Southwest British Columbia
September 10 -15, 2020
Showcasing some of the most remote, scenic, and adventurous sections of the BC Trail, our SW BC Gravel tour will see you riding an epic combination of gravel roads, rail trails, and double-track that were simply meant to be explored on a gravel bike!
Like veins supplying the lifeblood of BC’s economy, gravel roads and rail beds built to support the growth of forestry and mining form an intricate web throughout BC, winding through deep valleys, over high mountain passes, and along clear lakes and rivers. The BC Trail was created on backroad routes with both historical significance and beautiful landscapes, and allows you to adventure deep into the remote heart of BC in safety and comfort.
Just like competitors in the infamous BC Epic 1000, you will be riding through incredibly diverse terrain, from the high alpine passes of the Coast Range to the semi-arid plateau of the South Okanagan. But unlike these competitors who must be self sufficient and camp in the wilderness, you will be fully supported with a riding guide and support vehicle and you’ll finish each day with a warm shower, delicious meal, and comfortable hotel room.
- Climbing the picturesque Coquihalla Lakes Road, with glaciated peaks looming above and the Coquihalla River roaring below;
- Winding through the rolling meadows and ranch lands of Jura, as the expansive Similkameen Valley unfolds before you;
- Whooping and hollering as you roll down the KVR, descending through steep canyon walls along the fast-moving Trout Creek;
- Enjoying a delicious breakfast in the garden of E’Laysa Vineyard Guesthouse.
- Celebrating an incredible off-road adventure with a sunset winery dinner at Poplar Grove winery.
- Five nights double-occupancy accommodation at guest houses, cabins, and hotels;
- Five fully guided, van supported daily rides;
- Five delicious breakfasts and gourmet picnic lunches, along with ride nutrition and drinks along your rides;
- Shuttle service for you and your gear from Vancouver to Harrison Hot Springs on Sept 10, and return shuttle from Penticton to Vancouver on Sept 15;
- 1 set of Magic Places professional-grade cycling bibs and jersey;
- Our friendly and attentive customer service.
Sept 10: From our 12:00 pm pick-up in Vancouver, we shuttle to Harrison Hot Springs and check into the award-winning Bramblebank Cottages, where we’ll build bikes and head out for an easy shake-out ride along Harrison Lake and into Sasquatch Provincial Park. 30km/200m
Sept 11: After an early breakfast, we’ll load up the bikes for a short shuttle to the Coquihalla Valley, where we saddle up for a 95km ride through the glacier-carved northern Cascades and Similkameen mountains. Riding a combination of rail trail and gravel roads through deep river valleys and wide open back country brings us to Princeton, where you can soak your legs in the cool Similkameen River beside our historic cabin accommodations and enjoy a hearty dinner – you’ve earned it! 95km/1300m
Sept 12: Departing Princeton, we turn north and ride a remote section of the Kettle Valley Railway past Chain and Osprey lakes to the historic mining town of Bankier. To avoid washouts and a very loose section of trail, we leave the KVR to ride a short section of pavement to the summit pass before we begin the long, gentle descent down a well established gravel road. Returning to the KVR, we ride some of the most enjoyable and scenic sections of the tour, following Trout Creek through towering granite canyon walls until we arrive in Summerland. Our stay is the beautiful Summerland Waterfront Resort where cold drinks, good food, and a welcome swim await. 97km/900m
Sept 13: After two big days in the saddle, we dial it back for a relaxing ride to Penticton. After crossing the dramatic Trout Creek Trestle, we ride the ‘quiet side’ of the Kettle Valley Railway, high above the lake on the valley’s western flanks. Dropping down into Penticton, we’ll continue south to Skaha Lake, where we ride the shoreside rail trail to Okanagan Falls for a welcome ice cream at Tickeberries, before continuing north to the beautiful E’Laysa vineyard guesthouse in Naramata and a sunset winery dinner. 60km/700m
Sept 14: We’ve saved the best for last. After a short shuttle to Richter Pass, made famous in Ironman Canada, today’s ride climbs the gravel road to the scenic summit of Mt Kobau, looking down on the vineyards of Oliver and Osoyoos. From there, a ‘locals secret’ trail takes us along the summit ridge for 15 km of trail and double track, offering unparalleled views down both sides of the ridge. A welcome 13km descent follows, depositing us in Oliver where we’ll enjoy a winery lunch before shuttling back to Penticton. 50km/1250m
Sept 15: After a well deserved sleep-in and another sumptuous garden breakfast at E’Laysa, we return you to Vancouver, BC.