper entrance to Billy Epic, which is marked with a sign on the left.
The first section of the trail is a good indicator of what’s to come, with a few exposed rock features and some forested sections with rooty turns and berms. You’ll pass yet another lookout point, this one with a couple of chairs and a memorial plaque for legendary local photographer Bonny Makarewicz. After this you'll pop out onto a lower branch of the Flank Trail. Take a left, and a short climb will lead to the entrance to the rest of Billy’s Epic on the right. A right turn at the lower Flank would lead down the 27 switchbacks, an alternate access route from the Rainbow Trailhead.
If you enjoyed the first section of downhill, the rest is gravy. There are a few corners where you might want to slow down and have a look, at but every feature has a friendly line for intermediate or advanced riders (some have optional harder lines). The trail has great overall flow as it steadily descends without too many flat or excessively steep sections to slow you down.
Somewhere near the middle you’ll come to a fork in the trail; take a right on the newer (less steep) option as this section has been rerouted due to erosion on the original trail, and the newly built trail is much more enjoyable. Near the bottom you’ll pop out on a wide, flat trail, for an extra shot of adrenaline. Take a left here and climb a short distance before dropping into a quick connector trail called Surf’s Up. This trail is essentially just a 100 meter skid down a steep rut through soft gravel.
As soon as you have a chance to let off the brake you’ll take a left turn onto Get Over it and start climbing again. This one is relatively short, and after a few minutes of pedaling the trail tops out at a rocky bluff and then begins traversing and descending. Take a left at the T-intersection shortly after you begin descending (there is a sign here reading Nectar Connector) and continue into Mel’s Dilemma. Follow the main trail out to Alta Lake Road and you’ll see an entrance to the paved Whistler Valley Trail directly across the road. Go down the hill, take a left, follow this trail back to the Alpine Cafe, and celebrate with a burger and a beer.
Note that free parking is available on the streets in Alpine Meadows or at the Meadow Park Sports Centre. And 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.