Feel the Love

Smith Creek's best known trail is pure Type 1 fun! The views aren't bad either....

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
10 km
Ascent
427 m
Descent
427 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
659 m
High Point
1 km
Gradient
10˚
Feel the Love Map

It's got some strong competition, but Smith Creek might well be the finest trail network on the west side of Okanagan Lake. The ascent up Holy Pail Trail has been perfectly designed by people who clearly understand how to make an efficient and enjoyable up-track and the descent trails are well maintained, varied and fun.

Description

The best known and most popular trail at Smith Creek is Feel the Love. It's not considered a particularly difficult trail and, if you avoid the bigger obstacles, it should be easily rideable for all upper intermediate bikers. That said, this is a trail with countless (optional) jumps, tabletops and drops, so even advanced riders will be challenged if they take the tougher option at every opportunity.

From the main Smith Creek parking lot Holy Pail is well signposted. Jump on the trail and enjoy the scenic ascent up through the peaceful forests above West Kelowna. The view doesn't reveal itself much on the lower section of the climb but you're guaranteed a "wow" moment when you emerge at the Lookout Shortcut viewpoint, which provides a huge vista across West Kelowna, Mount Boucherie and Okanagan Lake.

Tear yourself away from the view and carry on climbing up towards the top of the Smith Creek trail network, where there's a large flat area and Feel the Love is clearly signposted. (The end of the ascent marked here isn't technically the top of the trail network - you can carry on up a little further to access Motobomba and the top section of Soul Train - but not many folk carry on higher than the point shown here).

Saddle up and ride the fast upper section of Feel the Love. The trail is continuously interesting but never "hard" and the main difficulties (most of which are jumps and drops) are easily avoided. The trail is well signposted at every junction and it does cross Holy Pail at times so be aware of people riding up.

The best known part of Feel the Love is "The Gully" - a tight little valley where the trail rushes from side to side so quickly it feels like you're on a halfpipe at the skate park! The riding isn't overly technical in the gully and it's easy enough to stop but be prepared for the unusual feeling of firing fast UP steep terrain for a couple of seconds at the end of each gully crossing!

Once out of The Gully it's an easy tear down to the parking lot.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Drops
  • Jumps
  • Roots
  • Gap Jumps
  • Tabletops
  • Wooden Feature

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area