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ELEVATION HUNTERS: HEADWATER LAKES (AND FURTHER) IN 24 HOURS

As I write this, I can see the snow on Okanagan Mountain has┬áreceded substantially this week, which means my Okanagan bikepacking loop will soon be clear. Okanagan Mountain blocks much of the sunlight from entering the valley that the trail follows, leaving it snowy and wet fairly late into the season – even when the local trails are almost bone dry. So Andrew and I decided to head across the lake in a new direction to see what the snow was up to on the west side of things…

It was another classic week of swapping shifts and offering favours at work in hopes of getting some solid riding in. Fortunately, one of my coworkers provided Andrew and I with the chance to dive deep into the service roads on the west side of Okanagan Lake, an area that I had yet to explore. We followed a super secret back alley kind of route along the lake from Kelowna to Peachland, where we stopped for a quick lunch to refuel before attempting the gruelling climb up to Headwater Lakes at around 1300m. We soon found ourselves deep into service road territory – huge valleys, huge trees, and the occasional huge truck. We had the option to camp at the rec site at Headwater Lakes, but decided to press on and followed the rough gravel road south to the Princeton Summerland Road (and the Trans Canada Trail). A few kilometres up the road brought us to Osprey Lake rec site, a fantastic free camping spot with picnic tables, an outhouse, and views of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail across the lake.

The next day we did it all again, but backwards. Oh, and instead of clear skies and sun, we had rain.

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