Biking at Myra Canyon – Summer in the Okanagan

Before heading out on the summer road trip to Kelowna, I made some research on what to do in Kelowna and one of the top recommended activities was to go biking along the trestles in the canyons at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park. Thus I made a reservation for 2 bike rentals from their website and because it is not a permanent store on the canyons, reservations are suggested since they have limited bikes that they bring up.

Morning view of the canyons
Morning view of the canyons

Also known as the Myra Canyons, the park is made up of the hills and canyons that surrounds the south-eastern portion of Kelowna and is easily accessible from the Four Points Hotel. The drive to the bottom of the Provincial took about 10 minutes in the morning where traffic was pretty light. From the base, drivers need to go through the Myra Forest Service Road, which is a gravel path that winds up to the top of the canyons where the bike rental is located at.

Myra Canyon map
Myra Canyon cycling trail map

At the top, there are no facilities and washrooms are in the form of an outhouse so it is best to bring some wet towels, mineral water and any snacks as the walk or bike can be quite long and with the warm summer in Kelowna, it is easy to get dehydrated. Having prepared these necessities the night before, we proceed to cycle through the winding path across the canyon, and we started off from the Myra Station with trestle no. 18 being the first one we cross.

Wildflowers along the trail
Wildflowers along the trail

What makes the biking trail interesting is that we cross through tunnels and trestles to reach the other end where we have to cycle back. The route is 12km one way and this makes for a 24km round trip. However the terrain is flat and thus relatively easy, as we completed it in less than 3 hours and this was with several photo stops along the way. There are also hikers trekking through the trails and some of the trestles are quite narrow so cyclists might need to wait at the other end to allow cyclists from the opposite side to pass through.

Cycling on trestle no. 11
Cycling on trestle no. 11

Some of the best views during the cycling can be seen from the start of the canyon where one can view Kelowna in the distance. Besides that, the middle of the trail around trestle no. 6, riders can get a panoramic view of the canyons. Trestle no. 6 is also perhaps the longest trestle of them all and the most awe-inspiring to ride across.

Biking across the trestle
Biking across the trestle
Canyon scenery around trestle no. 6
Canyon scenery around trestle no. 6

There are some wide areas with benches for riders to rest in along the way and it is recommended riders and hikers stop at these areas to prevent blocking the traffic as some lanes can get narrow. And these areas are also more scenic for a break! At the end after trestle no. 1, there is a nice spot to get a view of the gorge below and the view also changes somewhat after the trestle.

Looking down towards the gorge
Looking down towards the gorge, around trestle no. 1

At the other end, there is nothing else except another parking lot for visitors who have brought their own bikes. However this end of the trail is shaded and thus cooler in summer which makes it great for another resting spot before taking the return trip back.

End of the biking trail
End of the biking trail
Trees in the canyon
Trees in the canyon

Since we started off early, there was far less people during the outgoing trip. On the return trip, we saw more people as the clouds cleared up and the sun came out. Suffice to say, I stopped more along the way to take photos of the canyons with the sun out.

Trestle No. 9
Trestle no. 9
Trestle No. 10
Trestle no. 10 with one of the tunnels at the end
Trestle No. 13
Trestle no. 13

All in all, the cycling trail encompasses 18 trestles and 2 tunnels, and it was relatively easy for me to complete the whole trail even without stopping. The beautiful scenery along the canyon made it one of the most memorable activity we did in Kelowna. I strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the outdoor and the mountains as it adds a bit of history as well since the trestles used to be part of the Kettle Valley Railway that allows trains to traverse the mountainous terrains in the interior of British Columbia.

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