E-Bikes

Latest status

Whistler Council recently supported a draft policy for electric powered personal mobility devices, including e-bikes, on recreational trails in the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), and implementation is now in progress.

A broad monitoring program will also be implemented this summer and includes:

  • a trail user intercept survey;
  • observations by Bylaw Services park and trail ambassadors and Alpine Trail Rangers;
  • trail counters;
  • data from Trailforks;
  • collaboration and information sharing with Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA;, Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), Whistler Search and Rescue, Vancouver Coastal Health, Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb;
  • and potentially additional surveys in the fall or winter.

The municipality will review the monitoring results and make adjustments to the policy, if required.

E-bike permissions and restrictions

The following are the permissions and restrictions included in Whistler’s new e-bike policy.

Download a brochure explaining tips, rules and etiquette for riding e-bikes in Whistler.

CLASS 1 pedal-assisted e-bikes

These are the most common devices in Whistler and are:

Permitted on:

  • Valley Trail
  • Off-road trails with some exceptions*
  • Municipal roads and Highway 99
  • Forest Service Roads

*Not permitted on these off-road trails:

  • Mount Sproatt and Rainbow Mountain alpine trails (anything above Flank: Lord of the Squirrels, Into the Mystic, With a Twist, On the Rocks, Happy Hour, Pot of Gold, LESS & Don’t Look Back). This restriction supports environmental considerations, user safety and grizzly bear management in the alpine terrain.
  • Emerald Forest Conservation Area, except for the access road connecting Lorimer & Alta Lake roads
  • Any hiking-only trails

CLASS 2 and CLASS 3 e-bikes

These are classified as motorized vehicles and are:

Permitted on:

  • Municipal roads and Highway 99
  • Forest Service Roads

Not permitted on:

  • Valley Trail
  • Off-road trails 

Note: Other throttle-activated and high-speed electric mobility devices are not permitted on Whistler’s trails. Some are permitted on municipal roads and Highway 99. Please refer to ICBC’s low powered vehicles operating rules. Examples of these other devices include e-mopeds, powered skateboards, stand-up (throttle) e-scooters, Segways and hoverboards.

Electric adaptive mountain bikes

Permitted on:

  • Valley Trail
  • Any off-road trails where bikes are allowed*
  • Municipal roads and Highway 99, if they meet ICBC requirements
  • Forest Service Roads

*Not permitted on these off-road trails:

  • Any hiking-only trails

Learn more about e-bike classifications.

Overview

In 2018 the RMOW with the Whistler Centre for Sustainability began developing an electric-powered bicycle (e-bike) policy.

The RMOW’s new draft policy considers the municipally managed recreational Valley Trail network, as well as local non-motorized recreational off-road trails managed by the RMOW, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), and Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) provincial Crown Lands within the boundaries of the Cheakamus Community Forest.

The Whistler Interpretive Forest is included in the geographic scope, whereas BC Parks and Whistler Blackcomb’s Controlled Recreation Area are outside of the scope.

Whistler’s policy is aligned with two e-bike policies put in place by the Province of British Columbia.

People should consider the different classes of e-bikes and their associated restrictions when contemplating an e-bike or e-mobility device purchase or rental.

Timeline and engagement

This 2018–2019 project includes five phases:

Phase 1 (winter 2018/19) – COMPLETE
Development of project objectives, research and evaluation of e-bike policies in other communities and initial engagement and discussions with stakeholders

Phase 2 (February to April 2019) – COMPLETE
Development of draft policy directions; staff, public and stakeholder engagement.

Phase 3 (May to July 2019) – COMPLETE
Development of draft policy; Council review

Phase 4 (July 2019 to Autumn 2019) – IN PROGRESS
Implementation, monitoring and public communication

Phase 5 (Autumn 2019 onwards) – IN PROGRESS 
Monitoring evaluation, reporting out, draft policy amendments if necessary and policy formalization

Depending on monitoring outcomes, further monitoring and consideration may occur in 2020.

Contact

Parks Department
parks@whistler.ca