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Bad weather incoming! But a nice view nonetheless.

Natural Trails & Big Views : Epic MTB Routes at Gillard

With massive vistas across the Okanagan and some incredible trails through peaceful forests, Gillard is one of Kelowna's best riding spots!

Mountain Biking Severe

Bad weather incoming! But a nice view nonetheless.
Bad weather incoming! But a nice view nonetheless. Photo: Charlie Boscoe


Sitting just across the hill from the better known and more popular Crawford trails, the Gillard area is - by local standards - slightly under the radar. There are 2 main reasons for this; firstly, the ascent is up a Fire Service Road rather than a (more enjoyable) designated up-track, and secondly, the trails are slightly shorter and more broken up than the long, uninterrupted Crawford lines. The good news is that if you can stomach the slightly tedious ride up (or do shuttle runs, which is an option at Gillard) and don't mind piecing together a few different lines to create a route, Gillard will pay you back with some fabulous, technical riding, as well as some wonderful views.

The trails at Gillard are accessed via the Gillard Fire Service Road (FSR), which branches off Mission Drive in the southern part of the Mission Valley. The official trail parking lot is on the left, 3 kilometres after the Gillard FSR leaves Mission Drive, but it's legal to drive all the way up the FSR to reach the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. As such, the bike routes at Gillard can be done as shuttle runs and you can tag team riding and driving. There are also various spots to park on the way up the FSR but they are officially only drop-off points and not parking spots. That said, if you did park at them you certainly wouldn't be the first people to do it....If you "break the rules" then at least do so respectfully and we suspect you'll have no problems.

There really is a huge amount of exploration to be done at Gillard, and the trails feel wonderfully wild and untamed. These aren't super smooth, perfectly designed tracks - they're rough, root-y, rocky and remote adventures on a beautiful hillside. A few days spent roaming around the region is a great use of a long weekend, and still leaves you with Crawford to explore when you're done!

Routes included

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