There’s a thriving, tight-knit community of mountain bikers throughout the Okanagan Valley, dedicated to the trails and lifestyle. The region’s beauty and unique terrain keep the local mountain biking community loyal, while attracting new bikers from all over.
The Okanagan is home to beautiful mountain desert regions that are fast becoming hotspots for mountain biking. These regions offer an array of grueling, white-knuckle trails as well as more mellow paths for less experienced cyclists and families. But no matter what type of terrain you prefer, everyone who rides these routes will get to experience the Okanagan’s unparalleled beauty up close.
Okanagan mountain biking trails provide diverse terrain
From the relatively smooth paths in the Glenmore Highlands to the heart-pounding, ultra-steep routes at Silver Star Mountain Resort, this region is filled with a wide variety of trails.
The area lures daredevil freeride and downhill specialists as well as more technical, cross-country riders and families. And many of these trails are easy to access from town or city centers. So whether you love tight turns and rocky terrain, or prefer smoother rides, finding your perfect route is simple.
The Okanagan has an excellent, well-maintained trail system thanks to local volunteers.
Organizations like the Mountain Bikers of Central Okanagan and Mount Vernon Trail Builders have helped develop, maintain and encourage responsible use of the area’s trails. There’s a tight-knit community of mountain bikers in the Okanagan and folks are always happy to provide visitors with tips on the best trails.
Check out some of our favourite mountain biking routes below:
Kelowna is known as a free rider’s paradise, so check out the great terrain offered by the Glenmore Highlands.
Located at the end of Granger Road in Kelowna, you will find this fragmented trail network, which consists of several flowing single-track and double-track mountain biking trails. These trails are great for beginners, as they are easier than the narrow and twisting paths of other nearby areas such as Knox Mountain Park.
A few tips we’ve heard from the locals are:
The Glenmore Highlands area is located north of Highway 97 and east of Gordon Road. It is only a 5-10 minute drive from Downtown Kelowna or 20 minutes from the Kelowna International Airport.
Considered the best kept mountain biking secret in West Kelowna, this trail offers spectacular views of Rose Valley Reservoir, Okanagan Lake and West Kelowna.
The downhill rides are exhilarating and the terrain is rugged, varied and challenging – with several lookout points where you can catch your breath. This is the perfect place to enjoy some great mountain biking, as well as the natural beauty of British Columbia.
A note from a few locals: some of the most amazing views of the valley can be seen from the top elevation, so make sure that you bring a camera. Additionally, the trail begins with climbing a fire road – pay close attention to your map so you don’t miss the turn.
Take Highway 97 west from Kelowna Bridge. Turn right after Byland’s Nursery on Barkley Road. Carry on for 300 metres and turn left when you reach Shannon Lake Road. Turn right again on Barkley Road. The McDougal Rim parking area will be 2.2km down this road.
This scenic 517-acre park has several thrilling mountain biking trails, which are built and maintained by the volunteer group Mount Vernon Trail Builders.
In the summer, these excellent trails are hard, fast, dry and in great condition with very little dust. These routes, which include “La-Z-Boy”, “Sidewinder” and “Surfer’s Way,” offer a range of fun and challenging experiences for the passionate mountain biker.
Most visitors will park at the top of the mountain, but you can also find parking on the left side of the road at the bottom.
Take exit 225 to Anderson Road and go east. Take the first left onto Cedardale Road and keep going. Turn right on East Blackburn Road and continue. Then, make a right turn onto Little Mountain Road. The parking lot will be on your right.
The Cosens Creek Mountain Bike Area is an excellent trail network, located on the south side of Vernon. There are several fun trails to choose from, including “Fraidy Cat” (an extremely challenging run), “Freaky Creeky” and the “Cosens Bay Express”.
You’ll find more than 20 different runs in the area, offering a fantastic range of trail features including log rides, rolling single tracks and excellent flowing descents. This great mountain biking area has been a favourite of local adventure seekers for quite some time. These trails are perfect for putting together in different combinations, so try to do several in a day such as High Rim Trail – Fore Play – Crosstown Traffic or Jimi Thing – Purple Haze – Interstellar.
The local favourite trail “No Boats” offers a loose, fast and rocky run.
Cosens Creek Mountain Biking Area is located on the south side of Vernon. Here is a map of the area.
We have a variety of accommodations all over the Okanagan Valley, including Kelowna, Osoyoos, and Vernon. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about the Okanagan biking trails, or the vacation rentals in the area. They’re available 7 days a week!