This is fast becoming one of my favorite places on earth.
Sol Mountain touts itself as easy off the grid, backcountry living that has been designed by backcountry skiers, for backcountry skiers. If you take a look at their winter availability calendar, you’ll see that they are doing something right, with over 75% of the 16/17 season booked solid.
They've hit the nail on the head once again with their new summer offering; alpine single track mountain biking. Lodge owner Aaron Cooperman and his crew have put some serious work into the now 20 Kilometers of single track trails that start mere feet from the door of the lodge and take you through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, across ridge lines and eventually towards Mount Fosthall along South Cariboo pass.
Located a two and a half hour drive south from Revelstoke, getting there is a breeze. You will spend 30 minutes on pavement while making your way down Highway 23 to the entrance of a well marked Forest Service Road just North of the Shelter Bay ferry. At every junction on the FSR you will follow the highly visible, well marked signs all the way to the lodge that is nestled 1950M above sea level in a cozy alpine meadow.
Sol’s bike trails are what I would consider engaging. It is rare on the way down that you’ll be heads up looking at the stunning view while cruising along, so take lots of water breaks. The trail switches quickly between hard pack dirt, stone or wood bridges, and slabby rock sections. Whether climbing up or bombing back down, you will never get bored at Sol.
After putting in some work climbing the 350 meters of vertical over 5 KM of trail from the lodge you will be standing on top of the Ridgeline trail. This is a must do climb while you are here. The trail requires a short section of hike a bike on the way up and then the views from the top are almost as stunning as the trail is fun on the way back down to Sol Lake.
If you find yourself at Sol Lake mid afternoon on a sunny day, it’s probably a good idea to strip down and go for a swim in the cool alpine water. Nothing makes you feel more alive than a quick dip followed by a beer that has been chilled by that same alpine lake you just plunged into (drop one on your way up to ridgeline!).
After a sit down, you can make your way out the ever expanding 2KM (at time of writing) South Cariboo pass trail towards Mount Fosthall, before turning around and making your way back down towards the lodge. If you are looking for the fastest, flowiest way down, stick to the Sol Lake trail until you hit beacon check. If you are after some more heads up hockey, check out Bunny Slope Slabs and Crazy Train on the way down, both are incredible trails with technical sections. No matter where you choose to ride, make sure you hit Beacon Check at some point while you are up there, its a super flowy, fast cruisy trail with a couple little drops and tons of stuff to pop off of the whole way down.
If you haven’t been up to check out Sol’s offerings yet this summer, make the drive the next time you have a free day or two, you will thank yourself!
- Jay Morrison