I would like to know if someone already did the road from Vancouver to Kelowna.
I've seen that there is different possible roads and seen it'a about 500 km. Is it in the mountain, is there a lot of traffic on these roads ?
Is it really cold at this time of the year?
We plan to go next week with a lot of equipments.
I think it would be like 5 or 6 day but I'm not sure.
Also is it possible to camp in the parks on the road? Is it free?
Well any kind of informations about this would be welcome!
Thanks a lot in advance,
Since you ask is it mountainous I presume you do no know the area very well. The main highway over the Coquiahalla is not for bicycles as I understand it, so you would need to take Highway 3. I think you could expect snow at this time of the year and you will have to pass through Manning Park with a fairly steep climb up Allison Pass. Are you sure you want to do this at this time of the year?? I would think that most of the camping places will be closed so I am not sure that this is a well-thought-out plan! We have ridden the Icefields Parkway but I would not do it in winter time. Then again we are not all that intrepid, being older folks! The other alternative is to fo via the old Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon to Kamloops and down to Kelowna that way. It would be less mountainous but I am not sure that I would do that now either.
I'd agree with yibbyspop that I would not recommend this ride during the winter months and there can be snow until May. I have not cycled these routes but have driven them a number of times and apart from likely winter mountain conditions with blizzards and very cold temperatures both Highway 3 and the Coquihalla are very remote with no services after Hope. I just checked the temperature in Kelowna and it's going down to -12C tonight and will be much,much colder in the mountains. I have seen a number of cyclists on the Coquihalla in the summer - although I wouldn't recommend it even then due to the remoteness and long,long climbs. I'd use old Highway 1 as this is flatter overall and does go through a number of small places so there is some civilization around while Highway 3 is in the middle from a steepness perspective.
On Highway 3 I think you may be able to winter camp in one of the parks near Manning Park Lodege but I'd check with BC Parks first as it has been a number of years since I checked. Being remote there would be lots of spots for wild camping in the winter although not allowed as far as I know. This route would be a little under 500km and once you are past Princeton it becomes a bit more populated. I don't think any of these routes have a lot of traffic in the winter - but you should also be aware there are often no shoulders on Highway 3, some areas have blind corners and vehicles (often big trucks) will be surprised to see cyclists at this time of year.
You will also need good brakes for the downhills which are long as well - the last 40Km or so on the Coquihalla are all downhill and quite steep!
I have just today returned from a round trip (Highway #3 up and #5 back). Temperatures to -12. There is a snowstorm approaching that will probably leave both Manning Park (#3) and the Coquihalla (#5) EXTREMELY hazardous to cycling. There was compact snow and ice on both routes when I drove them.
While I can appreciate that the cold and snow may not be an obstacle that is insurmountable YOUR presence on the road would be a hazard to other vehicles already struggling to cope with the harsh driving conditions.
Should you not heed this warning I would suggest route #3 as it would be the least deadly of the two at this time of year.
The webcams for the roads are at
Thanks a lot for these answers!
We'll see what we do!
Glad to see you held out the winter in Kelowna. Now it's May -- should be good weather ! When are you coming to Vancouver?
Jess & Rob