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There's plenty of wilderness trips to be had in the Okanagan but this route sits at the other end of the adventure spectrum, and is about as convenient as rides get. Start out at the Knox Mountain parking lot, and climb up Knox Mountain Drive - a road closed to cars but open to bikers which provides an easy way to gain height.
The climb is just under 4km, and ascends 257m.
Trying to break your record on it is a good way of turning it from a road climb into something a little more interesting! There are some great views all the way up the climb and, while being on tarmac isn't necessarily what mountain biking is all about, the road is an easy and convenient way of getting up Knox Mountain. When the road ends, head south on a short but steep trail called "Lookout Access" which leads to the famous lookout on Knox Mountain's summit.
No matter how many times you've been there, the view from the lookout still takes your breath away - not that you'll have much breath left after the climb! The Shale Trail proper begins right in front of the lookout and is clearly signposted.
The first few metres of the route are amongst the most difficult of the entire descent and involve a steep drop over a loose, rocky step. Once off the rock step there's some great flow trail interspersed with some brief steeper sections.
After a couple of minutes is a steep and deep dip which you'll need to carry some serious speed for.
If that doesn't sound appealing then you can go left around the dip and rejoin the trail just after it. After the dip the riding is much easier and involves some fast flow trail on the way down to the point where the route crosses Knox Mountain Drive.
From Knox Mountain Drive there are 2 options for the next section of trail - the left trail is easier than the right hand trail (which is the one drawn on here) and both options are clearly signposted. The closer you get to the bottom of the trail the tighter the hairpins get, but the camber and smoothness of the trail means that even the tightest of turns feel straightforward enough.
All too soon you'll pop out onto the lower section of Knox Mountain Drive.
Either head back up for another lap, or retire to Kelowna for a drink!