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Riding Route: Hwy 97 South, Hwy 3 and Hwy 33 - Peachland, Osoyoos, Rock Creek, Kelowna

Updated: Aug 28, 2012
Submitted by: explorer
Country: Canada
Province: BC
Region: South Okanagan
Route types: Secondary Highway, Freeway or Major Highway
Riding Surface: Pavement (100%)
Most Suitable For: Street Bike
Also Suitable For:

Summary

Follow Hwy 97 from Peachland to Penticton. Optionally ride Eastside Road along Skaha Lake to Okanagan Falls and then continue on Hwy 97 to Osoyoos. East on Hwy 3 to Rock Creek then north on Hwy 33 to Kelowna.

Route Map


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Details

Most of Hwy 97 from Kelowna to Penticton is four lanes with moderate to heavy traffic. Except for crossing the bridge over Okanagan Lake, there is nothing much to like about the ride through Kelowna and West Kelowna. The ride improves south of the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C) exit where the highway becomes two lanes and offers nice views of Okanagan Lake. At the bottom of the hill is Peachland, a worthwhile stop with a nice waterfront with lots of free parking, shops, parkland and easy access to the lake. A ways south of Peachland the highway becomes four lanes again – all the way to Penticton – but the road and the views are much more interesting than the stretch through West Kelowna.

Once in Penticton, we detoured to a road along the east side of Skaha Lake – Lakeside Road / East Side Road. It’s an enjoyable side road that runs along the lake edge for a good ways. The speed limit is 60 km/h, and there can be a fair amount of traffic – cars and bicycles. It’s a pleasant ride with some nice corners along the way that brings you to Okanagan Falls, a small community with another nice waterfront park. The easiest way to access this side route is to follow Hwy 97 / Channel Parkway, then left on Skaha Lake Road, then right on Lee Ave and right on South Main Street which then becomes Lakeside Road and later East Side Road. Alternatively ride through downtown Penticton (Martin St, Main St, South Main St). Penticton also has a really nice Okanagan Lake waterfront close to downtown.

From Okanagan Falls take Hwy 97 to Osoyoos, about 45 km away. It’s all two lanes from now on except for some passing lanes. The route takes you through orchards, past rock cliffs, Vaseaux Lake and through Oliver. There are some decent corners along the way, but there is also quite a bit of straight road. Except for a few stretches, it’s not that interesting. The best riding of the route begins once on Hwy 3 and then onto Hwy 33.

Hwy 3 from Osoyoos to Rock Creek is a good ride. There are a lot of sweepers, and the pavement is in good condition. The highway winds its way up the mountainside for several kilometers. There is a great view point along the way that you should definitely stop at. The sweepers continue after climbing out of the valley though there are some straights along the way. Eventually the road descends and you arrive at Rock Creek, a small community that offers food and gas. There are no gas stations between Rock Creek and Kelowna, about 130 km away, so you may want to fill up your bike before continuing on Hwy 33.

Hwy 33 is a great motorcycle road with light traffic. The highway starts off kind of lazy and runs through a valley with farmland and the Kettle River. The Kettle River Provincial Park is worth stopping at. There is a bridge over the river that you can walk across (no vehicle access) and some trails on both sides with easy water access. It’s a nice spot for camping or a picnic. As you travel further north the corners are tighter and closer together. The road gradually climbs to an elevation of 1265 m at about 98 km from Rock Creek. A short distance past the summit is the turn off to Big White ski resort. Thereafter the road descends quickly along a steep mountainside and contains many sharp corners. Before long the road opens up somewhat, but there are still a lot of good corners before reaching Kelowna.

The pavement along Hwy 33 is mostly in good to excellent condition. There is about 18 km of new pavement (August 2012) from Beaverdell northwards. There are several km of patched pavement northwest of the summit. I would not recommend riding the stretch of road from the summit to Kelowna in the late afternoon / early evening as you will be riding with the sun in your eyes making it very difficult to see.


GPS File(s)      

No GPS files found for this riding route
Comments (You must sign-in to add a comment)

Posted 2/17/2013 1:25:44 PM by Berdoo

When leaving OK Falls leave by making a left on 10th ave then a right on Maple st.stay on Maple it will have a name change to Oliver Ranch Road .... It's a nice twisty mountain road better than staying on hwy 97.The road comes out near the start of Vaseaux lake.A left turn and your back on Hwy 97