Serving up Canada's cup of coffee
Arrow Lakes / Revelstoke
Vernon-Sicamous Hwy 97 (BC DH46 or DH46)
Revelstoke-Shelter Bay Hwy 23 (BC DH25 or DH25)
Shelter Bay-Nakusp Hwy 23 (BC DH73 or DH73)
Nakusp-Vernon Hwy 6 (BC DH2 or DH2)
- 473 km 1 day (overnight)
- winding mountain roads leading into the Rockies
- scenery.. up close Rocky Mountains
- hot springs (Nakusp and Halcyon)
- ferry rides (free)
- Three Valley Gap ghost town/hotel (be sure to
ask about the "Cave room" if you stay overnight)
Vernon-Sicamous Hwy 97
You’ll feel a presence on this road. Maybe it’s the speed tax collector in your rear views. Or the one coming the other way. Perhaps it’s that armada of land yachts directly ahead, with canoes, bicycles and barbecues plastered on them like fridge magnets. And, of course, there’s the endless stream of campgrounds, resorts and cottages. Ah, civilization. It’s the price we sometimes pay for lakeside curves, quality pavement and perfect engineering. Running along the twisty shoreline of Mara Lake, then leaving the water to meander gracefully through the farmland of the Shuswap River Valley, this highway does reward you for putting up with the traffic and STCs. Still, you may want to plan your presence for when things aren’t quite so civilized. Say, four a.m. In January.
Revelstoke-Shelter Bay Hwy 23
We were surprised to read in The B.C. Pedaler that this scenic and twisty route through the lower Slocan Valley has been discovered by bicyclists as an "excellent route for a challenging but quiet pedal." Obviously, the author has yet to encounter a red-lining Honda CBR XX Blackbird blowing by. Complete with after-market pipe, of course. Don’t be fooled by the slow, rather straight start through farm country. When the valley narrows, and the long run along Slocan Lake begins, this road rocks. It offers curves of every description as it sweeps high above the lake, corkscrews along a creek bed, then descends gracefully along the lake into Silverton and New Denver. And as for our spandex-clad brethren, we’re more than happy to share the road with those who stick to the shoulder. That is, unless we need it.
Shelter Bay-Nakusp Hwy 23
The Little DH That Could. Even though its childish twisties are about as intense as a bedtime story, you’ve got to give this DH an A for effort. You’ll praise its great water and mountain views, soothing engineering and long, baby-bottom stretch of pavement on the south end. And if you check out a ferry schedule and time it right, you’ll be rewarded with virtually zero traffic. The moral of this highway: even when the curves are gentle, you can still try your best to scrape the factory shine off the underside of your pegs. Just repeat to yourself: I think I can...I think I can....
Nakusp-Vernon Hwy 6
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Someone should tell this to the Ministry of Highways before they go straightening perfectly good roads. Fortunately, they limited their "improvements" to the final 16.0 km (10.0 mi) of this 128.7 km (79.8 mi) odyssey. What genius thought a multi-million dollar multi-laner was needed on a road where the only access from its western end is a ferry that holds forty cars? This road is so quiet, ranchers herd cattle on it. Despite the Ministry’s misguided efforts, this bridge across the Monashees between the Okanagan and Kootenays remains one of southern B.C.’s finest Destination Highways. An enormously varied riding experience, it ranges from farmland to wilderness, canyon to mountain summit, and tight narrow twisties to long, leaning sweepers. As for the freeway at the end? Like the signs say, that’s your tax dollars at work.