There are numerous cattle guards on this route, they are abnormally long but rideable at speed on road tires. Be safe and dismount if you’re a Gerry.
The popular Merckx Fondo features some fantastic riding and views, but with a detour to Summerland, stretches of riding on Highway 97, and some missed hills and backroads, it leaves us wanting MORE. OKRoutes has our own “custom poached fondo”, hot-n-ready off the griddle for you to enjoy!
Hillier, more epic, way more OK, this route will have you return home beyond-bonked, moaning on the couch while chocolate milk drips down your shirt & salt-caked face. This route takes you south from Penticton to Okanagan Falls, then north past Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory to Twin Lakes, back through Kaleden to Penticton, then to Naramata & back. An alternative finish to Summerland, instead of Naramata, is viewable here. We like starting this route by poaching the parking lot at Penticton Secondary School.
That said, with a couple hundred bucks to pay for lane closures, food stations, and a peloton to draft, the classic fondo route is a wonderful experience!
Points of Interest
- Campbell Mountain @ 0km
- Bad Tattoo Brewery @ 0km
- Cannery Brewing @ 0km
- A complete list of Wineries through Naramata and Penticton @ 0km & 158km
- Okanagan Falls @ 24km
- Vaseux Lake @ 30km
- Oliver @ 44km & 68km
- Osoyoos @ 57km
- Fairview Mountain Golf Club @ 69km
- White Lake Grassland @ 85km
- Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment @ 89km
- Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory @ 89km
- Twin Lakes @ 97km
- Kaleden @ 110km
- Skaha Lake @ 10km @ 114km
- Naramata @ 140km
Surfaces & Traffic
100% pavement with moderate-to-heavy traffic during the summer months.
Heading south on Eastside Road from Penticton to Okanagan Falls is beautiful smooth pavement, mostly flat, trending downhill. Okanagan Falls to Oliver employs a small stretch of Highway 97 after Maple St & Oliver Ranch Road. Tucelnuit Dr & Black Sage Road from Oliver to the north end of Osoyoos has a narrow shoulder, smooth pavement, and more wineries than a man can count. The initial stretch of the route will pass quicker than you think, so keep an eye on your map and don’t miss the turns! This southbound stretch has great lake views and dramatic rocky landscapes.
At the southern most point of the route, the cross roads are all numbered. Turning onto Road 22 and onto Highway 97 takes the route up to Fairview Golf Course and turns off at Road 5. The route then heads away from civilization up to Willowbrook Road, White Lake Road, & Twin Lakes Road. This portion of the route is narrow, two-lane road with good pavement. The landscape is hilly, and forested initially, becoming barren and dramatic grasslands as the route passes the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory towards Twin Lakes.
Twin Lakes to Kaleden is fast and downhill on Highway 3A — a 4 lane, undivided highway with a wide shoulder. The Kaleden to Penticton stretch of Highway 97 is very busy with traffic, and is arguable the least enjoyable part of this route.
Once back in Penticton @ 125km, you can give up and go back to your car or continue to Naramata and back for an extra 35km to make it a full OKFondo.
Refuelling in Oliver, at 45km, or 70km (detour into Oliver then back on Fairview Road up to Willowbrook Road) is a must. After this you’ll be away from resources until Twin Lakes @ 98km.
- Prague Cafe near 0km
- Falls Market @ 25km
- KJ Coffee Bar @ 25km
- Ticklerberry’s @ 25km
- Inkameep Food & Fuel @ 45km
- Orchard Hill Estate Cidery & Fruit Stand @ 58½km
- Twin Lakes Golf Resort @ 98km
- Twin Lakes Market @ 100km
- Kaleden Petro Canada @ 110km
- Jane’s Farmhouse @ 110km
- Numerous Options in Penticton to refuel @ 125km - 128km
- Grape Leaf Cafe @ 141km
- Penticton to OK Falls 21km
- Okanagan Falls to Fairview Golf Course 45km
- Fairview Golf Course Climb 1.2 km @ 8½%
- Peloton TT 18km rolling segment along the length of Willowbrook Road
- Twin Lakes Climb 15km 2½% segment incorporating the uphill portion of Willowbrook Road, turning onto White Lake Road, and Twin Lakes Road
And please be sure to…