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Interior Northbound B.C. Routes?

Old 05-22-13, 04:04 PM
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Interior Northbound B.C. Routes?

Iím trying to determine the most ideal route for touring from Osoyoos to Valemount British Columbia, that is a bit more reliable than Google Mapís cycling option. Iím loosely connecting ACAís Sierra Cascades and Great Parks North bicycle trails. Primarily, Iím interested in a route that provides adequate safety, low-ish traffic, ample resupply options and bike repair shops. So, please, if anyone has any experience cycling between these locations or portions of the route (ie Osoyoos to Kamloops or Kamloops to Valemount) Iíd be very appreciative to glean some info. Also, if there is a recommendation for a quality BC recreation map similar to a Benchmark or Delorme gazetteer, out there, Iíd love to hear about it. Cheers!
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Old 05-22-13, 04:18 PM
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I don't have any advice for you, unfortunately (I live in Onterrible), but it sounds like an awesome trip! I've been to Kelowna a few times to visit family, and it would be a really fun area to go biking.
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Old 05-22-13, 06:21 PM
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"I don't have any advice for you, unfortunately (I live in Onterrible)"

Now now, be nice. Ontario's still a pretty good place to live.
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Old 05-22-13, 07:32 PM
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Where are you from?

BC is mountainous, therefore there are only so many routes to get from one place to another.
BC also is relatively remote, therefore there won't necessarily be a whole lot of towns everywhere, and what towns there are won't be huge.
That area of BC can also be quite touristy in the summer. So if you're planning to ride anywhere from about June 30 to mid-August, there will be traffic.


I have travelled (cycling and by motorised vehicle) in the areas you mention.

So ... Osoyoos to Valemount via Kamloops:

From Osoyoos, the direct route would be straight up Hwy 97 to Penticton and Kelowna. There isn't much else in the way of roads because that's the valley and there are mountains on either side. I suppose you could find some roads and wander around in the mountains if you wanted to get some climbing in, and I wouldn't guarantee that the smaller side roads are paved either, but some might be.

Rowan and I have driven this road a couple times from Keremeos across to Hwy 97, so that's another option. You could cycle back up Hwy 3 to Keremeos and then across from there to Hwy 97 on Hwy 3A.

From Kelowna I'd be inclined to get up to Vernon and then take Hwy 97 across to Kamloops. Rowan and I have driven that route, and I've cycled from Vernon to Kamloops on Hwy 97, and it wasn't bad. There are roads on either side of the lake between Kelowna and Vernon ... I've only ever been on Hwy 97, but the other roads might be worth investigating.

As you get closer to Kamloops, from Hwy 97, you'll join Hwy 1 (TransCanada), and while I wouldn't recommend riding much of the TransCanada, it's not too bad going into Kamloops ... busy, but there's a decent shoulder.

From there, it's pretty much Hwy 5 up to Valemount, and I've both cycled and driven that. Any side roads will likely be mountainous and chances are won't be paved. They'll be logging roads. And there will be logging trucks on Hwy 5, but it's BC, there are going to be logging trucks.


Regarding towns, between Osoyoos and Kamloops, you've got Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon, and a number of smaller towns. You should be able to get supplies quite easily.

After Kamloops, you've got a few really small towns. Even Valemount isn't that big. You should be able to pick up food and water at a few places ... maybe Barriere, Clearwater, and Blue River, but I wouldn't bank on there being bicycle repair shops. I know Blue River has a service station with restaurant attached.


And regarding maps, you should be able to get some as you go in the Tourist Info centres in Osoyoos, Kamloops, etc.


When you get to Valemount, what are you planning to do?
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Old 05-22-13, 07:45 PM
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You don't say how much time you have for this venture, or how adventurous you are.
Although you have to travel on the main hwys sometimes, there are numerous secondary roads with far less traffic, but most of them have narrow or no shoulders, steep grades, and have a lot of shady areas which make it difficult for vehicle drivers to see you. They are very scenic though, and the very long 'Westside rd.' beginning just before the bridge into Kelowna and traveling the full length of Okanagan Lake has very few facilities. It comes out on hwy 97 where you can then go just a bit east before taking 'Otter Lake rd,' left onto 'Deep Creek rd.' which joins 97B. An alternate rd would be turning left off 'Westside rd.' onto 97 and continuing to 'Salmon River rd', coming out on hwy 1 which you follow left through 'Sorrento' to the end of Shuswap Lake, crossing the bridge onto the Adams Lake rd and following it to 'Skwaam Bay' where you turn left onto the 'Agate Bay rd'.
Following this rd takes you to either ;Louis Creek' or 'Barriere' on hwy 5. You can either take hwy 5 or 'Town rd' through 'Barriere' which becomes 'Dunn Lake rd.' joining hwy 5 again at 'Clearwater'. From there you pretty well have to follow hwy 5 to 'Valemount'.
Regardless if you are adventurous enough to take these secondary roads, or stay on the main hwys, it's all a wonderful tour and very scenic.
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Old 05-22-13, 09:38 PM
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I really appreciate the recent suggestions. Obviously this is a new area for me to venture into and any insight is way awesome!
Answering a few questions: After Valemount, I’ll be visiting several National Parks in the Canadian Rockies beginning with Jasper and continuing south.
I’ll be biking at a quasi-relaxed pace; around 2300 miles (3700 km) in roughly two months.

Anyway, this is my tentative route based on previous input and journals I’ve perused:
https://goo.gl/maps/PRnLL

Thoughts/suggestions?
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Old 05-22-13, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by thecrunge
"I don't have any advice for you, unfortunately (I live in Onterrible)"

Now now, be nice. Ontario's still a pretty good place to live.
That's true. I do love Ontario, but I should've known my facetious tone wouldn't translate to text.
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Old 05-23-13, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Lew
You don't say how much time you have for this venture, or how adventurous you are.
Although you have to travel on the main hwys sometimes, there are numerous secondary roads with far less traffic, but most of them have narrow or no shoulders, steep grades, and have a lot of shady areas which make it difficult for vehicle drivers to see you. They are very scenic though, and the very long 'Westside rd.' beginning just before the bridge into Kelowna and traveling the full length of Okanagan Lake has very few facilities. It comes out on hwy 97 where you can then go just a bit east before taking 'Otter Lake rd,' left onto 'Deep Creek rd.' which joins 97B. An alternate rd would be turning left off 'Westside rd.' onto 97 and continuing to 'Salmon River rd', coming out on hwy 1 which you follow left through 'Sorrento' to the end of Shuswap Lake, crossing the bridge onto the Adams Lake rd and following it to 'Skwaam Bay' where you turn left onto the 'Agate Bay rd'.
Following this rd takes you to either ;Louis Creek' or 'Barriere' on hwy 5. You can either take hwy 5 or 'Town rd' through 'Barriere' which becomes 'Dunn Lake rd.' joining hwy 5 again at 'Clearwater'. From there you pretty well have to follow hwy 5 to 'Valemount'.
Regardless if you are adventurous enough to take these secondary roads, or stay on the main hwys, it's all a wonderful tour and very scenic.
I've either biked or drove on all the roads I've commented on except north of Dunn Lake and they all are paved.
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Old 05-23-13, 12:36 PM
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Have you considered taking the Crowsnest to Princeton and then north on Hwy 5A to Kamloops?
Choices are limited - esp. if you intend to stay on pavement - but Hwy 97 can be busy around Kelowna.

Machka is right - Hwy 5 is your only paved choice up to Valemount - and even through forest roads are few and far between.
There are local roads on the other side of the river from Hwy 5 - paved/unpaved??
I was on Hwy 5 so I cannot tell you. Also, they might not be through roads.
North of Clearwater, Hwy 5 was quite nice with only moderate traffic.

Looking at BC AADT date -
https://www.th.gov.bc.ca/trafficData/index.asp

A lot of Hwy 97 has traffic counts exceeding 10,000.
Busier parts of Hwy 5A have in the range of 6000 - rural stretches below 2000.
The northern section of Hwy 5 has in the range of 4000+.

All of those numbers are busier than I like.
But the lack of paved alternatives means that the few paved roads concentrate all traffic

BTW - Traffic Data collection appears to be politicized in BC. (Isn't everything?)
Higher numbers mean more road money - so these numbers could be inflated.
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