Departing from Kal Beach, this is a solid route for training or for leisure & views in Vernon.
Don’t dismiss this route for its two out-n-back sections: with variations built into the course (Kokanee climb, Crofton switchbacks, and the The Rise climb) and spectacular lakeside views throughout, this is a must-ride while in Vernon.
Head up to Okangan College from Kal Beach, cross Highway 97 onto the bike path and then up Commonage Rd. From this point the route follows a horseshoe pattern around the North Okanagan’s Adventure Bay (sometimes referred to as Beachcomber Bay or Tronson). Deceivingly hilly, fast in sections, and with challenging options to climb (& descend), this route has it all.
Surfaces & Traffic
100% road with light traffic. Smooth pavement throughout, with the exception of a few kms (7-11) of Bench Row Rd.
Weekends can be busy with traffic along Eastside Rd to Ellison Provincial Park (a mountain bike trailhead full of dirty Tacomas). Tronson Rd is generally low traffic, but avoid Tronson during “rush hour” times on weekdays. Bella Vista Rd is narrow and has a not-so-there shoulder, so ride it with caution.
There’s no reason to stop to refuel during this ride, but here are a few suggestions for pre/post ride coffees ’n snacks:
- Rail Trail Cafe @ 0km & 77km
- Triumph Coffee @ 72km
- Ratio Coffee @ 73km
- Vernon Sports Club: A post-ride option that serves free wings on your birthday!
- Marten Brewing: Another post-ride option with good beer and substantial food.
Death Wish II @ 10½km. This descent is narrow, steep, surprisingly full of traffic, but AWESOME… as most dangerous things are. Just over ½km long @ -9.1%, so watch this first and be careful
Bench Rd to Outback @ 11km. A rolling, smooth pavement section from Vernon Yatch Club to Ellison Provincial Park. Hilly and challenging in this direction.
Outback to Bench Rd @ 22km. The reverse of the above segment for the out-n-back portion along Eastside Rd… so it’s faster than the aforementioned, trending downhill.
Crofton Switchbacks @ 42km. Break up the Tronson Rd out-n-back with this segment: a nice low-cadence gluteburner. Hop the yellow fire-evacuation route gate and blast up the tight switchbacks to the top.
The Rise Climb @ 57km. The 2nd most popular climb (after SilverStar) in Vernon. The fast times are fast, so don’t even look… but if one were to make an attempt the key to this segment is making power on the steep sections, and holding speed on the flatter sections — a motto for life, really.
Points of Interest
- Kal Beach @ 0km & 77km
- Allan Brooks Nature Centre @ 6km
- Vernon Yatch Club @ 11km & 36km
- Ellison Provincial Park @ 22km
- Kin Beach @ 39km
- The Rise @ 62km
Start from Kelowna / Lake Country via the Rail Trail, or OK Centre Rd / Commonage Rd and up & over Predator Ridge for a challenge, or squash the elevation profile by removing Kokanee, Crofton, and The Rise climbing segments.
And please be sure to…