Outdoor Recreation

Off-Road Adventures: Exploring Kelowna's Backcountry

Aerial view of the serene landscape in Kelowna with mountains, blue lake, and a clear sky.

The roar of engines, the thrill of exploration, and the untamed beauty of nature blend perfectly in Kelowna’s backcountry. For adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, the city offers a unique off-road experience that caters to both beginners and seasoned trailblazers. With a range of rugged trails and accessible vehicle rentals, Kelowna is a hub for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Bear Creek, West Kelowna

In West Kelowna, Bear Creek stands out for off-road aficionados. This vast, 85,000 acre area is laced with trails that cater to various skill levels, making it a perfect family-friendly destination. Trails here are well-marked, ensuring a safe yet adventurous ride. The diligent efforts of the Okanagan Trail Riders have kept this area pristine and open for exploration, cementing Bear Creek’s status as a must-visit for any off-road enthusiast.

Greenstone/Inks Lake/Chuwels Mountain, Kamloops

A little further afield, the trio of Greenstone, Inks Lake, and Chuwels Mountain near Kamloops offers a sprawling network of interconnected trails. These areas boast hundreds of kilometres of routes, ranging from forestry roads to technical single tracks. These trails offer something for everyone, from beginners looking for a leisurely ride to pros seeking a challenge. The extensive network allows for endless exploration, with new paths always waiting to be discovered.

Mount Ida, Silver Creek

Mount Ida's diverse terrain, a short drive south of Salmon Arm, promises an exhilarating experience. From open two-track paths along the mountain flanks to rocky, technical single-track trails within the forest, Mount Ida challenges riders at every turn. The western slopes of Mount Ida offer a longer riding season, starting early in spring, and with studded tires, some paths are accessible year-round. This area is renowned for its rocky terrain, so riders should be prepared for a physical challenge and the occasional flat tire.

Bardolph & Becker Lakes, Vernon

Over in Vernon, the Bardolph and Becker Lakes area is an example of the local off-road community’s dedication. With a history spanning over two decades, this area boasts more than 150 kilometres of trails. Recent revitalization efforts have seen old trails restored and new ones created. The Becker side offers a mix of mild and wild trails, with stunning views of Lavington, Coldstream, Vernon, and Kalamalka Lake, ensuring a ride that’s as scenic as it is thrilling.

Allendale Lake, Okanagan Falls

For those seeking a more secluded adventure, Allendale Lake near Okanagan Falls is a perfect. While not the largest area, it features 40-50 kilometres of well-maintained single-track and endless backroads. The terrain here is more suited to advanced riders, but beginners will find plenty to enjoy as well. The trails wind through typical Okanagan landscapes of loose dirt, pine trees, and rocks, offering a challenging backcountry experience.

Off-Road Vehicle Rental Options

Kelowna’s rental options make it easy for visitors to explore these adventures. Full Cyrcle Adventures, for instance, offers a range of ATVs, UTVs, Utility SXSs, and watercrafts. They provide 2 or 3 hour rental tours, and you are encouraged to bring your own gear for the best fit. Meanwhile, Okanagan Recreational Rentals presents a variety of options like the Polaris 570 4×4 and Yamaha Viking 700cc, with flexible rental durations from 1-7 days at a time to suit your adventure timeline.

Planning Your Off-Road Adventure

Preparing for an off-road trip in Kelowna involves more than just choosing a trail and a vehicle. It’s important to consider safety gear, weather conditions, and your own riding capabilities. Always respect the natural environment and adhere to the trails to preserve these beautiful areas for future adventurers.


Kelowna's backcountry is a playground for off-road enthusiasts. Its diverse landscapes offer something for every rider, from serene lakeside paths to challenging mountain tracks. With careful planning and respect for nature, an off-road adventure in Kelowna can be an unforgettable experience, filled with breathtaking views and exhilarating rides. The trails of Kelowna beckon you to explore the wild side of British Columbia.