Penticton is less than six hours drive from Western Washington but it might as well be on another planet. The city basks in over 300 sunny days a year. Located in the Southern Okanagan just over the Canadian border, the entire region serves up some of the best road and trail biking in North America.
In keeping with the great adventure town modus operandi, we also sip into four breweries, four distilleries and three cideries. Oh, and there are 60 wineries sprinkled up and down the valley. This leisure set-up is so stacked one hardly needs mention the outrageous exchange rate (our US dollar is worth around $1.30 Canadian, so everything is 30% off and cheaper than what you’ll find in Seattle).
Cycling outside of Penticton is nuts, beginning with the 373-mile long Kettle Valley Railway Trail. The KVR traverses all over the Lower Mainland but one of its best circuits descends gently from high above Lake Okanagan, through tunnels and over bridges right into Penticton. No need to leap frog, Bike Penticton arranges shuttles to take riders to the KVR. Discover more about biking in BC’s south Okanagan via this article by Crai Bower on FestivalSeekers.
It doesn’t take a geographer to know that every valley comes with hills, and the Okanagan cycling trails in them thar hills are Moab good. The Three Blind Mice Trail complex, perched high above the KVR for a sublime ride out, contains over 100 named trails of various challenge. Over half of the rides are considered intermediate, but there are plenty, as in dozens, of beginning and mad descents as well.
Penticton cycling trails stretch over to the western hills as well, where “Test of Humanity” loops for six miles with about a quarter mile of elevation gain. The vista points provide plenty of excuses to pause and consider your good fortune before ripping downslope back toward town.
The Campbell Mountain Trail beckons south of town, a two-mile loop where barely a 100-ft climb unveils 1,000-ft in descent. Like the Test, Campbell Mountain is considered a blue run. Speaking of colored runs, clear days and mild temps produce easy daily doubles if you want to grab your skis for Apex Mountain Resort then knock out some downhill in the dirt.
The desert air may give it away, but hitting these dry trails definitely feels like a galaxy away from our rainforest in the Washington.
For more cycling goodness make sure to read Crai Bower’s full story on FestivalSeekers.com. Get planning and to learn more about the community of Penticton BC, check out the official website and start planning your trip today.
Freelance journalist Crai S Bower writes more than 80 travel, business and lifestyle articles a year for over 30 regional, national, international and online publications. If he has a niche, it would be soft adventure in the Pacific Northwest. He has backcountry skied in the Purcell Mountains, kayaked the Yukon River and even tried heli yoga in the Queen Charlotte archipelago. This post is part of a Cycle Penticton campaign. All opinions are that of the author. Photo credits: Trestle Bridge, Penticton, biking at sunset and Naramata is near Penticton via ShutterStock.com