60 km • 860 meters of ascent
This is a shorter route but I’ve included one of the classic climbs in the Okanagan: Giant’s Head. You start in lower Summerland and climb up to downtown where you can tackle Giant’s Head if you choose (a little over 400 m of climbing from the start point). From here, you head out on Prairie Valley Road and turn onto the Princeton-Summerland Road. This section has some rough pavement (or, as we lovingly refer to it – pavé) so keep alert. Your perseverance will be rewarded when you turn on Fish Lake Road. Fresh asphalt, quiet roads and great scenery await! Ride out to the turn around point - Camp Boyle (the boy scout camp - and then head back to Summerland and the wineries of Bottleneck Drive. You’ll be riding past several of them (including Dirty Laundry if you continue on Lewes Road) and a few cideries. After a descent down Gartrell you’ll cross Hwy 97 to Trout Creek where you can connect to the new bike path that parallels Hwy 97 back to Lower Summerland.
Kilometer 0: We start out at Lake level at Summerland's Waterfront resort, but the climbing starts as soon as you turn left on Pear Orchard Road
Kilometer 3.3: At the top of the hill, go 3/4 of the way through the traffic circle onto Rosedale Avenue, then another 3/4 through the next circle to Prairie Valley Road. Take the first right onto Giant's Head Road.
Kilometer 4.5: Turn on Milne Road and the 2nd round of climbing begins. At kilometer 5, look for the gate to Giant's Head Park. Then, settle in for 2.5 km of solid uphill (about 250 m) - an average of 10%! There's a small parking lot at 7.5 km and the top of the mountain is another 500 m hike up a somewhat rugged path. If you want to reward yourself with a spectacular view (it's the feature photo of this post), save your cycling shoes and bring alternative footwear for the hike. If the entire climb (biking and hiking) is not in the cards for you today, just stay on Milne past the gates.
Kilometer 10.5: After a thrilling descent, make a quick right on Victoria and go a quarter way through the traffic circle to get on Prairie Valley Road to the west.
Kilometer 13.7: You're going to turn right on Doherty and then another right on the Princeton-Summerland Road. Pavement could be a little rough through this stretch.
Kilometer 20: Turn right on Fish Lake Road. Ahh..smooth asphalt! Continue to the turn around point at the Boy Scout's Camp - Camp Boyle (km 28.5). Follow the same route back.
Kilometer 43: You can vary the route a little by taking Holt or Lister to Dale Meadows Road
Kilometer 46.5: Turn Right on Victoria Road S.
Kilometer 49.5: Right on Lewes, left on Hillborn, left on Happy Valley Road and right on Gartrell. This winds down the hill, becomes Fir and eventually becomes Johnson Street which crosses the highway (you'll have a light to cross on).
Kilometer 54.7: Turn left on Nixon. It will eventually turn into Thornber and head back towards the highway. The road will parallel the highway until km 56.7. At that point, take the new bike path (runs on the lake side of the highway) back to lower Summerland and your starting point.