Myra Canyon is part of the Kettle Valley Railway trail, an abandoned railway that was converted for recreational use. A feat of engineering in its heyday, the railway was constructed over steep mountain terrain using the route of the least resistance, meaning that the grades were never more than 2.2%. Between 1920s and 1950s, the KVR allowed heavy trains to traverse the mountain country between Hope and Midway, and in the modern days, it provides hikers and cyclists with access to this amazing high-country landscape. With 2 tunnels and 17 trestles, Myra Canyon is arguably the most scenic and interesting portion of the KVR trail.
I immensely enjoyed cycling in Myra Canyon; it was a truly special experience and one of those moments that become a highlight of a year. It was neither hot nor cold; I was riding a bike with my son on high-altitude, but nearly flat route through the Okanagan mountains; the trestles and the tunnels were awe-inspiring. I have no words to describe the aura of this place. Suddenly, the chatter or the world falls away, and you are just there, in this moment, your body involved in a pleasant, not overly exerting physical activity, your mind in silence and peace. It was such a profoundly positive, magical experience that at some point I felt almost transcendent.
Some practical considerations:
- To get to the trailhead, you will need to drive about 10 km on a gravel road. It is very dusty and is full of potholes in a few places, but any car should be able to make it if the driver is careful.
- If you didn’t bring a bike, you can rent one right at the trailhead from the Myra Canyon Bike Rentals. The usually have quite a few bikes available, especially if you show up right after noon. But make sure to call them to enquire.
- Myra Canyon is a nearly flat, family-friendly bike ride that can be done by most people. If you don’t ride a bicycle, try hiking a portion of the trail!