Canada

Okanagan Valley, BC

Includes Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Osoyoos

Creative Commons: Kelowna09

The Okanagan Valley is located in interior British Columbia, stretching for 170 km from Osoyoos near the Washington state border to Vernon, with Kelowna as its central city. The Okanagan, known for its farms, orchards, and vineyards, is also a popular recreation spot, with hills and lakes offering skiing in winter, and hiking & watersports in summer. There’s also a wonderful variety of running in the Okanagan Valley, with wonderful waterfront paths along the numerous lakes, and a significant network of multi-use trails. Dry forests of ponderosa pine and low grasses dominate the valleys and mountains in this region.

Some of our favorite places to run in the Okanagan Valley are lakeshore routes in Kelowna and Penticton, along Wood Lake, and a section of the Okanagan Rail Trail along Kalamalka Lake. Or, enjoy the extensive multi-use trails passing by farms, vineyards, and orchards: the Okanagan Rail Trail between Kelowna and Vernon; the International Hike & Bike Trail in the southern part of the Okanagan, and the creekside Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna and Channel Trail in Penticton. For a unique running experience, choose a section of the KVR Trail, with its mountainside terrain and railroad trestles. And to run in Canada’s only desert, see our route in Osoyoos. For a centrally located hill & trail run, try Knox Mountain in Kelowna, and for an orchard/hill run, see our route in Vernon.

The Okanagan Valley is known for its sunny and dry climate — great for year-round running! Winters are cool and somewhat snowy, and summers are warm to hot and dry.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Okanagan Valley, BC

Okanagan Rail Trail

Run along lakes and past colourful cliffs, forests, vineyards, and orchards on this scenic multi-use path connecting... more...

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The Okanagan’s sunny and dry climate is among the best for running in Canada. It tends to be hotter and drier in the south, and cooler and wetter in the north. Summers are warm to hot, with high temperatures in 27C (low to mid 80s) range. Winters are cool to cold, with high temperatures just below freezing and nights that can easily dip to -10C. There can be snow and ice in winter, though the sun tends to dry it out in the valleys. It’s cooler and snowier in the mountains, which are renowned for skiing.

ClimaTemps.com

RUNNING STORES

Running Room in Kelowna.

Fresh Air Experience is Kelowna’s Bike, Run, Ski Shop.

Peach City Runners in Penticton is a great running store in the Okanagan.

MEC outlet in Kelowna.

GROUP RUNS

Kelowna Running Club has a very active series of group runs, and a great running calendar of area group runs and events.

The Running Room Kelowna store has group runs Wednesday 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:30 a.m. Info

Penticton Group Runs: The Penticton Pounders group trail runs are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings leaving the trailheads at 5:45 PM. Sunday’s longer run is determined Thursday night after the run. For road running the Penticton Pounders run group meets Sundays at 8 AM at various locations.  This is an official Penticton Pounder group run, so you need to be a member.

Park Runs

Penticton: https://www.parkrun.ca/penticton/

 

RunGuides has a decent calendar for BC, including events in the Okanagan.
The BMO Okanagan Marathon  in October.
The Kelowna Mid-Summer 8K, usually the first Sunday of July.
The Kelowna Apple Triathlon is an Olympic distance event that has  hosted various championships over the years.
There’s a great series of races offered through sports supplier, MEC, featuring six races per year including varying terrain and difficulty with 5k, 10k, and half-marathon options.
The Run Show USA