Exploring Kelowna's Best Early Season Mountain Biking Trail Systems

Okanagan Mountain Biking Early Season - Smith Creek Cycle

As the days lengthen and the temperatures begin to rise, Kelowna unveils its early-season mountain biking charm, offering riders a chance to dust off their bikes and hit the trails. Navigating the trails in March requires a strategic approach, considering factors like elevation and trail conditions. Here's our guide to the best areas to ride mountain bikes in Kelowna/West Kelowna during the early season, ensuring an enjoyable and responsible experience.

Smith Creek Trails

Situated at a lower elevation, the Smith Creek trail system tends to dry up quicker in March. Featuring a long steady climb with lower elevation riding options such as Santa's Revenge, or the well known Feel the Love from the top. It is highly likely that the top of Feel the Love will remain muddy and snowy for a longer duration. Check Trailforks for user-submitted trail condition reports to find the driest routes. Embrace the flowing singletrack and scenic landscapes as you kick off the biking season in this popular area.

Knox Mountain Park

This well known trail system is centrally located in the heart of Kelowna just north of downtown. While being at a lower altitude, more exposed to the sun, and featuring a rockier dirt composition, these trails tend to dry up quick. Although you will still find muddy spots, try not to create damaging ruts or widen the trails. The most popular trail, Shale Trail, consisting of an upper and lower section, both usually remain in good condition due to it's shale-y nature, though some dirt features may be soft. At this time Knox is the go-to spot for early season riders. Look out for Trail Days with MTBCO to help clean up some of the trail that have been damaged by some winter riders.

Crawford Trail System

Nestled in the lower elevations, the Crawford Trail System offers an array of trails around and below the Teddy Bear Junction which are suitable for early-season rides. With a mix of technical sections and flowing descents, these trails are perfect for riders eager to get back on the dirt. Some featured runs include Connector, a rugged technical trail that will keep you on your toes, which will connect you to Jekyll or Heckle, two faster runs that will give you some speed confidence. At the time of posting, these trails (along with Gillard) are not ride-able due to excessive mud.

Attend Trail Days with your Local Trail Crews 

Give back to the trails that provide endless joy by purchasing memberships and participating in trail maintenance days with organizations like MTBCO (Mountain Bikers of the Central Okanagan) and West Kelowna Trail Crew. These trail days not only contribute to the well-being of the trails but also provide an opportunity to connect with the local biking community.

Trail Etiquette

Remember, early-season riding comes with the responsibility of respecting trail conditions. Check Trailforks regularly for updates, and avoid riding muddy trails to prevent widening or damaging them. Practicing good trail etiquette ensures that the trails remain in top condition for everyone to enjoy throughout the season.


As you gear up for early-season mountain biking in Kelowna, let Trailforks (or word of mouth) be your trusted companion for user submitted trail conditions. Embrace the thrill of the early rides while respecting the trails and fellow riders. Join trail days, lend a hand in maintenance, and contribute to the preservation of Kelowna's mountain biking gems. Happy riding, and see you on the trails this March!

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