My favourite places for Gravel Riding

My favourite places for Gravel Riding

Let's face it, exploring gravel roads is not so easily done in the lower mainland. Sure, we have some short jaunts to help with our fix, but to really get to the goods, we head to the interior of the province.

My wife and I have spent a lot of time exploring BC's gravel country - from the The Cariboo to the southern Okanagan (and just about everything in between). Here are a few of our favourite spots that we frequently visit:

The Cariboo. Stretching from Clinton to 100 Mile, this area encompassing the Bonaparte Plateau has probably the best gravel riding in the country (if not the World). Hundreds of kilometres of dirt riding goodness that will bring deep into the backcountry and skirting the upper Fraser River. There are some massive climbs and equally massive descents to be found, so make sure you're prepared to be out all day. Oh, and bring a camera because you'll see some epic scenery, wildlife, and things like the Churn Creek Suspension Bridge at Gang Ranch:

The Kettle Valley Railway. Perhaps the most popular gravel riding route in the province is the KVR, and for good reason. Stretching about 650kms, this nearly flat ex-railbed is perfect for the beginner rider or the seasoned vet who simply craves distance. The scenery is best described as mind-blowing as you can cross 18 trestles, massive canyons, and spooky tunnels. The best part is that the rail trail is so easily accessible most of the way. Our favourite hopping on point is at Naramata to Myra Canyon. This route gives you all the criteria for a great ride.

Kamloops. I may be a little biased as I spent 18 years in this desert city, but the ease of gravel riding access from the city core is probably the best anywhere. You can complete multi-loop excursions in a weekend trip, making them as long or as short as you please. The dry climate helps create silky smooth dirt roads, unlike anything you'd find on the coast. Plus, there are over 300 remote access lakes surrounding Kamloops. My favourite is Long Lake Road to Ross Moore Lake Provincial Campground. It's not overly long, but it is challenging.

My bike of choice is an easy one - The Bianchi E-Arcadex. This carbon fibre gravel bike features a powerful Bosch Performance Line motor and a Shimano GRX600 gravel-specific component line. It's the perfect tool for creating your next adventure.


Wayne Parsons


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