Expert Trails: Challenging Mountain Bike Rides Around Kelowna

A mountain biker on a trail on Mount Conkle overlooking Summerland
Kari Medig

Mountain biking in Kelowna transcends mere sport; it's an adventure that challenges the spirit and ignites the senses. Examine the city's most thrilling mountain bike trails, designed for those who relish a challenge and seek to test their mettle against some of the most exhilarating rides in the region.

Myra-Bellevue: Vapour Trail

In the expanse of Myra-Bellevue, the Vapour Trail demands endurance and skill. Starting near the KVR, this 2.6-mile descent is not for the faint-hearted. It begins with a steep chute, its conditions varying with the seasons, from slippery in the wet to loose and dusty in the dry. As riders navigate through rocky roll features and optional jumps, they're immersed in a landscape of rugged beauty. The trail offers bail-out options, but for those who commit, it’s a thrilling ride with embedded rocks and steep sections that demand attention and skill.

Myra Bellevue: Angel Springs/KLO Creek Trail

The Angel Springs/KLO Creek Trail in Myra Bellevue is distinct in its character. The trail, accessed via the Myra-Bellevue system or June Springs, presents a 1.9+2.5-mile descent. It features a rocky terrain amidst ponderosa pines, leading to a side hill descent through Catapult Canyon into a lush, cedar-dominated microclimate. The path is educational, adorned with informative signs, and challenges riders with multiple river crossings. This trail is a journey through diverse ecosystems, where riders must stay alert for washed-out sections and hikers, especially on busy weekends.

Gillard: The Original Free Ride Trails

Gillard trails represent the essence of freeride mountain biking. Developed in the late '90s, these trails cater to intermediate and expert riders. Accessed via Gillard Forest Service Road, the network offers fast single tracks, gap jumps, and technical features like rock gardens. For a challenge try Big Bird, Boss Hog and Casino Royale. Although there’s no climb trail, and the access road is dusty and busy, the descent rewards with an adrenaline-fueled experience showcasing the best of freeride mountain biking.

Powers Creek

Located in West Kelowna, Powers Creek is for advanced riders. The trail network, though small, offers fast, technical trails brimming with wooden features. Despite its unregulated status, the local mountain biking community maintains the trails, ensuring they remain challenging yet safe. Access is via Glenrosa Road, leading to multiple trailheads. Builders Only and Crazy Train are local favourites. These trails are known for their aged wooden structures, some restored by local carpenters, adding a unique character to the riding experience.

Safety and Preparedness

Mountain biking on these trails demands not only skill but also a commitment to safety. Proper gear, awareness of trail conditions, and riding within personal limits are crucial. Riders should also practice environmental stewardship and respect trail etiquette, ensuring these trails remain a pillar for the mountain biking community.


Kelowna’s challenging mountain bike trails offer a thrilling experience for expert riders. Each trail presents its unique character and challenges, making them a must-visit for those seeking an adrenaline rush and a test of their abilities. While enjoying these trails, remember the importance of safety, respect for the environment, and the local biking community's efforts in maintaining these paths. So gear up, ride responsibly, and embrace the rugged beauty and exhilarating challenges of mountain biking in Kelowna.