Kettle Valley Railway Trail

Kettle Valley Railway Trail

Kettle Valley Railway Trail
4.5

Top ways to experience Kettle Valley Railway Trail and nearby attractions

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Ross M
Airdrie, Canada3,806 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Friends
This is going to be one of the trails that I may never forget. You come out of downtown, head through 2 blocks of residential, turn a corner and there you are on KVRT. Whoo Hoo - it is quite easy and ride back downtown is a dream. The views of the city, the lake, vineyards are simply awesome. This a must if you are in Penticton.
Written September 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lookforme
Vancouver16 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
My boyfriend and I biked from Myra Canyon to Penticton over the course of 2 days this past August. I had not done a lot of biking recently, but my boyfriend is an avid mountain biker. The whole trip was roughly 83 kilometers. It is a fairly easy bike ride as this section is flat and then there is a 2.2 downhill grade on the section from Chute Lake into Penticton. Some people do this trip in 1 day, but unless you are in good biking shape & properly equipped (ie: full suspension bike) I would recommend doing it over 2 days. We biked from Myra Canyon to Chute Lake lodge on the first day which is roughly 32 km's.

The Myra Canyon section is beautiful. The trestles are a sight to see, and this section is a very easy ride. The next section is called 'Ruth' - there is not much to see on this section as it is closed in on both sides by trees, but it is still a nice ride. There are many areas to stop & rest & easy access to outhouses.

The part we found most difficult was the section titled "Lorna." Logging roads intersect with the KVR along this section, and we encountered a lot of pick up trucks driving down this part. Due to the vehicles, the road has become very rough and pitted. I would highly recommend having a FULL suspension bike. We only had front suspension, and by the end of the day both of our bodies were aching from being rattled around for 4 hours. It was a very hard ride, and we were very happy to finally arrive at the Chute Lake lodge!!!

Chute Lake lodge is a definite must-see when riding through this section. We camped here over night & treated ourselves to a yummy piece of homemade pie. The antique collection is very neat to see as well.

It is obvious that the trail from Chute Lake into Naramata is used much more by day trippers as it is well marked and very well laid out. They even have a water station 1/2 way along the trail! The view of Okanagan Lake is spectacular, but again - the road is sandy & very bumpy along this stretch as well. We also heard many rattlesnakes riding through here, and encountered a rather large black bear crossing the trial - so it's best to stay on the marked trail.

We exited the KVR at Smethurst road as we couldn't take the rocky ride anymore. We then continued riding into Penticton along Naramata road. It was much smoother & a great way to see all the wineries! Plus, we stopped and had lunch (refueled) at Hillside Winery -- delish! (Only open till 3:00 p.m. for lunch).

Overall, we had a great time ... some tips to make your ride easier ...

1. FULL suspension bike (you can rent these from Freedom bike shop in Penticton).
2. Take lots of water & power gels (especially if it's hot).
3. Have lots of snacks (granola bars, trail mix) to keep you going --- you'll def. be hungry!
4. Take a GPS, or a good map of the route if you are going through the Ruth/Lorna section ... there were a few spots were it would be easy to get turned around without it.
5. We left our car in Penticton at the B&B we were staying at after our bike trip & hitched a ride up with AMBROSIA SHUTTLE service. It was $50/person, and they picked us up from our hotel and drove us straight to Myra Canyon --- highly recommend them. Much cheaper than other shuttle services.
6. If camping over night - take some warm clothes - it got quite cold.
Written August 24, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SteveandML
Vancouver, Canada22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Friends
My wife and I (both in our mid 60's) biked from Kelowna (Myra Canyon) to Penticton. This 80 km. gravel trail/road is either level or downhill the whole distance and winds through some beautiful countryside that starts at about the 4,500 foot level. The route first runs through the magnificent Myra Canyon over 13 train trestles (all but one are in great shape) and then winds down to Chute Lake where there is an old lodge. This is the half way point where we decided to spend the night before proceeding on Penticton. The elderly couple who own Chute Lake lodge are wonderful to meet and Doreen makes just about the best pies and cinnamon buns in the land. The lodge is extremely rustic with toilets, showers and sinks in a shack out the back and behind that is a museum collection of old just about everything. It is all fascinating and we had a great visit and comfortable night. Most of the 40 km ride on the second day was high up looking down over Okanagan lake and the wineries along Naramata. Weather was spectacular and the scenery magnificent.

The logistics are fairly easy. We rented out bikes in Penticton from Freedom Bikes (the owner is a cocky twit but the guys who set us up were great). As the whole route is gravel that is pretty rough in some spots it is important to have good, wide tired mountain bikes (and know how to change a tire). We then hired Ambrosia Tours to drive us with the bikes from Penticton to Kelowna (Myra Canyon entrance). This is about a two hour drive and cost us $60 each. George, our driver and George the owner are great guys. Remember to take along lots of water, picnic lunches, spare tire and pump. Aside from Chute Lake there are no commercial stops along the way. The Best Western in Penticton kindly allowed us to park our car in their lot for the two days we were gone.
Written September 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DanRichman
Seattle, WA23 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This review pertains only to the portion of the trail between one endpoint--Myra Canyon--and Chute Lake Resort, which is about 30 km to the southwest of Myra Canyon. The trail is very long, and detailed information about various segments, including their length and surface composition, is hard to come by, at least with a quick review online.

We rode the above portion in mid-May 2008. The 18 trestles for which the Myra-to-Ruth portion of the trail is so famous just re-opened in March. (They were burned in a huge forest fire a few years ago.) They are spectacular, and are now safer because handrails and planking have been added.

From Myra to Ruth, the trail's surface was suitable for road bikes equipped with 700x38 knobby tires. After that, it was composed mostly of sand. Because it was raining the entire duration of our trip, the sand was wet, and offered better traction than it would have dry. Beware the sand in dry weather--several people told us it is really tough going. Even wet, it was a discouraging slog.

Also, because the snow had just melted from the trail recently and it was raining so hard, there were at least a dozen huge puddles covering the entire width of the trail. These had to be waded, because riding through them could land you in a huge pothole, throwing you from your bike and possibly even breaking your frame or bending a wheel.

The ideal footwear for this trip would have been wool socks, waterproof socks (e.g., SealSkinz) over those, and Crocs. Too bad neither of us had thought of that beforehand. . .

The trail's surface is heavily potholed, possibly from the work trucks that have been traveling along it. We would have been a lot happier on full-suspension mountain bikes than on conventional road bikes fitted out with knobbies. But some bikers we met who had such bikes told us they, too, had problems with the sand, though they weren't as bothered by the potholes.

We were soaked, exhausted and freezing by the time we reached Chute Lake Resort, five hours after leaving Myra. But what a great place!

Full of character and characters. Warm, comfy, casual in the extreme. The owners, Doreen and Gary, are getting up in years, say they can't get help running the place, and are thinking about packing it in. We urge you to visit while you can. Gary's "museum," ostensibly worth $350,000, is several huge buildings full of traps, electrical insulators, farm implements, gas station accoutrements--an amazing hodgepodge of cool *stuff.*

Take the time to thoroughly plan and investigate your trip before setting out. It's a long way from Seattle. It took us about 8 hours each way, despite google maps' estimate of 6 hours.

And be aware that, once you're on the trail, you are far from civilization. There is no place to bail on this section, and not even any roof for shelter. So bring everything you need to be self-contained. You're up in the mountains, so -- at least in the early spring -- include plenty of warm clothing in waterproof panniers. (We're told heat is a problem in the summer months.)
Written May 23, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vaxt
Palm Desert, CA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Solo
I rode my bicycle from Peachland to the June Springs Road entrance to the KVR (South of Kelowna), then took the KVR to Naramata, then rode back to Peachland through Penticton, in a day, last summer. The bike I rode was a cyclocross style bicycle with knobby tires, and no suspension (rigid fork), and it worked well. I would not recommend using a road bike on this trail, but I would also not recommend using a full suspension mountain bike. A cyclocross or hard-tail mountain bike would be ideal, depending on your preferences.

My bike had trouble on June Springs Road, which leads to the parking lot of the KVR trestles (the main tourist spot, and the starting point of the KVR in the region). This section of June Springs Road is a loosely packed dirt road with grades exceeding 10%, and would probably be better tackled with a hard-tail mountain bike due to the gearing and more agressive tread; most people drive their cars up this section, only I was stupid enough to ride my bicycle up it. On the trail the slope is between 2% and 3% with no variation (it goes downhill from the Kelowna side to the Naramata side), this is due to the design of the railway; this makes it pretty easy to pedal along without getting tired in either direction. The condition of the trail when I was riding on it was not great; it is very sandy and can get pretty bumpy because of erosion, but it was clear and wide with very few hazards. Depending on how tough you are, you may want front suspension (to help with comfort) and fatter tires (to help with traction).

Once you're deep into the trail, and overlooking the lake, it is stunningly beautiful and serene. I can't begin to describe the view; it was really amazing. About half way through, you'll see Chute Lake, and there is a resort there. You can stay the night at the Chute lake resort if you want, but in my opinion the entire length of the trail between Kelowna and Naramata is a day trip, I went even further than that, and it was fine. South of Chute lake is an interesting tunnel, you can go inside it, but it doesn't go all the way through (yet). With some more donations, they intend to open up the tunnel and providing lighting, which I am really looking forward to. I got off the trail around Hillside Estate Winery, because riding on the road is smoother and faster, and the view is roughly the same.

Aside from riding the trail between Kelowna and Naramata, you can visit the Trestles which are awesome. It's almost completely flat, with good path conditions, and there are lots of interesting signs about wildlife and the history of the trail. The best part is, of course, the trestles and tunnels, which you can ride over and experience beautiful scenery and observe the interesting construction and history related the the KVR. I believe the length of the trestle area is roughly 11km, so it's very easy for anyone of any skill level to ride a bicycle along, even children. People wanting to walk are also welcome; the trail is very wide. I believe they also do guided tours of this section of the KVR.

Overall, it's pretty cool. In the summer it is very beautiful, and the history I thought was super interesting. You get the most for your time if you drive your car to the parking lot south of Kelowna and travel the section with the trestles and signage on a bicycle, and then back. If you want more of an adventure and exceptional scenery, then take the KVR south towards Naramata. If you do decide to go south to Naramata, I would recommend doing it in one day, and using either a Cyclocross or Hard-tail mountain bike.
Written May 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RickB7
Abbotsford, Canada59 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014
I don't know why the location listed is Okanagan Falls, as the trail doesn't really go through there, although a portion of the old trail does run along the west side of Skaha Lake from Penticton to OK Falls but doesn't really connect with the rest.
The entire KVR Trail runs from Midway,BC to Hope, BC for 500 kms. It is possible to begin at Castlegar for another 162 kms. I have only ridden the portions between Rock Creek and Hope.
The most popular area is between Kelowna and Penticton. The Myra Canyon portion, above Kelowna, is 11 km and is popular with bikes and walkers featuring 18 trestles and 2 tunnels. There are bike rentals available at the trailhead in the summer. The Little Tunnel is a popular destination with hard pack from Penticton and breathtaking views of the South Okanagan. There are parking lots closer to the tunnel in Naramata where the road crosses the trail if you don't want to travel all the way from Penticton (15km). A very nice through daytrip is from Kelowna (Myra Canyon) to Penticton via Bellevue Trestle & Chute Lake which is a wonderful place for a rest with food available. Many people also ride to Chute Lake & back from either Kelowna or Penticton to avoid arranging transport.
There are fully catered, guided tours available particularly between Rock Creek and Penticton. There are quite a few places to camp with tents along this stretch. Other portions, from Summerland to Hope are less traveled with fewer options for camping, particularly in the Coquihalla with bears plentiful in the Summer.
Some sections of the KVR have been opened to motorized vehicles recently and I have noticed it harder to ride on these portions as they make the trail very loose, like riding in sand. There is a strong lobby for this to continue & expand. It is difficult to travel east from Hope as there are steep sections on oil pipeline & forestry roads because the old railbed was destroyed by the Coquihalla Highway. There is fantastic scenery between the Coquihalla summit & Hope with about 8 kms actually ridden on the Highway.
I look forward to my time on the KVR & would like to continue my time on the TransCanada Trail system east & west.
Written January 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenn076
Calgary, Canada64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011 • Friends
This trail is amazing. We were biking it from Kelowna to Penticton. We took a shuttle from Penticton ($60.00 - 7:30am - http://www.ambrosiatours.ca/bikes.htm) to Kelowna and road back to Penticton. A great way to do the trail as it is all mostly flat or down hill. We had a fabulous day as it was partly cloudy but still about 20 degrees. The first 18 km is through valleys, canyons and you go over a total of 18 trestle bridges. Unfortunately through this area is where the devastation occurred a few years back from the forest fires however the trail is excellent, the trestles are all rebuilt and there has been a lot of work done replanting. This section of the trail is grated and quite a wide trail. As you pass all the trestles the trail starts to narrow and become more like an old logging road. The trail isn't actually that bumpy or rigid and my friend had smaller road tires on her mountain bike and had no problem. Although when she came to the sandier sections she had to work harder and spun out a bit. I had regular mountain tires and had no problem at all. At km 35-37 you come to Chute Lake. A nice little stop. The lodge is a little older and not well kept but it is a back country lodge that has electricity, restaurant and some sleeping quarters. The beer was cold, relatively cheap ($5) and oh so tasty. The next 35 km is a steaper grade down but not steep by any means. You are mainly in the bush until you come to the valley section where you are along side the mountain and have a view of the Okanagan. A couple tunnels and switch backs and then down into town. On the way in you have to stop at Hillside Estate Winery. Fantastic after a 6 hour ride. You must try their Pinot Noir Reserve it is to die for. The final section back into town is through vineyards and orchards with a lake view and some beautiful homes around you. You see the marina and the main beach and you are in town.

A fantastic day. We were slow and enjoyed our selves and ducked out of the rain few times, stopped for an hour for lunch and it took us 8 hours.

A trip not to forget and to highly recommend to everyone! I'll be back again :)
Written July 24, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Madelaine48
Garibaldi Highlands, Canada92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
We headed out from Penticton heading towards Chute Lake. The ride was spectacular! There is a constant grade of 1.9 going from that direction but it is a nice easy climb. The views are wonderful, you are riding through orchards and forest with lake views throughout your ride. There are lots of benches along the way for you to stop to enjoy all the beauty around you. If you are observant you will see lots of wildlife as you ride, marmots, deer, chipmunks and if you see the warning sign, perhaps even a rattlesnake. Fortunately we didn't see any of those... It is a must do if you enjoy bike riding, be sure to bring along some food and water for your trip.
Written April 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fishinwilk
British Columbia10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011 • Friends
The KVR trail from the Myra Canyon Trestles to Naramata is an incredible bike trip. Not difficult to ride at all (except for the sandy patches). This trail is not meant for road or hybrid bikes - bring your mountain bike - and lots of water!

The views are stunning and the restored trestles are amazing. Lots of great old train tunnels too! A great one day or two ride if you want to stay overnight in Naramata or Penticton.

The Myra Canyon from the East Parking Lot to the Parking Lot at June Springs Forest Service Road is about a 13KM ride or walk (non-motorized only). From June Springs FSR to Naramata, the ride is approx. 50 - 60km. We didn't know for sure. Motorized vehicles can access this section, so beware!

If you want to ride one way, you'll need a driver to drop you off, or use the shuttle service available from Penticton.
Written September 12, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EGMercer
North Saanich, Canada3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
We just completed biking the Kettle Valley Railway from Midway to Penticton and were blown away by our experience. Despite some signage issues and vehicle use on parts of the trail from Midway to Myra Canyon, all of these are resolvable and hopefully addressed in the near future. Apart from that, biking a railway grade trail through forests of pine and fir was an unbelievable way to cover 225km. Myra Canyon was exceptional and the railway trestles a sight to behold. Rock Ovens Regional Park added a special attraction we never knew existed (rock ovens were built by Italian and other European stone masons working on the railway and used to bake bread for railway construction crews more than 100 years ago!). The trail from Chute Lake to Penticton is essentially downhill all the way so the last part of the ride is exceptional, but we would strongly suggest that people consider biking the entire route from Midway. Definitely a Bucket List item.
Written October 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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