country rose cafeThe ride from Kelowna to the Needles Ferry and Fauquier is famous in the BC motorcycle community for it's tight curves and generally low traffic. From the shop you take Hwy. 97 north, you can avoid going into Vernon if you take the Coldstream exit on your right just past Okanagan College. This road winds down to Kalamalka Lake, one of the ten most beautiful lakes in world according to National Geographic, you will pass the beach and through the community of Coldstream. The road will eventually intersect back with Hwy. 6 East. You stay on Hwy. 6 all the way to the Needles ferry. If you need fuel you should fill up in Lumby. A good food stop is the Blue Ox Pub it will be on your left as you leave town.

It's about 135kms from Vernon to the ferry and the farther you travel the better the road gets from a motorcyclist's point of view. When you reach the ferry the wait time is usually around 15-30 minutes (the ferry is free). You don't have to cross unless you need fuel but if you don't you will miss the Mushroom Addition Restaurant, a favorite motorcycle stop serving coffee, lunch, pie, gas, all the necessities. (2012 Update, as of April 2012 the Mushroom Addition is still closed and looks like it will remain that way). There is gas available a the location next store now.

I recently discovered a new place for coffee and a snack. About 20kms up the road towards Nakusp there's a nice campground in Burton and Country Rose's Cafe right on the highway, great home cooked food! Time the return trip right and you won't have to wait long for the return ferry. If you want an alternate route back try the Westside Road route. Stay on Hwy 6 until it intersects with Hwy 97 North (32nd. Street) in Vernon. Turn right and stay on Hwy. 97, as you pass Swan Lake on your left take the Kamloops exit follow Highway 97, not 97A. Watch on your left for Westside Road. This will bring you back to Kelowna on yet another favorite BC motorcycle road.

Jeff Kumagai
Freelance Motorccycle Rider