Cycling Penticton to Apex Mountain
Ride 28.6 kilometers gaining 1,440 meters at 4.8% average grade.
Wow! This is a sleeper climb. We did not expect to encounter such an exceptional ride when we originally researched and charted this one. This is a must-do for any cyclists in the Penticton area or traveling anywhere near it. While this climb begins in a weathered neighborhood, it immediately enters thickly wooded forest and follows a creek (not shown on the map, but it’s there!). Follow Green Mountain Road 18.5 kilometers then turn right for the final push up to Apex Mountain Resort.
Gorgeous views and unique scenes along the climb.
Excellent roadway and minimal traffic.
We pass the entrance to the Penticton Indian Band administration offices road on the right at the beginning of the climb and pass through tribal lands for some time thereafter - we are advised by signs posted on trees for the first few kilometers of the climb that we are on a private road and to obey all traffic signs. While the signs advise the road is private, it seems completely open to the public and in fact services Apex Mountain Resort 18 kilometers up the mountain.
For several kilometers before we turn onto Apex Mountain Road, we traveled through meadows that were in full bloom with yellow mustard flowers that made for a gorgeous and colorful setting (see slideshow). We also encounter several ranches with grazing horses and did indeed spy a bear along our route (see photo, below).
For a couple kilometers beginning at kilometer 8 we see, and ultimately pass, a large spire rock formation that is one of the many points of interest along the Apex Mountain climb.
Rock formation in view at many points along the climb.
Up to the turn onto Apex Mountain Road at kilometer 18.5 we have gained only 700 km/2,100’ at 3.1% average grade.
The climb begins in earnest at kilometer 18.5 and continues 10.5 km/6.5 miles to its summit at 8.4% average grade, gaining 885 m/2,904'. The Apex Mountain Road segment of this climb is extremely challenging and that, coupled with the spectacular views and scenery along the way, make for an exceptional climbing experience.
Last 10 kilometers are STEEP!
Our scenery along the route is predominately thick forest bordering the roadway with the occasional serene meadow scenes along Green Valley Road.
Road is bordered by forest much of the climb.
Keep in mind that we are climbing approximately 1,500 meters and the weather can change abruptly at higher altitude – we encountered some minor sprinkles at the end of the climb, but fortunately nothing more.
Roadway Surface and Traffic: The roadway as of July 2016 was in excellent condition and is two lanes with a center line throughout. While there is no shoulder, there is very little traffic on the route – this is a safe climb.
The Apex Mountain climb out of Penticton is at the southern end of massive Okanagan Lake which stretches 60 miles in length from Vernon to Penticton and is home to six of Canada’s top bike climbs: Silver Lake (Vernon), Postill Lake Road (Kelowna), Crystal Mountain (Kelowna), Hwy 97C (Peachland), Carmi Avenue, and Apex Mountain (Penticton).