Kettle Valley: Skaha Lake Loop – Ice Cream Detour

This is the second of a set of 3 blogs concerning my 2017 riding of the Kettle Valley. The good intentions were to hub and spoke out of Penticton and complete three rides: 1) Osoyoos North to Penticton; 2) Skaha Lake 3) Chute Lake to Penticton.

Skaha – Consolation Prize

Unfortunately my partner in riding had an unanticipated work commitment and the planned ride could not occur. Nevertheless, the ride we did was a perfect little putz with a too large ice cream in the middle.

Skaha Lake is just south of Penticton and like most of Okanagan lakes is narrow and long. Smaller than most lakes, it is 11.8km long and book ended by Penticton to the North and Okanagan Falls to the south. This ride took us from our motel at the north end of Skaha south along the west side of the lake to Okanagan Falls.

Although the trail was empty when I rode it the previously day, on this day there were about a dozen cyclists and walkers using the trail. The trail itself deposits you at the beach in Okanagan Falls and from this location the logical thing is to look for ice cream.

Vista Skaha Lake from the west side.

This is a Children’s Cone?

On the south side of the town is an ice cream institution, Tickleberries. A combination of ice cream gift and junk shop, they are known for their generous portions so I thought I would be smart by ordering a childrens cone. Apparently in the Okanagan, children are capable of eating two fist size scopes of ice cream! Either they are very tough or have a morbid obesity problem.

Return Along the East Side

Like most large lakes in British Columbia, there is a distinct East and West side (mostly because the mountain ranges generally in BC run North/South). Our return was along the East road and generally it was uneventful and occasionally pulled the user up into a mid-level vista of the lake. Good asphalt and a reasonable shoulder. We took a short detour back into Penticton to find a cold beer and then rode out to the hotel.

Conclusion

A nice albeit short ride of about 30km with moderate undulations in climbs and descents. Suitable for an older child reasonably comfortable on a bike. This could be a tune up and a first day ride if just arriving in the area. The one factor is the amount of fine grit and sand on the west side which tends to cover the bike and running gear. Like other trails in the KVR, a good chain cleaner is a must post ride!

One of the many historical and natural sites along the route.