Day 5: A guide to cycling across Canada.
Bromley Rock to Okanakan Provincial Park

Hedley. A great place to buy a textile!

Enjoy easy pedaling all day on the mostly downhill ride to Penticton. You will feel like an all-star cyclist gliding effortlessly along the banks of the Similkameen in this warm, temperate part of Canada.

Just before the town of Hedley is Stemwinder Provincial Park, a small pine-dotted picnic and camping area on the Similkameen River. If swimming, use caution as the river is cold and the current strong. Watch for poison ivy along the banks.

Poison Ivy is a small green deciduous plant characterized by three leafs and a lack of thorns that produces an itchy rash when it contacts the skin of most people.

At the turn of the 20th century, Hedley, was a thriving gold mining town. A large mill processed gold from the neighbouring Nickel Plate Mountain. Declining resources and fires in the community led to Hedley’s economic decline. Presently, Hedley is a small village catering to tourists. Check out the Hedley Mining Museum and meet some of the locals that often sell textiles out of their front yards.

The area between Hedley and Keremeos is densely populated with large, white antelope.

Although you can bypass Keremeos, population 1 289, consider checking out the charming town. Its name is derived from the Similkameen dialect of the native Okanagan word keremeyeus, meaning “creek which cuts its way through the flats.” Keremeos is famous for bountiful harvests of fruits and vegetables. It is also renowned for its superior wine growing potential. Keremeos has a campground called Eagle Campground & RV Park.

Leave Keremeos and continue cycling towards Penticton through orchards and verdant agriculture land. Watch for wind gusts on some of the long downhill sections.

At Keremeos, HWY 3 splits and HWY 3 goes south before heading east towards Alberta along B.C.’s southern border. HWY 3A and HWY 3B head north where they merge with HWY 97 near Skaha Lake. This highway is a busy double-lane. It will be your trail until intersecting with HWY 1 at Sicamous.

Skaha Lake forms the southern border of Penticton, which is bordered on the north by Okanagan Lake. Penticton, population 31 909, is a popular tourist and retirement destination. It is famous for peaches, beaches, golf and especially wine. Penticton was known by the Salish First Nation as Pen-Tak-Ton, meaning “a place to live forever.”

Penticton’s British Columbia Wine Information Centre is a good place to learn about wine and wine tourism in the Valley. Residents of the Okanagan Valley take great pride in area vineyards and the quality of wine they produce. Many wineries operate throughout the Okanagan valley and offer tourists a unique chance to taste wines and tour vineyards.

If you do not have time restrictions, consider staying the night in Penticton and going wine touring at Naramata Bench.

Camping is available at the south end of town at Wrights Beach RV Park & Campground. Freedom Bike Shop is available for any repairs or supplies you may need. The Okanagan is a beautiful, but expensive place to visit. Real estate prices are sky high, and this is reflected in campground prices.

After leaving Penticton, expect HWY 97 to be busy, especially during July and August. Wear bright coloured clothing and cycle with confidence. Other than the dense traffic, the ride to Kelowna is enjoyable with Lake Okanagan on your right and rugged, rocky cliffs on your left.

Summerland, population 10 828, is aptly named as it has some of the warmest temperatures in Canada, with a mean summer temperature of 21° C. The town is situated on a long hill. One exit to the city is at the bottom of the hill and the other is at the top. Summerland is a good place to acquire supplies to prepare for your evening in Okanagan Lake Provincial Park.

Stay at either the South or North Campground in Okanagan Provincial Park. The South Campground opens first, generally around April 1st, and closes at the beginning of October. Located on the shores of Lake Okanagan, this campground offers sandy beaches and is surrounded by Ponderosa Pine and sagebrush.

Kilometre Log
0.0Leave Bromley Rock Provincial Park on HWY 3 heading south.
11.9Stemwinder Provincial Park.
16.9Exit to Hedley.
44.4Keremeos, population 1 289. Turn left onto Keremeos Bypass Road.
45.0Take a left turn to stay on Keremeos Bypass Road / HWY 3A.
46.8Take a left turn to return to HWY 3.
61.9Climb steadily to the south end of Yellow Lake where there are washrooms and a rest area.
76.1HWY 3 dead-ends into HWY 97. Turn left heading north on HWY 97.
84.1Wright’s Beach Campground on the shore of Skaha Lake.
84.5Penticton Regional Airport.
84.9Cross a bridge over the canal and turn left onto Channel Parkway / HWY 97.
89.0Road veers to the right and becomes Railway Street / HWY 97.
89.7Take a left turn onto Eckhardt Avenue W / HWY 97.
90.5Eckhardt Avenue W / HWY 97 turns right and becomes only HWY 97.
96.0Kickininee Provincial Park with camping and showers.
96.8Soorimpt Provincial Park.
97.8Pyramid Provincial Park picnic grounds.
115.0Turn right into Okanagan Provincial Park.
115.3Okanagan Provincial Park South Campground.

View Larger Map