Are you new to gravel riding and happen to be looking for a reasonable challenge? Or have you already achieved privateer gravel guru status but only have a couple hours to spare? Either way, the route you’re looking for lies just east of Vernon: 18km of spectacular gravel between Lavington and the lower slopes of Silver Star Mountain. It’s accessible, yet challenging enough, and perfect for those not wanting to make a big time commitment — you’re never too far from a garbage-food-stocked gas station or an overpriced downtown donut 🍩.
Depart from Kal Beach and head east through Coldstream to Lavington on back roads. There’s a short paved climb up Brewer Road that serves as a good warm-up along the way. 15km from the start point the route reaches Lavington and the gravel begins, after which you’ll traverse hard-packed gravel through Noble Creek, then climb 11km up to Dixon Dam on steep forest service roads (Coldstream Creek, Becker Lake, Rhino, Watershed, and finally Brandon FSR), and there’s exceptional views in all directions.
Even if you’re spent at the top of this route, the last half is all downhill. This ride serves as a good sample of gravel between Lumby and Silverstar. Along the higher portions of this route you’ll see switchbacking forest service roads all over the valley — this should get your gravel imagination going.
Before passing Dixon Dam there’s a short 500m section of tight ATV trail before returning to gravel. Note: this route does not head directly to Dixon Dam, but it’s a short detour if you’re dying to see a very small body of water.
After Dixon Dam, the route hits an access gate when it transitions back into pavement, and then it’s downhill all the way to the end point. Pass BX Park on quiet roads back into Vernon, stop at Ratio for a donut and coffee, and finish the ride by hitting the beach and jumping in Kal Lake.
Points of Interest
Surfaces & Traffic
~40% gravel of varying quality. The beginning and end of the ride are on quiet pavement (apart from a 4km stretch of Highway 6) of good condition; when on gravel you’ll see a few campers and ATVs.
- Rail Trail Cafe & Market by Gumtree @ 0 & 50km
- Kalavida Surf Shop @ 0 & 50km
- Lavington Superette @ 16km
- Lavington Market @ 16km
- Bluenose Mountain Bistro @ 16km
- Tony’s Craft Cidery @ 16km
- Ratio @ 45km
- Brewer Road Climb @ 9½km. 1km @ 7.6% makes this a spicy intro to the ride. If you don’t feel good here the rest of the ride might suck.
- I guess we need to start making segments now too…
And please be sure to…