Okanagan: Riding in the Sun - Campbell Mountain and Three Blind Mice, Part One

May 27, 2015 at 8:35
by Lee Lau  

On a warm and sunny May 2015 we (Rich, Sharon and Lee) road-tripped to British Columbia's Okanagan region to ride in Penticton and Kelowna and to hang with Johnny Smoke of Bush Pilot Biking to do some research on MTB Trails' next project. The Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides will hopefully complement MTB Trails' other guides for the North Shore and the Fraser Valley and will provide a selection of what to ride in the Okanagan. There are a ton of trail systems in this area; the goal is to focus on rides that will give you a good flavour for each region, and/or trails that will best showcase the many areas in the Okanagan.

On day one we rode Campbell Mountain and the Three Blind Mice networks. Both are less then 15 minutes out of Penticton. Campbell Mountain is easy to navigate and a good destination for a half day ride; perfect for those with more time constraints. Three Blind Mice has over a hundred trails and is a navigational challenge. The first time you ride there you will get lost; or not really know exactly where you are... but that's ok! A word on trail difficulty; the areas' trails referred to as blue are of a more mellow grade and generally bi-directional. Any black trail will be a fun rip and more downhill-oriented. In this road-trip we researched a short and medium length XC ride, as well as some shuttles.

There are other navigational tools for these areas that we used including the Trailmapps South Okanagan app ([L=href="http://www.trailmapps.com/images/GooglePlayBadge.jpg]Android[/L] and Apple, the very active Penticton and Area Cycling Association (PACA) trail association (website here) and of course Trailforks Campbell Mountain and Three Blind Mice. We also visited a local bike shop (Freedom) who were very helpful. Thanks to them!

Views: 3,883    Faves: 4    Comments: 2


Campbell Mountain

Only 6km from Penticton and having 34 named trails it's a popular destination for locals. Most of the trails are on the west side undulating through the pines. The Campbell Mountain loop takes you to the east side and traverses through a cool gulley back to the main network. Because the area previously host DH and Slopestyle events means that there is a legacy of fast trails here. One example we rode is the Red to Gate Classic which gets you from Morgenstern's Gate to the North Parking access and onto the Suffer'n to DQ climb. This climb is a nice switchback trail to the DQ Table. From here you can continue climbing up Suffer'n Switchbacks to the summit to ride the Campbell DH, the more flowy She Goes Down or Blue Flamingo. Once back on Suffer'n to DQ you can continue back and ride the Campbell Classic Loop to hook back into the Campbell DH and back to your car.  This is a classic pedally mellow trailride that showcases buff, fast, flowy singletrack climbs and descents.

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides
Smokes Huckwagon!

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides Rich V photo
Nice climb up Suffer'n to DQ

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides Johnny S photo
The Balsam Flowers are out!

Campbell Mountain amp Three Blind Mice
Some directions do exist

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides
Gratuitous stunt on Whoops

Campbell Mountain amp Three Blind Mice
Fast downhills

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides Johnny S photo
Rich on the Canyon Trail


Our route for the day

Campbell Mountain trail network via Trailforks



Three Blind Mice

What happens when three blind mice run around a mountain side creating trails twisting through the Ponderosa pine, rocky bluffs and grassland. You apparently end up wiith over 100 trails in a confusing maze! You will need to spend a few days here to dial this area in! Kudos to PACA which just recently got the good news that some of these trails just got official sanctioning! Our first lap involved a climb more than halfway to the top. Our second lap was expedited by Rich blowing up on the previous lap and giving us a drive to the top (total elevation of approximately 800m elevation). The complexity of the trails can be best described by Lee counting 64 separate intersections on the climb to the highpoint of the first lap. It's simply impractical to describe every possible junction or trailname so all one can do is explore and enjoy the feeling of being a bit lost.

Campbell Mountain amp Three Blind Mice
Lower parking at Poplar Grove Rd, ride up the KVR to Riddle Rd, where another parking area is located, and then to Perly Gates,

Campbell Mountain amp Three Blind Mice
Direction signs, old (wooden ones with arrows) and new ( round ones)

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides
Climbing up

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides
Rich rippin' on the grassy singletrack.

Campbell Mountain amp Three Blind Mice
Some trails are marked with these yellow signs, but you need to pay attention!

Campbell Mountain amp Three Blind Mice
Older wooden signs are mixed with newer signs, the wooden signs point in the direction you should ride, NOTE we went the wrong way at the Fred sign!

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides Photo Rich V
Great views from Three Blind Mice.

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides
More views on the descents

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides Photo Rich V
Slabs and/or Ponderosa DH descent

Research for the Locals Guide to Okanagan Rides
Seems that all the trails exit on Tsweet Tsue!


XC Ride Data


Shuttle from Reservoir on the second lap

 



MENTIONS: @leelau


Three Blind Mice region via Trailforks
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16 Comments

  • + 6
 Some videos are so intense that you just say " how the hell did they do that" and some videos like this make you say "today im gonna go do that"
  • + 3
 Those are some great reviews of the two trails near my home; I typically ride up Campbell Mountain from my door. I did want to mention another website that has awesome maps of those two areas (plus a bunch more in the area). At sweetsingletrack.ca you can get a membership for $10 a year for online access, or find a printed copy at the local bike shops (Freedom or Bike Barn).
  • + 1
 Nice, i was so close to riding these trails but managed to miss the turning when riding the KVR trail up from Penticton with the gf! I might be in the area again in September so this little report will be helpful.

I did notice lots of signs saying 'danger, beware of rattlesnakes and bears' though. Is that a real danger or just a standard BC thing to know about?
  • + 2
 It's a real issue around that area so yeah, be a bit more cautious around there if possible
  • + 2
 Nice trail report, glade you had fun.

The "little round circle with an arrow" signs are on one trail on Campbell Mtn (and a few other local riding areas) but don't look for them in the Mice.
  • + 3
 Stunning looking place to ride a bike!

Unusual to see non carbon pre 2014/2015 hardware on PB too Smile
  • + 1
 Rode three blind mice back in March on the way to skiing at Silverstar. Trails were primo. The Look out loop was fairly well marked. Only real issue was at the start. Also found good trails in Kelowna and Summerland.
  • + 2
 Hell yeah! Working in Oliver for 3 months later on this year! Might have to head up to Penticton and have a look!
  • + 2
 amazing scenery. I would be scared of going off track from staring at those cliffs...
  • + 2
 That looks really relaxed!!
  • + 3
 Nice right up as usual!
  • + 1
 Fun fun fun! Soon Slave2trails, soon!
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