Crystal Mountain Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Crystal Mountain


Last 2/3's of the climb are in heavily forested low traffic area.

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Climb Summary

Cycling Crystal Avenue - steep grade sign

Cycling Crystal Mountain - Glenrosa Road, Westbank, BC, CAN

Ride 15.4 kilometers gaining 831 meters at 5.4% average grade.

This is a long climb that begins near the eastern  shore of the central section of giant Lake Okanagan (home to 6 top Canada climbs -  Silver Lake (Vernon),  Postill Lake Road (Kelowna), Hwy 97C (Peachland), Carmi Avenue, and Apex Mountain (Penticton). The first 6 kilometers are unremarkable, passing through residential areas, along Hwy 97 for just shy of a kilometer and then on the busy lower section of Glenrosa Road for  3.2 km/2 miles.  


Bike climb Crystal Avenue - Lake Okanagan -

Lake Okanagan

We leave the hussle and bussle behind us at about kilometer 6/mile 3.5 where the road narrows a bit and traffic drops to mild and is ultimately very infrequent.

Biking Crystal Avenue - cyclist riding by horse sign

We begin to get all of our money’s worth and more from 6 kilometers to the end of the climb.  At 6 km the surroundings transition quickly from residential/commercial to very rural with meadows and grasslands for a few kilometers and finally uninhabited forested surroundings beginning at kilometer 8, at the cattle guard.  From kilometer 6 to the end of the climb at about 15.5 km, we are nearly always alone, with only an occasional vehicle passing.  The final pleasant and peaceful 7-8 kilometer’s belie the fairly busy start to the climb.

Climbing by bike Crystal Avenue - meadow with cattle

Climbing Crystal Avenue by bike - cattle guard and roadway


There are a few steep 100-200m stretches of 10-12%, and the final brief segment up to the resort gate is a test, but otherwise this is a manageable and comfortable climb.  There are aspens along a couple of the steep pitches and the wind blowing through their leaves is quite soothing as we strain up the double digit grades we do encounter.  

Bicycle ride Crystal Avenue - flowers along roadway

Biking Crystal Avenue - finish at ski resort


There is a “Leaving West Kelowna” sign at kilometer 12.4, but truth be told, we left civilization 2 ½ kilometers earlier.  Pay careful attention at the 12-13 kilometer mark for a few fleeting views to the right of Lake Okanagan.

Roadway surface and traffic:  The roadway surface is good throughout the climb.  The roadway is two lanes with a center yellow line, but no shoulder although that is of no consequence as there is very little traffic along what is a very safe route after the 6 kilometer mark.  While traffic is busy for the first 6 kilometers of this climb, there is a shoulder in the highest and fastest traffic sections so we rate this as a fairly safe and comfortable ride.