While I was in Vernon, BC at the start of June I checked out Ellison Provincial Park a couple times since it was so close to where I was staying. Later in the week ready for some fresh trails I drove 20 minutes to Kalamalka Provincial Park which has a larger more technically challenging trail network.
Having to drive is definitely not as sweet as riding from your door and back, but the lure of techy riding got me rolling in the CRV.
The High Rim Trail is the main access route from the parking lot that takes you all the way to the top of the network.
I was expecting Kalamalka Lake to be really great based on the descriptions I had heard while visiting the various LBS.
Like Ellison Provincial Park the trails here were well signed and it would be hard to get lost and easy for riders new to the area to find their way around.
What I liked about K-Lake was the large size of the trail network. You can really get away from the car and deep into the woods. The trails climb up the side of a small mountain so there is some nice elevation to enjoy cranking up and shredding down.
What I didn’t like about Kalamalka Lake was that the trails lacked flow. The more challenging trails featured a lot of fall line downhills which were heavily eroded and connected with hard turns. It was advanced riding, but it was pretty or particularly interesting. It definitely wasn’t “pretty”.
Maybe I’m just spoilt by the world class trails I’ve ridden in AZ, UT, AB and other parts of BC, but I left Kalamalka Lake after 3hrs feeling underwhelmed. Although nearby Ellison Provincial Park lacks technical challenges the riding there has a lot of flow and is much more fun.
The Silverstar Bike Park was closed during my visit to Vernon, but if it’s open that’s where I would head for more advanced riding and give Kalamalka Lake a miss.