Exploring Kelowna on Two Wheels: A Motorbike Adventure Guide

Motorcyclists riding through the Lower North Thompson Valley near Barriere, BC
Kelly Funk

Kelowna beckons motorbike enthusiasts to its scenic landscapes, where every turn reveals a new vista. This guide is your key to unlocking a motorbike adventure in this active city, blending exhilarating routes with captivating stops.

Top Motorbike Routes in Kelowna

Loopin’ 97

Embark on a 246 km loop that takes you through Kelowna, Osoyoos, and along Highway 97. This route is a journey through varied terrains, offering a fresh perspective at every bend. Depart Kelowna on Hwy. 97, traveling west through West Kelowna, then south through Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, and Oliver. The first 70 km of the ride feature the beautiful Okanagan Lake to your left. After Penticton, the route takes you through orchards, farmland, and past smaller lakes such as Skaha and Vaseux. In Osoyoos, you'll encounter Canada’s only pocket desert, perfect for exploration. You can return the way you came or opt for the Kelowna-Rock Creek circle route. This ride covers a total of 246 km, with a travel time of about 4 hours without stops.

Vernon Westside Road Route

This route offers its fair share of adventure with tight, snake-like curves, steep drops, and stunning lake views. After about 80 km, Westside Road meets Hwy. 97, where you can cruise into Vernon. From there, it’s another 45-minute scenic highway ride through the Okanagan’s Lake Country, completing the full circle back to Kelowna. The total mileage for this route is 133 km, with a travel time of about 2.5 hours without stops.

Kelowna–Rock Creek & Back Route

Head east from Kelowna on Hwy. 33, traveling 135 km to Rock Creek. From there, turn west on Hwy. 3 for a 51 km ride to Osoyoos, featuring an amazing series of switchbacks and hairpin turns as you descend Anarchist Mountain. From Osoyoos, head north on Hwy. 97 for a 123 km ride back to Kelowna through Penticton. This route covers 309 km, with a travel time of about 4.5 hours without stops.

Kelowna–Princeton–Penticton Circle Route

This route offers a diverse experience from valley floor to mountain top. Begin by heading west on Hwy. 97 from Kelowna and picking up Hwy. 97C just north of Peachland. The “Connector” will take you 81 km to Hwy. 5A, then turn south for a 90 km ride to Princeton. From there, head east on Hwy. 3 through Hedley and Keremeos, then veer left onto Hwy. 3A for Penticton. In Penticton, turn north on Hwy. 97 for the final leg back to Kelowna. This extensive route covers 339 km, with a travel time of about 5 hours without stops.

Scenic Highlights Along the Routes

Okanagan Lake

Ride along the shores of Okanagan Lake, where the water mirrors the sky and the mountains frame your journey. This route offers a visual feast with every turn.

Myra Canyon Trestles and Naramata Bench

Experience history and viticulture as you pass through the Myra Canyon Trestles and the vineyards of Naramata Bench. These sites combine natural beauty with cultural richness.


The ride culminates in the beautiful town of Osoyoos, a perfect spot to reflect on your journey and plan the next one.

Must-See Stops for Motorcyclists

Crawford Falls

While the waterfall access trail is currently closed, the area around Crawford Falls remains a sight to behold. The serene forest setting is a perfect backdrop for a restful break.

Bear Creek Provincial Park

Just 11 kilometres north of Kelowna, this park offers more than scenic forest and canyon trails. It also has a campground and access to sandy beaches on Okanagan Lake.

Okanagan Heritage Museum

Learn about the region's history at Kelowna's flagship museum. The revamped exhibits take you through a journey from ancient tools to the oldest trading post in town.

Safety Tips and Best Practices for Motorbike Riding in Kelowna

Riding Dynamics and Safety

Understanding your bike and the riding environment is crucial. This includes knowledge about licensing, insurance, and the types of motorcycles suitable for different terrains.

Practical Riding Skills

Skills like pushing, mounting, starting a motorcycle, slow speed riding, gear changes, controlled stopping, swerving, and counter-steering are essential for a safe ride.

Traffic Skills

Navigating traffic requires proficiency in pre-trips, intersection behaviour, lane changes, hill starts and stops, and understanding downtown traffic patterns.

Gear Requirements

Kelowna's gear standards are stringent for a reason. A full-face helmet, jacket, and gloves are more than just accessories; they're your first line of defence.


Kelowna’s motorbike routes offer a unique blend of scenic beauty, cultural richness, and adventure. As you plan your journey, remember to ride safely and responsibly, savouring each moment on these captivating roads.