A Kelowna Classic
Exploring the Myra Canyon Trestles should be ‘must visit’ during your time in Kelowna. Located within Myra Bellevue Provincial Park, Myra Canyon is home to 18 trestle bridges and 2 large rock tunnels that sit high in the valley mountains amongst the thick pines and large canyon formations.
The main way to access these trestles is via the Myra Canyon Trestles Trail – a wide, flat trail that winds along the mountains and steep canyons. This trail is actually a small portion of the historic Kettle Valley Railway, an old railway system that spanned 500km, connecting Hope to Midway. This railway dates back to 1915 and operated until 1964. Today, it sees many hikers, bikers, and adventurers enjoying the sights, remoteness, and history that it comes with.
The bridges along the trail connect the deep canyons, ranging up to over 200m in length. The wooden construction is hard to imagine without modern technology, which is impressive in itself. The sights along the railway are something to behold. As you stroll along, you’ll be greeted with a new point of view every few hundred meters, allowing for panoramic views of Kelowna and the surrounding valley.
There are a few benches scattered along the trail, however they are few and far between. Along the way, you’ll be greeted with information stands about the history, wildlife, and vegetation that surrounds the area. The trail itself is safe, but be aware of the odd steep drop off on one side in some sections. One side of the trail is a canyon rock wall, and the other side is a combination of sloping trees, steep drop offs, and more rock walls. Of course, it’s always important to keep an eye on everyone in the group, but generally speaking it is a simple trail to follow and very well maintained.
Although very popular in the summertime, the Myra Canyon Trestles are open and accessible year round. Many people love coming up here in October to experience the larch trees turn golden yellow. On snowier days, it may not be possible to bike the trail, however hiking is always an option.
There are two main ways to access this route – hiking or biking. Each offers a different experience, and we’ll describe below what you should know for each.
Hiking the Myra Canyon Trestles
Although there are multiple access points to hop onto the trail, our recommendation is to begin your hike at the Myra Station Trailhead. This will give you a higher concentration of trestles to explore, as well as a variety of cool viewpoints.
From the Myra Station Trailhead, the most common hike is an 8km round trip. Although that may seem like a long way for a hike, the flat ground and well maintained trail make for easy, low intensity walking. Along this stretch, you’ll pass 12 of the 18 bridges and 2 massive tunnels. Imagine how long those took to develop in the early 1900s. The 8km hike takes about 2-2.5 hours for most people to complete.
If you have the time, we always find it worth it to keep going an extra kilometer to Trestle 7 – the views from here are incredible and easily worth the extra walking (10km total round trip).
Biking the Myra Canyon Trestles
The Myra Canyon Trestle Trail is a common bike route for all skill levels. The flat, wide trails allow riders to enjoy a safe ride through beautiful terrain.
Riders can begin their journey from either Myra Station or Ruth Station. It’s common to begin at Ruth Station, as there is a very slight decline which allows for a more cruisy ride. Although not necessary to go the entire way, the distance between the two main access points is 24km, which typically takes 2.5-3 hours to complete at a leisurely pace.
If you’re doing the full length, you’ll be greeted by all of the 18 trestle bridges and both tunnels. Should you choose to do a shorter version, there will still be no shortage of cool bridges and amazing views to enjoy along the way.
Don’t have a bike to explore the trails with? No problem! Check out Myra Canyon Bicycle Rentals & Tours located at Myra Station. As the name suggests, they offer bike rentals of different sorts, private tours, and group tours!
Things to know, before you go
Always pack enough water. There are no refill stations along the way.
There are two outhouses at the Myra Station parking lot and one at the 4km turnaround.
Be aware of wildlife.
There is no fee to enter the park or walk/bike the trail.
Temperatures are generally cooler up here, so pack extra layers during cooler months.
Phone service is patchy throughout the park.