World Reknown Okanagan Mountain Biking Trails!

Mountain bike trails seem to be everywhere I hike in the Okanagan.  I like to mountian bike but I would never take these crazy jumps and ramps that seem to be built in many hiking areas.  I admire the passion that mountain bikers have for the sport.  It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish what has been done in the Okanagan.

I was emailed this mountain biking question recently;

Q) I am interested in visiting Kelowna for the long weekend and doing some mtn biking. I really liked your website and found it very informative. What are the best maps for the area? What are the primo areas? Is it possible to ride around Okanagan Mountain Park in a day?
Any advice you can give me regarding mtn biking in Kelowna would be appreciated.

A) Thanks for visiting Tracks And Trails and emailing your question.  Being that I am not crazy enough to take the extreme single tracks and crazy ramps and jumps that are out there, I have put together a Mountain Biking Resource for the Okanagan that you can view via this link. It includes where to get trail map info as well as fourums to get up to date mtn biking  intel.

My thoughts on Primo areas are;  (Okanagan Park does not have the jumps built)

1) Gillard Forest Service Road.  Dude you just gotta be there.  This place is alive bikes! (motor and non)

2) Powers Creek! Holy Smokes – you aint seen nothing till you been here.  I think I noticed a forum (on PinkBike) that said there was a world class competition here at some point.

3) Glenmore Hills has lots to offer.  Enter the hills at many points from Clifton to the Dog park just past the Kelowna Land Fill on Glenmore Road.

4) Okanagan Mountain Park could probably be seen in a day by ….maybe Phil, or someone else who bikes 400 km just for kicks so they can enjoy the feeling of thier lungs coming alive in agony and pain!

What you want to do here is enjoy the park.  Start with a ride through Wild Horse Canyon, camp at one of the backcountry campsites, continue way up to any one of the several lakes and then loop back to Kelowna by taking the Old CN Trail or exit to the KVR along Mountain Goat Trail (you will have to carry your bike some parts) and ride down to the Kettle Valley Trestles.  Please comment here when you are complete!  I would love to hear about it.

I would have mentioned the Crawford Trail area but I have heard that mountian bikes are not allowed anymore???  Anyone care to comment.

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Comments (3)

  1. Mountain bikes are definitely allowed in the Crawford trails. It is part of Myra Bellevue Provincial Park, same as the KVR trestles. I bike there all the time. Check out the friends of the south slopes at http://www.foss-kelowna.org/ . They sell a great trail map through most outdoor stores in the Kelowna area.

  2. I asked the question, thanks for the reply.
    After researching further, I should explain here that I am 40 yrs old, and don’t ride a downhill specific bike, don’t have a full face helmet, nor do I ride wearing armour and padding.

    So, while I might have a look at Powers and Gillard, just to check it out, what I really enjoy is swoopy fun singletrack with some challenging sections.
    I prefer to avoid the shuttle bike areas, as I only have one vehicle, so am interested in loop rides.

    I am interested in the McDougal/Hayman area.
    Is it possible to bike the Mc Dougal Rim Trail?

    I had heard about the Crawford are and will definatley be going there for a ride.

    According to some Parks Maps I’ve seen it is approx. 50 kms around OK Mtn Park, depending on the trail style and elevation gain this is a reasonable day on the bike. What is Wildhorse Canyon Trail actually like? Rough singletrack? Smooth fireroad? The Divide Trail is basically just a road is it not? Simple gravel road, or rough, rocky 4wd track?

    Will there still be snow at the higher elevations? where I am all the higher trails likely won’t be open by the longweekend of may 17th.

    Great job on the website and thanks especially for the prompt reply.

    If you had three days to hit the best of the area where would you go?

  3. Yes it is possible to bike the McDougal Rim Trail. I would take the truncated version of the loop which is the Mount Hayman section. I haven’t heard of anyone biking the whole Okanagan Mountain Park as a loop all in one day. It sure looks like it could be done but I just looked at the updated official Okanagan Park Provincial Park Map http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/okana_mt/ok_mtn_map_update.pdf and it shows the Frederick Trail to Wild Horse Canyon Trail to Goods Creek to Commando Bay to Buchan Bay all as a No Mountain Biking zone.
    The rest of the trails including Wild Horse Canyon Trail from Lakeshore Rd. to Buchan Bay are all ok for Mountain Biking! The Wild Horse Canyon Trail from Lakeshore to Buchan Bay is a wide trail.
    After asking a number of individuals I still have yet to hear what the Frederick trail condition is like. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to take this trail in the summer.
    I would expect to see some snow at the higher eleveations until June.

    I put a few thoughts on what my “opinion” on the top three biking trails would be for the Kelowna area in a new post http://tracksandtrails.ca/2009/04/top-3-kelowna-mountain-biking-tripsfor-a-40-year-old/

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