Glacier Creek Gravel Ride

The Glacier Creek Gravel Ride: This summer, I am going to share one ride a week to show what incredible gravel riding we have here in the Kootenays. Hopefully, it will give folks some ideas for great bike adventures.

Glacier Creek FSR

Out and back rides aren’t my favourite, but this one is quite spectacular. The views in both directions are top notch and the nice thing is you get a different perspective as you ride in and out.

Glacier Creek Gravel Ride, gravel biking

Meadow Creek is a small community perched between the south end of Duncan Lake and the north end of Kootenay Lake, really it’s the confluence of the Duncan River and Kootenay River. There are a few places to stay in the area, such as the municipal campground in Meadow Creek or the BC Rec Sites on Duncan Lake. The Meadow Creek store has a selection of food, but your best bet is to stock up in Kaslo before you head north.

Meadow Creek, cycling trip
Heading into Meadow Creek on Highway 31

The forestry industry is in full swing in the area, so be aware of logging trucks. Bringing a VHF radio programmed with the Resource Road Frequencies is not a bad idea. Also, Meadow Creek is pretty remote for southern BC, it’s a small community in the heart of the Columbia Mountains, there’s all sorts of wildlife including bears, cougars, deer and elk, so be prepared to take care of yourself, pack a first aid, a solid repair kit, plenty of food and clothing.

Glacier Creek Gravel Ride, gravel biking, Kootenays
Svein Tuft enjoying some of the views on the way up Glacier Creek.

We started the ride from Meadow Creek and headed south on Highway 31 and turned east across the Duncan River on the Argenta Road. From there we headed north on the Duncan FSR until we turned east onto the Glacier Creek FSR. After a short steep climb, the road gradually climbs its way up the valley for 26.5 km to the Jumbo Glacier Trailhead with a vertical gain of roughly 1200m.

Glacier Creek Gravel Ride, bike trip

There are a number of extra add-ons that you can do to gets some cool views of the surrounding mountains. I’d suggest doing them if you have the chance. The views for the Monica Meadows trailhead are particularly nice. The climb up there packs a bit of a punch.

The climb up to the Monica Meadows Trailhead
A nice spot for a snack

The road has a fair bit of undulations, so you get a bit of reprieve from the climbing and descending on both legs of the ride.

We tacked on a bonus climb up towards the Lavinia Lookout on our way out. The first few kms are nice steady climbing, but then the road gets steep and loose. After 90km and 2500m of climbing we decided to pull the plug and head back to Meadow Creek, making it a 118 km ride.

Looking NE up Duncan Lake

That’s the tip of the iceberg for riding in the area. There are plenty of roads to explore, though not a lot of loops. We rode the Howser Ridge loop the day before, which is a worthy ride, though it’s not all high speed gravel. There are some steep over grown sections and other sections where folks have brushed the road and laid the alder on the road bed.

The Howser Ridge Loop

For weather I like to use SpotWX as it provides numerous models and localized forecasts.

If you’re interested in a supported or guided ride check out our Bike Trips

The Lardeau River