645.5 miles
28,770 ft
-27,410 ft
1 mile
High Point

The 3rd Grand Depart leaves Merrit at 7am on June 30th 2018!

This a offroad, unofficial, completely self-supported bikepacking ride/race in the spirit the underground 'Tour divide' style and under the same rules. No registration, no support, no insurance, no prizes - I simply plotted a route and suggest a time for a unofficial group ride of it. You show up and ride at your own risk. The BC Epic is a 1000km (1066 to be exact), 11 600m elevation traverse across South Central BC starting in Merritt and ending in Fernie (or vice versa if you choose) mostly along the Trans Canada Trail. The route is about 80% off road on mostly old decommissioned railgrades (Kettle Valley Railroad from Brookmere to Midway, Columbia Western from Midway to Castlegar and Great Northern from Salmo to Nelson), with a few sections of challenging singletrack and the rest mostly rough gravel forest service road and about 100km paved. It is spectacular ride crossing through a great diversity of terrian and ecosystems with remarkable scenery, trestles hundereds of feet high and multiple tunnels (longest almost a kilometre!) along the bed of some of the most expensive railway ever laid through the mountains. There are plenty of camping, re-supply points and services along the route. Take on the challenge and ride the Epic!

Please take note - don't let the railgrades decieve you - this is tough route! In the ingaugural run only 7 of 15 starters finished. The railgrade is often very rough with loose gravel, washouts and washboard and often hard work to ride. A crossbike is not suited for this surface. Although it had been completed with a trailer it is not recommended and the singletrack section between Castelgar and Trail is not doable with a trailer (it was bypassed by the rider who completed the route with the trailer).

This route is Unsanctioned, Ride at your own Risk!

Detailed Description
BC Epic 2017 is a 645 mile intermediate unsanctioned race route located near Merritt British Columbia. This mountain bike only route. This route climbs 28,770 ft with a max elevation of 6,810 ft then descends -27,410 ft.

3 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
mebutsch (Sep 23, 2021 at 13:56)
  • + 0
papawheelie (May 5, 2020 at 6:31)
I’d like to thank all the ATV users for clearing deadfall and helping to keep this multi-use trail open. We are in danger our losing this trail because so few people access it. I’d rather share with other trail users like the ORV crowd than hand it over to the logging and mining companies, as is happening near Beaverdell
  • + 0
BiketheTCT-BC (Jan 6, 2018 at 10:38)
Please support the Province of British Columbia to return the Columbia and Western Rail Trail, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail and the Great Northern Rail Trail to their intended non-motorized designation. The British Columbia Cycling Coalition has a easy form to fill out to send to your MLAs and government staff to show your concerns.

Rail trails offer safe traffic free routes because they were designed for low gradient, perfect for cycling and human powered activities We need a policy regarding established trails in BC clearly stating that established trails supported by government will not allow the mixing of motorized and non-motorized recreation together.

A trail accessed by motorized vehicles cannot be classed as a trail that can also provide non-motorized users with anything close to a quality experience. It, by default, solely serves motorized users reasonably well. Unfortunately this is the present scenario for the KVR, the C&W and Great Northern Rail Trail corridors designated as the Trans Canada Trail by the Province. All original agreements regarding the establishment of these rail trails, including those with affected landowners, were for specified non-motorized uses.

Help us return the rail trails to it's intended non-motorized use so funding can be allocated to fix this rail grades to a standard for EVERYONE to use, not only athletes. Thanks!



  • Race Course
  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
  • Bike type
    XC, RD
More Stats for BC Epic 2017 mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    1,360 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,129 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,953 ft
  • Altitude end
    3,314 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    277 miles
  • Distance down
    312 miles
  • Distance flat
    57 miles
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