“What I enjoyed most about the trip was the guides-nothing was too much for them and the food quality and quantity was 1st class. It's hard to improve on perfection”
– Geroge Smekal,
Nanoose Bay, BC who, at 79 yrs completed stage 1, 2, 3 on our July, 2010 trip.
Custom trips also available and can start any date. Call or email for details.
This tour can be combined with the Stage 2 trip offered in conjunction.
7 days/ 6 nights
(5 riding days)
Castlegar / Beaverdell
20-30+ miles daily
The railgrade has a maximum grade of 2%
Land Cost (current year):
Includes all meals
CAD$180 / US$180
Vancouver or Hope to Castlegar: CAD$80
Beaverdell to Castlegar: CAD$60
Beaverdell to Vancouver: CAD$60
*Fares include bike transfer
Kettle Valley Trail, Biking
Stage 1: Castlegar to Beaverdell
The first stage begins in the historic village of Castlegar, located at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. We’ll visit the turn-of-the-century towns of Grand Forks, Greenwood, Rock Creek with some wilderness backcountry in between. One of the highlights will be the cycle along Arrow and Christina Lakes with a view only the railbed enjoys. Overnight stations will be ‘far off the beaten path’, where you’ll enjoy the serenity of this timeless landscape. Cyclists who enjoy single-track riding will be thrilled with the additional trails located at or near our overnight locations.
This event will support TheBigWild.org to help raise awareness and funding for Canada's wild places.
For those traveling from Vancouver, we offer van shuttle from Vancouver departing at 7:30 am, stopping in Kelowna for lunch en route with a stop in Beaverdell to pick-up anyone who wishes to leave their cars there. We arrive at Castlegar usually by 5:00 pm. Alternatively, Greyhound offers early morning service from Vancouver, arriving in Castlegar early evening.
Castlegar to Tunnel Station
Today, we start on the railbed with incredible views of Lower Arrow Lake. The railbed hugs the cliffside as it climbs to Bulldog Tunnel (almost 1 km long). We’ll camp at Tunnel Station, overlooking Dog Creek Valley. We’ll have a backcountry cookout and relax under the stars.
Distance: 40 km.
Tunnel Station to Christina Lake
We cycle a gradual 2% grade up to the summit at Farron and then enjoy a long descent to Christina Lake, where boating and swimming are possible. There are also wonderful trails to ride (or hike) in the area, so for those who wish, we’ll explore Texas Creek Provincial Park.
Distance: 43 km.
Christina Lake to Grand Forks
Leaving Christina Lake, we climb back up to the rail grade before continuing on to Grand Forks where we’ll have lunch at the museum. For those who want a break from the bike, there is lots to explore in town. Distance: 30 km.
Grand Forks to Rock Creek
From Grand Forks, we’ll continue along the railbed to Greenwood, a town that boasted 26 hotels in 1899! Many of the buildings have been restored and stand testament to a rich past. We'll have lunch at a superb bistrot in town, and then visit the local museum before continuing on to Rock Creek, located on the Kettle River.
Distance: 65 km.
Rock Creek to Beaverdell
Today’s ride follows the Kettle River as it winds its way towards Beaverdell. You’ll want to spend some time at the Kettle River Park where there is an excellent swimming spot and beach. We'll camp at Little Dipper Campground, just east of Beaverdell.
Distance: 49 km.
Van transport will leave from our campsite on Sunday morning after breakfast for Vancouver, arriving around 2:00 pm. Alternatively, we can shuttle you to Kelowna where Greyhound service to Vancouver is available. For those that are continuing with Stage 2, please refer to the Stage 2 Itinerary.
Map of the Area
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
- services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
- 6 nights camping
- all breakfasts, lunches & dinners (appetizers daily, gourmet meals, lots of variety, vegetarians gladly accommodated)
- entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
- detailed map, route instructions and Great Explorations Travel Guide
- all baggage transportation
- all transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Goods and Services Tax (HST) of 12% will be charged on trips in Canada.
Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 604.730.1247