Lost Lake and Crawford Canyon

Crawford's longest ascent leads to one of its fastest descents!

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
19 km
Ascent
793 m
Descent
793 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
516 m
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
Lost Lake and Crawford Canyon Map

Crawford specialises in "mini golf" riding; short loops and fun little trails which are perfect for short hits. As a result, this ride is something of an outlier, being both long on the way up and continuously challenging on the way down.

Description

The ride starts from the main Crawford parking lot and begins with the aesthetic and easy climb up Lost Lake Trail. The trail is well signposted at all junctions so you can get on with enjoying the huge views across the Okanagan valley. One thing to note is that the forest is not dense on the lower section of the climb and on a hot day the climb feels pretty gruelling! Save it for a cooler day in summer, or do it in the shoulder season unless you want to cook!

Lost Lake Trail doesn't actually go to Lost Lake itself, but there's a clearly signposted junction where you can detour off and go to the lake. Detouring to the lake is highly recommended because it's a beautiful spot, but if you don't want to bother then just keep on going up Lost Lake Trail. The line drawn here includes the detour.

The trail continues to wind up through beautifully quiet forests until 1160m, at which point there's a junction where Lost Lake Trail is signposted straight ahead, but it's actually better to turn left and make the final part of the ascent up a smaller trail called Captain Nemo. This trail leads to the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail - a local landmark and a fabulous multi-day ride in itself.

Ride south-west down the pancake-smooth KVR for roughly a kilometre and then turn right and let the fun begin! The descent down the Crawford Canyon DH route is fast, furious and fun all the way down! There are only a few short technical sections, and most of the trail is pedal to the metal terrain - it's one of those descents where you just have to switch off that part of your brain which asks, "what if the front tyre blows right now"?!?!

There are a few superb viewpoints on the trail from where you admire Crawford Canyon, and there are also some exposed sections where the canyon is a little close for comfort! There's nothing too scary - just keep your speed down when close to the canyon lip.

Towards the bottom of the trail, branch off left and follow a series of trails which circumnavigate the large mine just south of the parking lot. Once past the mine, cross a road and roll back triumphantly to your vehicle.

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

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Jumps
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area