Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway

News from the Kettle Valley Railway
April to December 1997

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 New

Nov 6, 1997
Dan Langford
Wilkinson Creek Detour

There appears to be a road just pior to the 4x4 road that leads up from Wilkinson Creek Forest Service Road to the KVR at Lois. Chris Gilfoyle wrote me to say that a number of cyclists are getting lost mistaking this road for the 4x4 road to the railbed. This road runs out in about 1.5 km and does not connect to the KVR. The right road is about 500m from Highway 33 and is a grassy 4x4 road that forks about 150 metres from the start and both forks connect to the KVR.

Sept 4, 1997
pocket desert

Could someone tell me which section of the railway contains the pocket desert mentioned in the intro for this web site! (any other information on this section would also be appreciated)

Sept 3, 1997
Lana Mah
KVR Trip (Rock Creek to Hope) August 17-26, 1997 Road Condition Updates

We're back from our KVR trip.  It was wonderful.  We met quite a few groups during our ride.  Those groups cycled from Rock Creek to Penticton except for myself, Kirk and his brother, Craig.  We were the only group who were self-supporting through the trip.
Kirk and Craig cycled all the way to Hope.  Unfortunately, I had to stop cycling at Penticton. I developed a knee problem.  Then I became the support van for the guys from Penticton to Hope.

We would like to inform you of the following road conditions from the Carmi to Coquihalla Subdivisions:

Carmi Subdivision:

39.9 km - 75 year old Paul Lautard has a war memorial on his property.  He mentioned Rhone was
                named after a family living in the area and were from the Rhone Valley.

42.3 km - Little Dipper Campground.  BCAA approved.  $ 10.00/night.

~ 114.0 km - Possible collapsed rock oven located in a curve on east side.

~ 143.4 km - Possible collapsed rock oven east of rail bed.

Princeton Subdivision

Note:  All bridges, trestles and tunnels west of Summerland have been trenched and there are dirt
           mounds on both ends but still accessible for cyclists.

15.3 km - At the junction of Highway 40 and Dump Road (to Prairie Valley Station), disregard
                KVR signs.  They are sending you to the steam train station not to Faulder.
                Turn sharp right instead of left.

64.0 km - Campsite:  Osprey Lake Recreation Site.

65.0 km - Campsite:  Link Lake Recreation Site.

66.7 km - 3 Lakes General Store hours:  Sunday - Thursday  10:00 am to 6:00 pm
                                                               Friday & Saturday  10:00 am to 8:00 pm
                                                               Closed Tuesday
               - B&B's
                    a) Roxy's B&B  (250) 295-3337 (phone + fax)
                         - Cabins, rents ATV's & boats.
                    b) Crawford's B&B.  No other information available.

120.0 km - Mudslide onto rail bed.  Completely covered but passable.

132.1 km - Coalmont Hotel Store hours:  Open daily 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.
                  Coalmont General Store hours:  Open daily 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

152.5 km - Bridge piling undercut on south end.  Unsafe.  Cross dry river bed.

153.3 km - Thynne Lake pressed against valley's west wall.  KVR skirts east shore of lake.

Coquihalla Subdivision

5.6 km - CAUTION!  Major washout about to happen.  Half the rail bed is about to slip down the

5.8 km - Mudslide covering rail bed but passable.

13.1 km - Very difficult but passable 13.1 km & 13.9 km washouts allow 1 1/2 hours to conquer.

13.9 km - Very difficult but passable.  Worse than 13.1 km.

~ 25.7 km - Three major washouts but passable.

~ 29.9 km - Road to toll booths.  Access to highway for ride to 61.7 km.

84.3 km - Rail bed becomes single track.  Ridable with obstacles.

~85.0 km - Ranch "V" gate can walk through but lift bike over fence.

That's is for now.  This should assist anybody who plans to cycle these subdivisions this Fall.  If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

Lana Mah, Kirk & Craig Hunt (People can email me for details also.)

Sept 2, 1997
Alan Enns
Castlegar to Hope

Hi! Just completed Castlegar to Hope.
- C&W was in great shape. Really enjoyed this part (except for those weeds outside of Grand Forks).
- Having already done Rock Creek to Penticton on the KVR, we traveled from Rock Creek to Osoyoos via the VV&E and Hwy. 3. This made for a rather brutal day's ride as you first have to climb from Rock Creek to the VV&E, and later when you join Hwy. 3 at Bridesville, you get a couple epic hills to contend with. Just made it into Osoyoos minutes before a severe hurricane-like storm hit.
- Ride from Osoyoos to Penticton is really fast. Its level, and much of it is on a paved bike path. Many trees down across path from previous day's storm.
- Coquihalla Section; washouts at around km 13 are quite difficult - much harder than the ones on the Tulameen. The great news is that the washouts to the Transpipeline Road at km 32.7, 32.8 and 32.9 have been repaired! The new section is quite steep and loose, but easily traversed. After the washout area, the road is really in great shape and is mostly downhill. A couple nasty hills at the bottom, but all in all, this is one enjoyable ride. Was looking forward to an easy downhill ride when rejoining Hwy 5 , but strong headwinds ruled that out.
- Tired and a bit sore , I'd do it again tomorrow.

Sept 2, 1997
Alex Peterson
KVR-Columbia & Western

I am organizing a group ride on the KVR and C&W railbeds for summer, 1998. I want to include the trails from Nelson to Castlegar and from Castlegar to Midway. From what I am able to determine, these are owned by CPR. Whom can I contact for permission and is it likely to be granted? Is there track between Nelson and Castlegar? Any maps or info available for that segment? I see that this segment is included in this year's trail ride.

August 14, 1997
David Percy
Midway to Penticton

The first 25 km or so are very hard to follow at times, as far as the Provincial park. In Beaverdell, the Tamarack Lodge was very accomodating as we arrived late and they stayed open to allow us to eat. Food was pretty good and breakfast excellent. They offer a $20 B&B and its better than the Hotel, where we had booked (absence of noisy bar). Good subs available at service station across the street. Can't say enough about McCulloch lake resort. Their dinner, B&B and packed lunch package was $50 and great. Pam is a wonderful host and really accomodates cyclists. Their new lakeview duplex is nearly complete and a new lodge starts inn Sept. We are all definitely going back to stay!

August 13, 1997
Chris Moslin
Small Slide at Fisherman

Just to let you know that there's been an additional slide just two km south of Fisherman Creek. This makes vehicular traffic hazardous but doesn't impede bike or equestrian traffic.

August 11, 1997

We are planning a trip from Kelowna to Myra Caynon & back down to Penticton. We wonder how to get back to the car in Kelowna because we heard the trip back on the trail is all uphill - any ideas?

August 6, 1997
Helen Schiebel
KVR and hauling children

My husband and I would like to cycle the KVR between Midway and Penticton late September. We are seasoned cyclists but now we are traveling with a 10mo old child. Is this stretch suitable for a trailer - ie is the trail smooth or washboard? Intact or many detours? What is a reasonable time frame to complete the trip given my son will need to stretch his legs regularly? Is tenting along the trail allowed or recommended? Any information would be appreciated.

July 29, 1997
Alan Enn
NK&S washouts

Travelled NK&S from Spences Bridge to Nicola Lake and back June 27-29. Trail is fairly good, though some loose gravelly parts 10-20km west of Merrit. Definitely much easier travelling from Merrit to Spences Bridge! 4 washouts encountered from approx. km 31 to km 41, all seemed recent. The first (when travelling from Merrit to Spences Bridge) required a slight detour through Indian Reserve (ask permission if necessary). The other three were easier to get around, and did not require much additional effort. Plenty of wildlife, but watch out for rattlesnakes! We were also warned of many bears from local forester, though we never saw any. Pack water or carry filter, as the last 40km to Spences Bridge runs through very dry territory.

July 29, 1997
Princeton Subdivision
On July 20, 21, & 22 five of us cycled the Princeton sub from Brookmere to Penticton. The whole route was passable but quite a challenge. We encountered a rancher at the south end of Thynne Lake who informed us that the route was impassible. He was very insistant that if we proceeded we would end up having to back-track. He is giving out bad information.

The washouts on the Tulameen river were passable as the Tulameen River was not running too high.

The toughest obstacle to overcome was the removed bridge at km 37.7. Heavy rainfall the previous day had Trout Creek running fast & deep. We were able to ford the creek to an island slightly upstream & then cross the other channel via a log jam. I woudn't want to rely on this route being there in the future. The trail to the railgrade on the south side is VERY steep & was quite slippery. CP really spoiled the route by removing this bridge. Hopefully any future work on KVR will start with making the route passable.

On July 23 we cycled from Brookmere the road at km 12.4 on the Merritt Subdivision. There has been a trench dug along one side of the right-of-way from km 6.9 to km 7.2. It doesn't impair the route but it appears as though the work was incomplete.

July 19, 1997
james shamus@radiant.!!net
brookmere to hope - passable?

i would like to ride from brookmere to hope the first week of august. i am an experienced rider and have riden the other sections of the KVR in previous years. can this section be completed? i have heard conflicting reports...
thanks in advance...

July 15, 1997
Wilf Meier

A group of us made a day ride from Portia to the toll booth at the summit on July 12. The river is passable at the site of the washed out Bailey Bridge - someone made a small foot bridge from logs and rocks. A bear delayed us for a little while, we just wached him and I guess he got bored. Otherwise the trail is good other than some precarious single track at a washout just north of the Bailey Bridge site.

July 11, 1997
Peter Churchill
Trail Updates

Results of Trip July6-10 Myra Canyon to Hope
-foot traffic very busy on the weekend on trestle stretch through Myra Canyon

-trail is generally in excellent condition
-trout creek is fairly high but well below log crossing at 37.7km. Log crossing is no problem
-Faulder 24.9km has a general store but it is closed on monday
-Three Lakes Store at Bankeir closes at 6 pm and is not open on tuesday.
-Coalmont store 132.3 km is no longer open but there is a general store, laundromat and pay showers in Tulameen 138.8
Make sure you stock your food supplies in Summerland or Princeton

-washouts at 13.1 and 13.9 km are crossable even though the river level is fairly high. We had four in our group and it took a bit of teamwork and time to do these. These are probably not advisable for the faint of heart!!!
-Mine Creek 22.8km is currently much to high and rapid to try crossing
-Coquihalla Lakes Lodge has shower and an outdoor Hot Tub!!!
-We chose not to continue on the Pipeline road or railway until Othello road 74.6 km exit 183 (don't miss this section) as it was pouring rain and it had been raining most of the week. The Coquihalla River was quite high and we did not think we would be able to cross it at the washed out Baily Bridge just after the washouts at 32.7-32.9km, and no one in our group wanted to face going back through the washouts if we even made it that far.

We had generally very good weather for four of our five days. We were suprised on how few people we encountered cycling on the railway. This is an extremely beautiful and relaxing trip. For the most part you can ride side by side with other members of your party which is something you cannot generally do on road tours. Hope this info is of some help.

July 11, 1997
Mike Wolfson
Washouts past Princeton

There is a way to get around the washouts at kilometres 123.0 and 126.3. The detour at km. 123 is quite treacherous and difficult, especially with a bike, but it is possible. Start off going up the logging road that is on the right about 100 metres before the washout. Keep going along it past the first switchback and until you"ve gained fair bit of elevation. I can"t remember the exeact distance after the first switchback (about 200-300 metres), but start looking for ribbons (trail markers) tied to trees in the forest to the left of the trail (the downhill side). Go off the road towards the markers (which seem to be somewhat scattered) and go downhill until you find a faint trail along the top of the bluff above the river (Be careful not to fall off). Follow this trail along the river until you see it head back down towards the railbed. If riding with equipment, I suggest carrying everything separately to improve your balance. This is a very steep trail with much loose rock, and falling from it could be costly, so be careful! The second washout at km 126.3 is relatively easy to get around. Look for a large arrow made of stones on the trail immediately before the washout. It points you towards the best place to get you and your bike down to the river level. On June 30, the river was low enough to accomplish this detour, so it shouldn"t be a problem for the rest of the summer. Once at the level of the river, walk along the rocky bank until the other end of the washout is reached. At this point, there is another steep trail leading back up to the railbed.

July 11, 1997
Mike Wolfson
Re: Washouts near Princeton and bridge out at Trout Creek
I recently (Late June) cycled the sections you are wondering about. The log across the river at Trout Creek is above the water level, but the river is still quite high and dangerous. Our party decided to detour around it and cross on the road bridge. To get to the road is quite difficult. Coming from the east (Penticton), look for a slide composed of sand that has come down the side of the hill on the right of the railbed about 50 metres before the missing bridge. Starting at the bottom right of the slide and sort of angling higher and towards the left is a faint trail. Following this trail, which is somewhat difficult in parts will eventually lead to the road bridge. The trail doesn't get too high above the riverbed, so even if you can see the road high on the bank above you, staying on the trail is much easier than trying to get your bike up the steep embankment.

July 9, 1997
Jeanette McLatchie
Columbia & Western - Castlegar to Midway
I"ve ridden through many of the sections, and I have to say riding west to Grand Forks has to be the most beautiful thus far. We chose to ride the railbed, rather than jump up to Highway 3. The trail is overgrown. In places, purple wild flowers grew higher than my thighs as I rode. Further along, the weeds are above my head! We had to stand up to see over them. At one point, the lead rider was simply unable to push through the undergrowth. It was such an amazing experience that I was laughing out loud as I rode through it. I strongly recommend to any other rider to stay true to the railway and keep off the highway. It's worth it. And then you can really deserve the excellent food and beer at the Grand Forks pub-station. Happy trails!

July 6, 1997
Wayne Borowiec
September trips?

I'm looking for information regarding any group trips in early September...Ideally I would like to bike the whole thing. Need to know the Do's and Don'ts on what to take and what my bike could use.

July 2, 1997
Wilf Meier
Update on the Coquihalla and Merritt Subdivisions
A group of us are hoping to ride the Coquihalla and Merrit Subdivisions the weekend of July 12. I see that on this message board there are lots of washouts etc., some passable some not and some other updates that don't say. Has anyone ridden these sections lately? will the water levels allow passage?

June 29, 1997
TungYat Wong
Bus Services from Osoyoos to Midway
Hello, I am Tung. I just read the Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway book and very interested to cycle this great railway.

I am living in Greater Vancouver. and I plan to cycle this railway, so that I would like to get some information about this railway, such as Bicycle Rental, Bus servive and Accomodation. The book said that we can park our car in Midway, cycle to Osoyoos, then take bus back to Midway, is that true.
Looking forward your reply,

June 24, 1997
Dave Brown
McCulloch Lake Resort

Just an update on the McCulloch Lake Resort in the Midway to Princeton section. They now supply meals on request and have some groceries. Their phone number is 1-250-491-8804, still a radio phone but plans to expand and improve the resort include a new direct phone.

June 22, 1997
Eric Hamilton
Myra to Penticton Trip

We are two couples planning a trip from Myra to Penticton. Any ideas how we might get ourselves and bikes to Myra Station without having to leave our vehicle there and recover it later? We are planning on staying at or near Kelowna.

June 19, 1997
Henry Myers
Campsite at Bellevue
Does anyone have any experience with the campsite at Bellevue Creek km 154.8 Midway to Penticton. It shows in the Langford's book but it was not shown in another back-country map book I have.
How far and how high (or low) is it off the trail?
Is it a pleasant place to stay?
Will Bellevue Creek have any water in it in mid to late July?

Last Summer 5 of us rode from Beaverdell to Okanagan Falls. It was one of the best rides ever, so we are back this time 12 to 14 strong to do it all again and take on the next loop to Princeton.

To the person who asked about street vs mountain bikes. On the trail mentioned above, a very skillful rider could have used a street or touring bike. A Mt. Bike would be much more comfortable and stable. The slope into Penticton has, for example, many sandy sections, so really good tires are a must.

To the person considering taking their dog. I didn't see any dog catchers and a well-behaved dog would probably not catch the ire of any farmers or sheep-herders, but all dog owners should be warned that farmers have the right to shoot dogs who are harrassing their livestock. More the the point, on the section of trail between Myra and Chute lake, our group ran short of water. The first swamply lake we saw must have looked like an oasis to a person marooned in a desert. Dogs need a lot a water to keep cool. If you take a dog, please carry a lot of water. I would not travel this section with less than 3 litres per person (or per dog).

Finally one of the customs we quickly adopted was to stop at any body of water when there was one and soak our t-shirts and wet bandanas for under our helmets. This is hot, dry, country.

I hope this helps and that someone will post some information on the Bellevue campsite

Thanks to all.

May 27, 1997
Jeanette McLatchie
Princeton Subdivision
We travelled the section from Penticton to Princeton on the May long weekend. The creeks were in full flood. The crossing of Trout Creek at 37.7 was impossible. The log mentioned in the book was slightly underwater and the current was strong enough to sway the log and the legs of any person attempting to straddle it. The rope is not there anymore. We detoured up the steep slope, vertically approx. 100m, to Highway 40 and rejoined the KVR across the bridge, less than 500m down the road. We're planning to ride the Castlegar to Midway section next. If anyone has ridden it recently please email me with the details

May 27, 1997
Andrew Bizon
Drivers and other 'users'
I am wondering if any other KVR users are questioning the wisdom of allowing cars on the right of way. Having ridden many different sections of the line, it seems to me that car traffic is slowly destroying the railbed. When I pointed out this fact to Forestry they were utterly befuddled and indifferent to the issue. Would anyone else like to see cars kept off.

May 16, 1997
Paul G.
Hi everyone. My wife and I are seriously considering cycling the KVR this summer. We're thinking about bringing our dog with us, since he can run 30-40 km no problem. Are dogs allowed on the trail? Thanks

May 5, 1997
Stan Hindmarshstan
Riding the Railway
We hope to do a pre-ride on May 10th in preparation for a full ride to include 30 plus guys from ages 15 to 45 on May 24th & 25th. We understand the area from Princeton to Coalmont could be the roughest so have elected to preride this section - is it impassible and should we delete this from the proposed ride on May 24th & 25th from Princeton to Brodie. Thank-you Stan Hindmarsh.

May 1 1997
Terry Richter


April 27 1997
Tibor Balogh (Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society)
Myra Canyon

I met Michael Bellini, the executive Director of TransCanada Trail, this weekend. They are preparing a one-hour special on the TCT, narrated by Lloyd Robertson, to go on CTV this fall. He is suggesting to the director of the production that Myra be one of the spots on the show.
BC Lands is planning a traffic count of pedestrians in Myra this summer, using a laser scanner-type detecting device. This will count traffic over the entire summer. Our guess is 25,000 people. Apparently, a presentation in Vancouver on cycling the KVR corridor drew 150 people! We are seeing lots of groups going through there.

April 27 1997
Jeanitte McLatchie
Washouts around Princeton

Yesterday we travelled a few kilometers near Princeton. We found the two major washouts to be completely impassable
(km 123.0 & km 126.7) and we resorted to riding up a logging road up to the main road and into Coalmont. This isn't shown in the book. We're curious about the washout at Trout Creek, 37.7 km. I've been told that this is 100% impassable at this time of year due to high water level. (They say the log is under water.) Is this true?

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