The KVR covers 455 kilometres and over that distance you can expect every different type of trail surface imaginable! from practically paved hard packed surfaces (particularly near major centres where trail upgrades have been done recently and in provincial park areas such as Myra Canyon) to single track sections, detours due to rock fall/wind blown trees/slides, standing water particularly on the upper sections around McCulloch Lake and Myra Canyon to Chute Lake, as well as soft, sandy conditions and some rocky areas.
Standing water is generally found up to the end of June and sometimes the end of July depending on snow pack and spring/summer rains.
Sandy conditions become more apparent as the summer heats up and the moisture evaporates from the ground. If you have booked a tour with us, we will let you know of any extreme conditions just prior to your tour, but please keep in mind that the KVR is predominantly a wilderness trail and conditions can change at any time – be prepared! We recommend riding with a minimum width of 1.9″ knobby tires.
This website is provided by Paula Sheridan, owner & operator of KVR Outfitters Bike Rentals & Tours. It is designed to help give you the information needed for a day or multi-day trip on the KVR which is a large and complex trail. The aim here is to cover a variety of communities/regions with one website rather than having to piece a lot of information together. You can also contact us for information on having a planned/self-guided or supported tour itinerary for yourself or a group.
The KVR is about 455 kilometres in length with numerous access points. To help facilitate multi-day trips, we have chosen to be a “mobile operation”. This means we can deliver bikes to you at various points along the trail to start your journey and pick them up at your finish point.
Yes! our specialty is in creating customized self-guided multi-day trips along the KVR. These generally are 3-6 days in length (can be more or less to suit your time frame) and we use a variety of hand-picked accommodation again to suit your taste/budget and time frame. We can provide any or all of the following:
Bike rentals – specific for the trail with wide tires, rear racks, panniers plus route directions and maps
meals where no shops or restaurants are available
tips and information on trail conditions, places/wineries to visit, alternative activities
Yes, we can arrange bike rentals for you in Penticton, Naramata, Rock Creek and Midway. We have storage and drop off centres in these areas and can deliver bikes to your accommodation or arranged meeting point on the Trail.
No – Myra Canyon is about midway through the Carmi Subdivision section of the KVR. The official start, or “Mile 0” of the KVR is in Midway, BC. The Kettle Valley Museum is the former Railway station of the trail. Please note, the Station is a Museum, not a cycling information centre. We do update the staff at the museum as much as possible with current conditions.
If you are starting at Mile 0, you can leave your car at the Museum – please leave a donation and let the staff know when you plan to return. For after hours these is a sign in/out sheet by the front door.
For a multi-day trip, we recommend not earlier than June and not later than end of Sept-early October. Although the Okanagan Valley is generally hot and sunny, the higher elevations before and after this area are prone to snow and flooding.
Typically the ride is broken down into sections – the most common, or area we recommend the most, is a 4-7 day ride from Mile 0 in Midway to Penticton. This is known as the Carmi Subdivision. This takes about 4 days comfortably and adding 2-3 days layover time to explore Naramata, Penticton and cycling south to Oliver is highly recommended.
Yes, this is known as the Columbia and Western Trail and is also part of the TransCanada Trail. The Columbia and Western Trail ends at Midway where the KVR begins.
We now have maps available for the KVR – designed and printed locally they are 100% KVR – with detail on how to get into places off the trail such as Beaverdell, Rock Creek and Naramata – these 11 x 17″ full colour maps are 2-sided – each with an overview of the KVR plus one section. Midway to Beaverdell, Beaverdell to Myra Canyon, McCulloch to Chute including Myra Canyon and Chute Lake to Penticton comprise the Carmi Subdivision – or the popular Midway to Penticton route.
Add the city of Penticton plus the Southern Spur Route to Oliver & Osoyoos for a set of 6.
Have them shipped to help you plan your route, or pick them up in Penticton – email us for information or to place an order at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much of the KVR is what we would call a “wilderness trail” so yes, you need to have a good awareness and be prepared to take precautionary measures. Wildlife you may encounter includes cougars, coyotes, deer, moose, elk, wolves, bears, badgers, marmots, rattlesnakes as well as insects – mosquitos can be prolific from May to July and most importantly wasps in August and September when they can become aggressive. Be sure to take a good first aid kit with you including anti-histamines. You may want to consider carrying bear spray, but making noise and staying together is your best way to avoid unwanted contact with wildlife. This helps to let the animals know you are approaching and gives them time to move away.
Please read here for a list of etiquette tips to follow when cycling the KVR. Please note: you may encounter some 4 wheel drive or motorized vehicles when cycling the KVR. Please report any unsafe practices as soon as possible to: . In this way, we hope to create a safe and enjoyable cycling experience for all for today and into the future of the KVR.
Trails BC is a fabulous resource for this and many other trails and adventures to be found in British Columbia – we wish you a lifetime of happy trails!